Google will launch a web client for its Duo video calling app in the coming weeks, according to a source familiar with the plans. This development ultimately means a much wider reach of devices that can access the growing service. Google Duo has, up to now, only been available in the form of an app from the Google Play Store or the iOS App Store, and on its Smart Display platform.
Just like the previous web versions of Google Allo, and more recently Google Messages for web, the web version of Google Duo will support Google’s own Chrome browser and likely other major browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple’s Safari. Also like those web apps, Duo will presumably take advantage of browser notifications for incoming calls.
It’s unclear as of now how much of the current functionality from the mobile version of Duo will be available on the web at launch, but it’s likely to, at the very least, include fundamental Duo features such as “knock knock” and the ability to leave video messages.
Since Google Duo already optionally uses a Google account for authentication, it seems likely that the web version will primarily authenticate via that method as well. While Allo and Messages have used a QR code based system (which we saw evidence of long before their respective web launches), we’ve yet to see any evidence of such a system being built for Google Duo in our APK Insight series. That could change, however.
A web client isn’t the only big new feature coming to Google Duo soon. We also got our first look at a group calling feature last month, and our most recent APK Insight highlighted contact favoriting and a new low light mode. We should see these features in the coming weeks as well.
Unlike its spiritual sibling Google Allo, which Google announced last month will be shuttered entirely, Google Duo has seen wide-reaching success by some metrics. For one, the app passed more than 1 billion downloads on the Play Store in December.
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