The latest version of Google Duo rolled out over the weekend with hints that Favorites, Low light mode, and filters will soon be live. The former is partially available in Google Duo 46, while we have also enabled Low light mode for improved video calling.

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.


The last version for 2018 revealed that Google’s consumer video calling service was planning on adding support for pinning contacts. Previously, the large avatar icons would just appear based on recently called people. In Google Duo 46, that functionality is partially live with a new “Add to favorites” item in the overflow menu.

A “Choose your favorites” screen notes which contacts are currently unpinned with the ability to uncheck any. Users can add contacts by searching for a name or phone number, while below is a “Connect on Duo” and “Invite to Duo” list.

Unfortunately, as of this release, the feature is not fully operational. Namely, you cannot add favorites that you’ve previously never called, despite the app displaying a toast message confirming your action. When this feature is fully live, Duo will feature introductory text, as well as a prompt to favorite users next to your other contacts (see screenshot below).

<string name=”tag_close_ties_add_contact_snackbar_text”>%s added to favorites</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_mru_promo_subtitle”>Recent contacts will appear here. Choose some friends now so you can call them faster.</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_mru_promo_title_variant_1″>Choose your favorites</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_mru_promo_title_variant_2″>Who will you call the most?</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_mru_promo_title_variant_3″>Pick your peeps</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_mru_promo_title_variant_4″>Who will you call on the regular?</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_remove_all_snackbar_text”>All favorites removed</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_removed_contact_snackbar_text”>%s removed from favorites</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_search_hint_text”>Search contacts or dial number</string>

<string name=”tag_close_ties_shell_contact_call_to_action”>Choose</string>

Low light mode

We’ve successfully enabled “Low light mode” in Google Duo 46. This feature “Automatically adjusts your video in dark environments so that others can see you better.” When available, users will be prompted to enable it from Duo’s homescreen or by heading into Settings. It is also during the video calling screen as a new sun/moon icon.

<string name=”toggle_low_light_off_content_description”>Turn low light mode off</string>

<string name=”toggle_low_light_on_content_description”>Turn low light mode on</string>

Video effect for Valentine’s Day

Google Duo has been working on filters since last year, but the features never launched. Google Duo 46 reveals that the app might add its first “video effect” in time for Valentine’s Day.

<string name=”single_tap_effect_hint”>Try a fun video effect</string>

<string name=”single_tap_generic_effect”>Video effect</string>

<string name=”single_tap_generic_effect_home_screen_hint”>✨ Try a new video effect ✨</string>

<string name=”single_tap_valentine_effect”>”Valentine’s Day effect”</string>

<string name=”single_tap_valentine_effect_home_screen_hint” />

How to update?

Google Duo 46 is rolling out now via the Play Store. We do not post APKs to download directly given the legal challenges associated with copyright and possibility of removal. Meanwhile, that model is perilous given Android App Bundles and Google Play’s Dynamic Delivery.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

Dylan contributed to this article

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Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: