Google Duo’s new feature is powered by Google’s new feature of Google Play services called the App Previewing Messaging
Google Duo, Google’s video-calling app, recently got updated to include important changes such as a redesigned contact list. Alongside, Google introduced a significant feature to Duo as a part of the update. Google Duo now supports the ability to call people who haven’t installed or registered with the app previously. The feature is similar to the regular Duo call along with the Knock Knock support. However, this new feature on Duo is not available to everyone at the moment and can only be accessed by a few developers.
The new Google Duo calling feature was first reported by a Reddit user and later spotted by Android Police. According to the report, you can call any user who hasn’t previously registered on Duo. The call works exactly like the regular one where the incoming Duo call shows the view of the caller’s camera, called Knock Knock feature. This also works with audio-only calls. The call gives the options to answer it by dragging up the phone icon, mute the mic, change cameras, and hang up the call. There is also a persistent notification icon residing in the notification bar to bring the chat back to screen, in case you accidentally got out of the video chat screen.
The report further says that at the end of the call, the user, who received the call, is prompted to install Google Duo if they liked it. You can also deny the request by tapping on ‘No Thanks’. Interestingly, you can also block the caller from making such calls again by tapping on ‘Block’ appearing at the bottom of the screen in the present setup.
Google Duo’s new feature is powered by Google’s new feature of Google Play services called the App Previewing Messaging, which was launched alongside Google Allo in 2016. This service allows a preview of some functionalities of a messaging/video-calling app on your smartphone without the need to install it. This feature was opened for some developers through an early-access preview programme with a promise to be rolled out for all developers.
In line with the feature of App Previewing Messaging, Google’s AI-based chat app, Allo has supported this feature since its launch. However, the feature looked tacky and didn’t really go with Allo’s theme. But this has changed with the new update. The message window now looks more like Allo and lets users send messages. However, there is not much you can do such as changing font size and attaching images and videos.
Furthermore, this new Google Duo feature appears to be available for a limited number of contacts in the list and only for Android smartphones.