Google Duo video chat app could soon launch a group calling feature that can be used on the web—Chrome precisely [other browsers will probably be added later]. The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the creativity in tech and social media companies—especially with the WHO preaching social distancing as one of few ways to curb the rapid spread of the virus.
As with Meet, however, all participants would require their Google Account to join, the company said in a blog post. Rollout is expected in the coming weeks, but only as a preview on Chrome.
Video-calling has become one of the most attractive ways to keep in touch with colleagues and loved ones these days. For those in isolation for instance, nothing is as priceless as being able to keep in touch with those you love—and this new feature is just a welcome addition.
A new feature called “Family Mode” has also been added to Duo by Google. Family mode lets you draw the screen in real time and apply what looks like Snapchat-like masks and effects on yourself. While you are in family mode, Duo will hide the buttons to mute and hang up. This will allow you to doodle and play around without the need to be bothered about accidentally dropping the call. That said, you will need to sign in to your Google Account before you will be able to use family mode on Duo.
The new Snapchat-like masks and effects will also be available for users to make calls in one-on-one on iOS and Android. To celebrate this year’s Mother’s Day, Google has added mask that turns you into a flower; this is already available for use.
Last January, Duo, has welcomed a new update that will enable you to use the web version without a phone number. The video calling service has already activated the new feature; though Android Police reports that the exact date and time it was added is not known.
Going forward, you can make calls without a phone number linked to Duo on web without any issue. This also works in reverse order—you can also make calls from the app on your phone to a we version of the service just with the receiver’s email address. That said, it is impossible to search for Duo accounts that are only linked to an email address since they are not in the address book.
The update only affects Duo on the web, and there is no word on whether similar update would be extended to the mobile version. That said, it is an interesting situation, and one that may excite many users of the service.