Google will integrate Duo video calling to Android’s dialler and SMS apps

Alex Kidman 12 October 2017 NEWS

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Google wants you to see the folks you're calling, no matter which app you're currently in.

Google's Android-based phones, such as the upcoming Google Pixel 2, are already immensely popular for their flexibility, range of pricing and feature sets, but not everything Google touches is an immediate hit for the search giant.

Back at its I/O conference in 2016, Google launched Duo, a simple video calling app for Android phones. Duo still exists today, but it's not exactly a household name even on the level of Apple's competing FaceTime platform. That could be about to change with the news that Google intends to integrate Duo into the phone dialler, contacts and messaging apps of its Android platforms, making it easier for folks video call from a variety of apps within the Android ecosystem.

In a blog post, Google's Jan Jedrzejowicz outlines the way Duo will work on Android moving forward. It's already being rolled out to, as per Jedrzejowicz, the first generation Google Pixel phones, Android One and Nexus devices, and it should be natively available on Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL phones. Jedrzejowicz states that "We’re working with our carrier and device partners to bring this experience to more Android devices over time. "

Google's video calling will default to Video over LTE (ViLTE) where available, or use the Duo app if it's installed on the receiver's phone as well. One notable issue to be aware of here is that video calling typically uses data as well as voice call allowances, depending on carrier settings. As such, a video call could be a more costly exercise than a standard voice call, especially as the recipient will also incur data charges for the incoming video stream.

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