Google's Duo App Makes it Easier Than Ever to Ignore a Video Call

By Sophie Kleeman on at

Today, Google announced the launch of a new video calling app called Duo, and it may just be the FaceTime competitor we’ve been waiting for.

It’s a companion app to the company’s messaging app Allo, and it’s similarly mobile-only:

After opening the app, you’re presented with a front-facing camera preview of yourself. You can then select who you want to call by scrolling through your contacts. Then, choose your target, place the call, and wait for an answer. If the other person picks up, the video call begins.

If it looks simple, that’s by design. “You noticed the demo was super short and that’s because that’s all it needs to be,” Erik Kay, Google’s director of engineering, communications products, told the Verge after a trial run last week.

Duo comes with some neat features, like the ability to flip between Wi-Fi and mobile service without losing the call. And on Android devices, Duo will let you see a live stream of the person who’s calling you on your lock screen. (One drawback: No video conferencing.)

According to Google, Duo will be released later this summer, and will be available for both iOS and Android. Watch out, FaceTime—there’s a new kid on the block.