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Google launches Duo, video chat app for iOS and Android

Easy-to-use video chat app aims to provide reliable connection inside or outside of WiFi says Google

Google's new video chat app helps you connect in a more human way
Google's new video chat app helps you connect in a more human way

Google, (NASDAQ:GOOG) owned by Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) on Tuesday unveiled a new one-to-one video chat app called Duo.

Available for Android and iOS, Duo does not require a user to have a Google account. Instead, the app is tied to a phone number. It is meant for one-one-one conversations and doesn’t allow for group calls.

To start a video call on Duo, users just tap the other party’s number. Google says Duo is easy to use, fast and has a reliable connection. The app’s Knock Knock feature lets users see live video of the caller before they answer.

"Knock Knock makes video calling more spontaneous and welcoming, helping you connect with the person before you even pick up," the app’s principal software engineer, Justin Uberti, wrote on Google's official blog.

On the security front, Uberti said all Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted, while users can flip between WiFi and cellular networks without dropping a call.

An Engadget review compared the app’s look to Apple’s FaceTime app, where users see the person they are talking to while their own video feed shows up in a small circle.

Shares in Alphabet were down 0.48% on Tuesday at $802.08.

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