With absolutely no fanfare whatsoever, Google has now made it possible to make Duo calls on the web without needing to link your phone number.
It’s unclear when Google made this change, but according to Android Police, the service now allows you to make and take calls without having your telephone number linked to your account. However, it’s worth noting that it doesn’t fully work with GSuite accounts — non-standard “@gmail.com” accounts. You can place calls if you have a GSuite account, but receiving them is not currently possible.
So, if you are signed into a standard Google account, just head over to duo.google.com now and sign in with an account without a phone number linked, rather than being asked to add it to your account. Instead, it will move you on to the main Duo site, where you can search your existing contacts to place audio and video calls. AP says that it works just fine with no issues.
You can receive calls on the web if a standard Google Duo account places a call to the email address you have linked to a Duo account. The biggest stumbling block is that these email-only Duo accounts that don’t have a telephone number attached don’t appear within your contact list, and you’re not able to search for them. You can only call them if they appear within your recents or notifications list if you’ve called them recently.
You will be pestered with warnings when using your email-only Duo account, with pop-ups suggesting you add your phone number so that your friends and family can find you more easily. If you do use a GSuite account, unfortunately you’ll hit a blockage whereby you have to enter your phone number to continue.
Of course, Google has made plans for this for some time, but the change appears to be available on Google Duo on the web. That is all compounded by the dedicated support pages still stating that Duo is only available when tying a phone number to your account.
More on Google Duo:
- Google Duo 69 brings streamlined settings page on Android
- Google Duo adds emoji reactions to video messages
- Google Duo prepares new ‘Moment’ capture button for screenshots in video calls
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