Google introduced a pair of new communication apps: Allo used for text communication and Duo used for video calling.
Duo would be launching first, and that would be today. Google hopes it'll stand out among a bevy of other communications apps thanks to a laser focus on providing a high-quality mobile experience. It's available today for both the iPhone and Android phones.
Nick Fox, Google VP of communications products, said:
"The genesis of Duo was we really saw a gap when it came to video calling," he adds "We heard lots of [user] frustration, which led to lack of use -- but we also heard a lot of desire and interest as well."
Google made Duo cross-platform simple to use. Using the app you can only call one person at a time, and there's barely any UI or features to speak of. But from a technology standpoint, it's meant to work for anyone with a smartphone.
Duo is even simpler than FaceTime, and far simpler than Google's own Hangouts app, which the company says will now be more focused on business and enterprise users. In that focus on simplicity, Fox and his team left out a number of features you might find in other video-calling apps. Chief among them is that Duo can't do group calls; it's meant only for one-to-one calling.
Google also decided against making desktop apps for Duo or Allo. Duo is being billed as a simpler, more reliable way to see friends and family as you talk to them. The app is rolling out around the world over the next few days.
See Ad video below >>>