Google’s I/O conference 2016 brought in many goodies, some expected and some not. One of the many unexpected surprises was the company’s new video calling service called Duo which will be available on iOS and Android.

While most company’s combine their messaging and video calling services into a single app, Google takes a completely different approach. It unveiled Allo, its newest messaging app first and then followed it with Duo. It is a one-on-one calling service that basically connects anyone on iOS and Android regardless of their Internet speed and location.

Duo comes with a new and innovative feature called Knock Knock, which shows you a live video preview of the caller before you receive the call. In fact, you won’t even feel the transition between the call and the pre-call feed, Google says.

The service comes with end-to-end encryption, thus you do not need to worry about privacy. It has also been optimized to adjust call quality depending on your network speed and the bandwidth available. Duo, Google says, was built by the same team that created WebRTC and it uses WebRTC. Apparently, it was built over a new programming protocol called Quic, which Google had unveiled last year as a route to speeding up data-heavy applications over the web.

It also supports call video quality up to 720p and HD audio. Overall, the app seems to be a very tough competitor to Apple’s FaceTime and Microsoft’s Skype.


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