Late to the Video-Chat Game, Google Launches FaceTime Rival

New 'Duo' video-calling app faces stiff competition
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 16, 2016 12:05 AM CDT
Updated Aug 16, 2016 9:11 AM CDT
This image provided by Google shows its video-chatting app on mobile devices.   (Google)
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(Newser) – Knock knock, Google's video-chatting app has arrived. The app, dubbed Duo, represents Google's response to other popular video-calling options, including Apple's FaceTime, Microsoft's Skype, and Facebook's Messenger app. Duo isn't much different from the other video-chatting services, except that it gives a glimpse at who's making the call, helping the recipient decide whether to answer, the AP reports. Google calls this feature "Knock Knock." The new app, announced in May, is being released Tuesday as a free service for phones running on Google's Android operating system, as well as Apple's iPhones.

Like FaceTime for iPhones, Duo requires only a person's phone number to connect. Many other services require both participants to have account logins to use their video-calling options. Google has been offering video calling through its Hangouts feature for several years, but the internet company is now tailoring that service for business meetings. Duo is being billed as a simpler, more reliable way to see friends and family as you talk to them, though Josh Constine at TechCrunch predicts that it'll be a "hard sell" this late in the video-calling game, especially since users won't be able to connect it to other apps like Google Chat, Hangouts, or the upcoming Allo, a messaging app featuring a robotic assistant that will suggest automated responses to texts. (Read more Google stories.)

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