Does Google Duo make sense if you use an iPhone?

Posted by Nick Tylwalk on August 16th, 2016
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

It might be true that if you're a big enough company, it's never too late to get into any particular market. So if, say, Google wants to do a standalone video calling app, no one can really say it's a bad idea.

That's relevant because it just happened. Released just this week, Google Duo is the self-professed "video calling app for everyone." It backs up that claim by its true cross-platform status, meaning it launched on iOS as well as Android.

By now, you're probably thinking to yourself, "Wait a minute ... Don't iPhones and iPads have a perfectly fine video calling app baked right in?" Right you are, and with FaceTime, there very well might not be any reason for you to consider downloading Google Duo to even give it a shot.

And yet this would be a pretty short article if we weren't about to make the argument for you to do exactly that. Here's why Google Duo might be worth a look even if you are iPhone until you die.

If you have lots of friends with Android phones or tablets

Many of us have circles of friends or family who all use the same mobile platform. But do any of us, other than Apple employees, have everyone close to us using iPhones?

I'd wager the answer is no. One thing that Google Duo does flawlessly is enable simple cross-platform video calls. Is it the first app to do so? Definitely not. But with the Google name behind it, there's a decent chance it's the one free app that might be able to cut across both operating systems and generations. Food for thought.

If you'd like to see who's calling you before you hop on the video call

One of the most jarring things about any kind of video call -- and here we're referring to things like Google Hangouts too -- is that once the connection goes through, boom, there you are, staring at the other party. While that's kind of the point, there's a suddenness about it that can be unpleasant, depending on how prepared you are for it.

If Google Duo has a killer feature, maybe it's this: Knock-Knock, which shows the person on the receiving end of a call a preview video of you before they answer. It's a nice virtual way of easing into things that not every similar app offers.

Do those two things add up to a compelling case for Google Duo? That's something only you can decide, but at least there's a reason for iPhone users to consider it, and that's not something we would necessarily have expected when Google Duo was first announced.

Posted in: News
Tagged With: Iphone, Google, IPad, Facetime, video calling, Google Duo
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