Google Duo seems to be welcoming a lot of new features and updates lately. The video chat app has added a couple of new features including the ability for people to reach you via your email address—though, you are still required to sign up with your phone number.
This new email feature removes the need for people to reach you through your phone number whenever they want to chat with you. Version 87 now displays a banner explaining that you are now reachable via email. However, this functionality can be disabled if you do not want to be reached via your email address. Simply go to Settings > Account to have it disabled.
Per Android Police, Duo also added a Family mode, which was announced a few weeks back. You can access it during a video call by simply tapping the three-dot button on the bottom right, then choosing Family in the pop-up banner. When switched on, Duo’s interface is quickly transformed into a kid-friendly version; this time with fewer options and less risk of drop calls.
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.
A couple of days ago, Google confirmed to Android Police that it was working on plans to expand group calling participants to 32. Last March, group calls on Duo was increased from eight to 12 participants, with the company announcing last month that it was indeed working on increasing the limit—no exact figure was given at the time though. An email spotted by Android Police, which is now being sent to users of the app, showed that Google has started promoting the feature.
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 added added mask that turns you into a flower.
Last January, Duo 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.