(TORONTO, ON) – There are a bunch of video chat apps out there, the most famous probably being Apple’s FaceTime. Microsoft has Skype, Android has Hangouts, even Blackberry has video chat in it’s BBM software. But, none of them work well across platforms.
If you’ve got an Android phone and your friend has an iPhone, it just wasn’t a great experience to try and video chat.
That’s changed with Duo. Duo is a free, cross-platform video chat app from Google, and it runs on Android and iOS, so people with an iPad or iPhone can use it, too.
The interface for Duo is very intuitive and easy to use. Like most video chat apps, you just choose who you want to talk to and they get notified of your request to chat. Where Duo is unique is with their Knock Knock setting.
Instead of just displaying the caller’s profile picture when they call, Knock Knock lets you see video from your caller’s device before you accept the call.
This could be helpful in determining if a call is urgent or if you can get back to the caller at a more convenient time; eg: they could hold up a note saying, “This is urgent!” or some other visible indicator you recognize.
Knock Knock is enabled by default, but can be turned off.
Duo offers high quality video chat over WiFi or using your phone’s mobile data. Google indicates Duo will seamlessly switch between cellular and WiFi, meaning your calls won’t drop as you move from one to the other.
For those concerned about security, Google says the calls are end-to-end encrypted, which should prevent anyone from listening in on your conversation.
With decent video, Duo could be a great way to stay in touch with friends and family who use different devices while on the go.