The latest version of Google Duo is rolling out this morning and it reveals more about the phone number-only Guest mode, while hinting at upcoming features like messaging, Google account linking, and a revamped screen sharing interface. We’ve also managed to enable a number of these new features ahead of time in version 29.
About APK Insight: In this ‘APK Insight’ post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.
Clip audio/video messaging feature
For the past several iterations, Google Duo has been working on an audio and video messaging feature currently named “Clip.” In version 29, we’ve managed to fully enable the functionality.
To send, users can either tap and hold on a person’s contact and select “Send voice message” or when calling press the new “Leave voice message” button. From the latter screen, users will be able to record a message and re-record if needed. After pressing send, a snackbar will denote its progress.
On the other end, recipients will see that a play button overlays the sender’s contact icon. From here, it opens a dedicated interface that features a person’s profile image and play button. It also notes the time the message was received and when it expires, as well as the ability to download or delete the message.
This version also adds a new notification channel on supported Android 8.0+ devices for “new messages.”
New screen sharing interface
We’ve also activated a revamped screen sharing interface. 9to5Google first activated and showcased the ability to quickly share your screen during a call last November.
There’s a new UI that involves a movable pill-shaped bar for pausing/resuming and ending. Meanwhile, as a screen is being shared, a video icon in the notification tray blinks to remind users of the activity.
Guest mode: Using Google Duo with only a phone number
Version 28 revealed strings about a “Guest mode” that would allow users to “Use Duo without an account.” In today’s version, the relevant string has been updated to note that Guest mode is the ability to use Duo with just a phone number.
<string name=”gaia_reg_guest_mode_description”>Use Duo with phone number only</string>
<string name=”gaia_reg_phone_number_label”>Phone number</string>
Using Duo with a Google account
The above tweak carries the implication that Google account support is near and that it will become the default way to use the video conferencing app, as the following strings note.
<string name=”gaia_reg_title”>Set up Duo with your Google Account</string>
<string name=”gaia_upgrade_account_error”>Error linking Google Account.</string>
Meanwhile, other revamped code details how linking your Google account to your phone number will help contacts find you.
<string name=”link_gaia_intro_agreements”>Duo links your Google Account to your phone number, this helps others find you by using either piece of contact information. By continuing, you agree to the %1$s, %2$s, and letting Duo sync your contacts.</string>
We’ve also been able to activate Google account linking after set up. In settings, there will be a new Google account section with a sign in button. From there, a pop-up will present a picker to select your account.
Also on the notification front, version 28 adds a host of new notifications that alerts users when more friends are using the service, as a likely means to increase usage.
<string name=”batched_contact_joined_notification_body_1_5″>Open Duo to discover who’s reachable</string>
<string name=”batched_contact_joined_notification_body_2_3_6_7″>Start a video call now</string>
<string name=”batched_contact_joined_notification_body_4_8″>Open Duo to see who you can reach</string>
<string name=”batched_contact_joined_notification_title_1″>New people to video call ✨</string>
<string name=”batched_contact_joined_notification_title_2″>More friends are now reachable ⭐</string>
<string name=”batched_contact_joined_notification_title_3″>More friends you can say hi to ✨</string>
<string name=”batched_contact_joined_notification_title_4″>Additional friends to video call ⭐</string>
Dylan contributed to this article