Google’s new video calling app Duo is getting quite a bit of attention in the media and in online discussions. I myself at first was really excited about it, then I became one of those people discussing Duo on the internet, then I realized how it’s not really all that great.
It has been a mixed experience for me regarding personal usage as well. Is it worth enough to switch from another well established service such as Hangouts or Facebook Messenger?
Let’s see what the users have had to say.
A recent thread in the Android subreddit captured some of the sentiment about Duo from Android users:
Aamir64: “I’m really liking the fact that Android users can now be able to use video amongst other Android users and iOS users. Video quality is good and consistent. That’s what I really like about this app, the consistency. Knock knock feature is genius and it really removes mystery of the caller and seemlessly transitions into an actual conversation. I’ve used the app with my wife and brother in law and we all share the same experience.
I’m not sure why people are complaining about this app right out of the gate, but this app is simple and provides a consistent video calling experience. This is what Google needed i think. Now Android users have their version of Facetime. Hangouts was ok, but inconsistent, perhaps that’s why it didnt catch on.
I’m really enjoying this app.”
Curious Iguana: “I have Duo. No one else I know has Duo or is ever likely to install Duo.”
And1927: “I have about 100 contacts and every single one of them uses WhatsApp (half of them are on iOS). No one uses SMS/MMS here in the UK, especially MMS since it’s not included in most packages.
As for video calling, I guess it’s more common among friends and relatives that live far and don’t see each others often. I never video call so Duo is useless to me.”
DiviRan: “Just make it a default app that comes with Nougat but give users the ability to uninstall if they don’t like it. That will give the app the publicity it needs for a good start.”
Armandorod: “I was reading some users saying it was grainy but not on my tests, on 3G and not grainy at all almost perfect sharp video.”
DinoStak: “Not gonna lie, I was on the hate train but after using it I love it. I hope the user base grows enough.”
Joejoejoemoe: “Not complaining, I think it’s a cool app. But, there’s no way I can convince people to step away from what they already know, among my social circle anyways, Facebook messenger.
At this moment, you can make calls, send messages, send texts, video call, leave voice messages, and send payments. The development team for this app has been killing the unification on this platform.
Duo’s nice, but splitting their assets into a million apps when I already have one that does it all so well?”
Hbar98: “Just continuing the conversation. I’m not disagreeing with you, but maybe Google has an idea with how they are doing this. While with FB Messenger you don’t need a FB account (I believe), you still have to sign up with the big blue f, and that is a turn-off for some.
With Duo, all you need is a windows or iOS phone. You don’t need to sign up with anyone, you don’t need to remember your password, you don’t even need to make a username. You use your phone number, and the app takes care of identifying you.
And remember… someone had to convince your friends that FB Messenger was better than the alternative, so your friends can step away from things they already knew. If Duo turns out to be good (superior call quality, end-to-end encryption), easy (no account creation needed, no seen attachment to Google, FB, etc…), and behaves the same across platforms (I can help my iOS friends with the app in the same way I can help my Android friends), then I can see some people moving over. Not all, but maybe many.”
DeadSalas: “The real question is if the user base will ever get high enough for it to be valuable. I don’t know about you guys, but getting people I know to download an app that they’d only use to contact me because no one else they know uses it is basically impossible.”
Hughman: “Exactly! Convincing my closest family to jump from Facetime to Duo just ain’t going to happen. I tried with Hangouts and it took years of convincing. To now tell them that Hangouts didn’t work out after all, Duo is the new thing, all I’m going to get is “I’ll rather stick with Facetime, at least it’s consistent”
Ask yourself “will an iPhone using mom pick this up?”. If the answer is “no”, then it will have a hard to reach a mayor crowd.”
While we’re still at user response, Google will include an audio-only call feature in duo, a response to user response? Perhaps, or perhaps not. Here’s all you need to know to get started if you wish to and haven’t already.