Google will not slow down trying to pinch some of Zoom’s market share on the video chat market – adding one-click calls to Gmail for its business-focused Google Meet video app, it’s now pushing out more features for its other video tool, Google Duo, as well.
As announced in a Google blog post, Duo is getting a family mode that essentially adds a lot of masks and filters to mess around with the kids (or grandkids). In this mode, the mute and hang up buttons get hidden, presumably to stop young people hitting them accidentally.
Also, the same video filters and effects roll out on Android and iOS to one-to-one Duo calls, Google says, just in case you want to turn your face into a giant floral vase or something similar.
There are also some improvements to Google Duo on the web: Apparently, browser-based group video calls will be supported in the “coming weeks,” and you will be able to join them via an invite link from your Google account. Sounds pretty much like … Zoom.
Recently, the maximum number of people you can have on a Duo video call has been bumped up to 12 participants, but as Google confirmed to Android Police (and also mentioned in promotional emails), that will soon be 32.
It was interesting to see tech firms scrambling to upgrade their video calling software as quickly as possible, as more and more of us are stuck at home due to ongoing COVID-19 outbreak effects.
HTC launched a VR video chat application, while both Skype and Facebook roll out features to make their video calling tools match the features and interface of Zoom – the app that has seen the greatest growth in usage so far.
Even FaceTime follows the lead set by Zoom: You can turn off the floating face interface in the latest iOS beta code and instead use a more conventional grid. If you are in the video calling program market, the choices are better than ever before.