Google Duo
Developer(s)Google LLC
Initial releaseAugust 16, 2016; 6 years ago (2016-08-16)
Final release(s) [±]
Android174.0 / September 9, 2022; 2 months ago (2022-09-09)[1]
iOS174.1.0 / September 16, 2022; 56 days ago (2022-09-16)[2]
Operating system
Available inEnglish
TypeVideo chat mobile app
Websiteduo.google.com

Google Duo is a discontinued proprietary voice over IP (VoIP) and videotelephony service developed by Google, available for Android, iOS and web browsers. It lets users make and receive one-to-one and group audio and video calls with other Duo users in high definition, using end-to-end encryption by default. Duo can be used either with a phone number or a Google account, allowing users to call someone from their contact list.[3]

Google Duo was announced at Google's developer conference on May 18, 2016, and began its worldwide release on August 16, 2016.[4] It will be merged into Google Meet by the end of 2022, with the mobile app renamed Meet and the original Meet app intended to be phased out.

History

In December 2016, Google Duo replaced Hangouts within the suite of Google apps device manufacturers must install in order to gain access to the Google Play Store, with Hangouts instead becoming optional.[5]

In August 2020, it was reported that Google was planning to eventually merge Google Duo with the business-oriented Google Meet.[6] In December 2021 this objective had been dropped, but Duo continued to be available and updated.[7][1] In June 2022, Google reversed course and announced that Duo and Meet would, in fact, be merged.[8] The merger began in August, with the Duo mobile app being renamed to Meet, while the original Meet is called Meet Original and will be phased out. The Google Duo web app will also be redirected to the Google Meet web app.[9]

Technologies

Google Duo is optimized for low-bandwidth mobile networks through WebRTC and uses QUIC over UDP. Optimization is further achieved through the degradation of video quality through monitoring network quality.[10]

In February 2021, Google announced a new very low-bitrate codec for speech compression called "Lyra", that can operate with network speeds as low as 3kbps that avoids robotic voice audio. Google trained machine learning models on thousands of hours of data in order to create the method used by Lyra on compression and transmission of voice signals.[11]

For packet loss concealment Duo uses WaveNetEQ, a generative model based on DeepMind/Google AI’s WaveRNN.[12]

According to a technical study commissioned by Google from Signals Research Group in 2017 that compared degradation time over 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi, Duo provided the highest voice and video quality of any service or app.[13][14]

Features

"Knock Knock" shows a live preview of the caller before the recipient picks up, which Google says is to "make calls feel more like an invitation rather than an interruption".[15]

In March 2017, it was announced that Google Duo would let users make audio-only calls. The feature was first launched in Brazil,[16][17][18] with a global rollout in April.[19]

A year later in March 2018, video and voice messages were added to Duo. Users can leave messages up to 30 seconds long for contacts who are unavailable.[20]

Support for eight-person video calls in both the iOS and Android versions of the app was added in May 2019.[21] In line with similar group calling offerings from FaceTime, WhatsApp, Skype and Facebook Messenger, participants can join or leave the conversation at any time. Google Duo increased maximum group size to twelve at the end of March 2020,[22][23] and to 32 by May 2022.[1]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c "Google Meet (formerly Google Duo) 174.0.471884746". APK Mirror. Retrieved October 15, 2022.
  2. ^ "Google Duo on the App Store". September 21, 2022. Archived from the original on September 21, 2022. Retrieved September 21, 2022.
  3. ^ Fulay, Amit; Adan, Yariv (May 18, 2016). "Saying hello to Allo and Duo: new apps for smart messaging and video calling". Google: The Keyword Blog.
  4. ^ Brandom, Russell; Dzieza, Josh; O'Kane, Sean (May 18, 2016). "The 10 biggest announcements from Google I/O 2016". The Verge.
  5. ^ Ruddock, David (October 7, 2016). "Google is demoting Hangouts to "optional" in the Google Apps package for Android, to be replaced by Duo". Android Police. Retrieved October 20, 2016.
  6. ^ Lee, Abner (August 14, 2020). "Sources: Google plans to eventually replace Duo with Meet". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on August 15, 2021. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  7. ^ Li, Abner (December 16, 2021). "Scoop: Google Duo development & planned consumer-focused merger with Meet fizzles out". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on December 16, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  8. ^ Pierce, David (June 1, 2022). "Google is combining Meet and Duo into a single app for voice and video calls". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 1, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  9. ^ Roth, Emma (August 3, 2022). "Google Meet meets Duo Meet, with Meet in Duo but Duo isn't going into Meet". The Verge. Archived from the original on August 3, 2022. Retrieved August 3, 2022.
  10. ^ Bohn, Dieter (May 18, 2016). "Google Duo makes mobile video calls fast and simple". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  11. ^ "Lyra: A New Very Low-Bitrate Codec for Speech Compression". Google AI Blog. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  12. ^ "Improving Audio Quality in Duo with WaveNetEQ". Google AI Blog. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  13. ^ "Google Duo - Free High-Quality Video Calling App". Google Duo. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  14. ^ Dueling with the Duo: A Third-Party Performance Analysis of Seven Popular Video Chat Applications Operating in 3G, LTE, and Wi-Fi Networks Under a Wide Range of Radio Conditions. Signals Research Group (Report). August 27, 2017.
  15. ^ Uberti, Justin (August 16, 2016). "Meet Google Duo, a simple 1-to-1 video calling app for everyone". The Keyword Google Blog. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  16. ^ Queiroz, Mario (March 22, 2017). "Google for Brazil: Building a more inclusive internet for everyone, everywhere". The Keyword Google Blog. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  17. ^ Erlick, Nikki (March 22, 2017). "Google announces app updates to Allo, Duo, and Photos". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
  18. ^ Palmer, Jordan (March 22, 2017). "Google Duo is finally getting an audio-only call option, rolling out first in Brazil [APK Download] and have". Android Police. Retrieved March 23, 2017.
  19. ^ Vincent, James (April 10, 2017). "Google Duo's voice calls are now available worldwide". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved April 10, 2017.
  20. ^ Lindsay, Dave (March 7, 2018). "Miss a call—but not the moment—with video messages on Google Duo". The Keyword Google Blog. Retrieved March 15, 2018.
  21. ^ @juberti (May 23, 2019). "#GoogleDuo group calling is now fully deployed, with the simplicity, quality, and security you expect from Duo" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  22. ^ "Google Duo brings group calling with up to 32 people to web and adds family mode". Zee Entertainment. May 11, 2020. Retrieved May 12, 2020.
  23. ^ Vigliarolo, Brandon (May 12, 2020). "Google steps up Zoom competition by adding 32-person calls to Duo". TechRepublic. Retrieved May 15, 2020.