Google updates are coming out thick and fast; and that makes a lot of users excited. It means some of the features we have been anticipating could either soon be added or have already been added. Google Duo, the video-chat app launched by Google a couple of years ago, has expanded the number of people that can participate in group calling on the web version to 32.
Until now, group calling on Duo was exclusive to the Android and iOS versions of the app. That will however, change as you and your friends can host a chat session on the app via desktop and still get same quality as what is obtainable on the app version. Actually, it was limited to just 12 participants, but things have evolved—the fact that people now work remotely or are forced to work from home because of the pandemic have changed a lot of things. The need for videoconferencing app has taken over how we do things; and people just cannot afford to stay without keeping in touch with one another.
The feature, however, requires that you sign in to your Duo with your Google Account—phone number not enough this time around. When signed in, simply tap “Create group” beneath the current “Start a call” button.
1/Today one of our most requested features for Duo, group calling on the web with up to 32 people, is starting to roll out on the latest version of Chrome. pic.twitter.com/hjnL96iVcz
— Sanaz (@sanazahari) June 16, 2020
Last month, Google added the ability for people to reach you via your email address—though, you are still required to sign up with your phone number. The 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.
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.