Published: Sat, October 14, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Joan Schultz

Google's Duo voice chat app is about to become Android's FaceTime

Google's Duo voice chat app is about to become Android's FaceTime

The newly integrated Video calling facility to the will be available for first-generation Pixel, Android One, and Nexus device users for the time being. It's also free and works with any device running Android 4.4 or up, which should cover pretty much any phone or tablet you're now using.

There are a few catches though.

"The Pixel 2 has a 5" display with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and is powered by a Snapdragon 835 processor.

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However, that's never really been the case with Android, with Google's Hangouts and Duo apps failing to offer the same levels of integration.

Your device has to run the Android 7.0 Nougat operating system or above (Android 8.0 Oreo) to access the feature.

Duo is Google's video calling app and has already crossed 100 million downloads.

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The ability to upgrade an ongoing voice call to video with just a tap is coming "later this year".

The video call option will show in the Call History or Search if your phone app is version 13.0 and up. In March, the app gained audio calling support, so it's not a one-trick pony anymore.

As for supported devices, you and whoever you are video calling only have a handful to choose from. Google's new Pixel launcher (the extra software that comes on top of Android 8.0 Oreo) puts reminders for upcoming events right on your homescreen, which is pretty great if you're the type of person who constantly forgets about scheduled plans and meetings. You can also use an Android One device, but if you have one of those, chances are you're not doing video calling. ViLTE stands for video over LTE and is an extension of VoLTE. Thankfully, Google's carrier partner Verizon is offering just that.

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This is an exciting new addition to Android, and you can see how it could eventually be integrated directly into Android.

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