With Meet getting Google’s full attention over the past year, Duo has not seen a meaningful update in quite some time. Google Duo is soon receiving a homescreen redesign that adds a “New Call” button that hopes to simplify the app.

Update 8/6: As of today, the Google Duo redesign that removes the live preview for a more conventional homescreen is widely rolled out. That front-facing camera feed encouraged users to send messages in a process that first involved you recording and then selecting recipients. The revamp reverses that by having you first select the person or group you want to send a message to. All actions are placed on a user’s contact screen.

This matches the direction that Google took with Meet last October by opting for a UI that is not as overwhelming and less social. It makes Duo a straightforward communication service and the similarity might aid the eventual transition. This change occurred with a server-side-side update if you’re running a current version of the Android app.


Update: A few hours after publishing, the new UI is already appearing for some users. It’s very straightforward with the blue “New call” FAB appearing in the bottom-right corner. There’s also a top search field to look for contacts and dial, while the rest of the page is a grid of circular contacts.


Old: Left, center | New: Right

Original 7/18: This button is meant to serve as a starting point for key actions in Duo, including starting calls to other users — as well as your Assistant “Home” device — and groups. You’ll also be able to see (and invite) contacts and create groups. The people list can also be surfaced via search.

Google has yet to share any images of what this looks like, but the latter incorporation made possible by the “New Call” button suggests this homescreen will be much shorter than the current one. 

The company emphasizes that it is “keeping all the features you love” amid this reorganization. You’ll be able to send messages (video or audio), notes, or pictures by tapping a contact/group and clicking on the “Message” button, which is possible today. 

Inspired by your feedback, we have taken steps to simplify the Duo home screen while keeping all the features you love.

In all, this makes for a rather sizable Google Duo homescreen redesign. It comes at an interesting time and after a period where Google’s full attention has been on Meet. The company notably added all of Duo’s filters and fun effects directly to Meet in Gmail this month. 

Duo’s “New call” button will begin rolling out “over the next few weeks” (h/t Android Police). While no platform is specified, this will presumably come first to the Android and iOS mobile clients. 

More about Google Duo:

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.


Check out 9to5Google on YouTube for more news:

You’re reading 9to5Google — experts who break news about Google and its surrounding ecosystem, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow 9to5Google on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our exclusive stories, reviews, how-tos, and subscribe to our YouTube channel

About the Author