Google Duo, the video calling app for Android, is bringing in a new photo sharing feature to expand the ways you can message your contact book.
Any smartphone user today isn't short of options to share photos with friends, colleagues, or family members. While relatively few of us are still using email to send funny pictures, online messaging applications like WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram have provided highly convenient ways to send quick snapshots.
Google Duo looks to be filling the space left by the closure of Google Allo – the text and image messaging app that launched with Duo back in 2016.
Currently the Duo app offers three forms of messages: voice calls, video calls, and audio/video notes you can send without making a call. As spotted by 9to5Google (opens in new tab), the new photo feature allows use of the same editing features as a video message, meaning you can scribble text or pictures over the photo before sending to various Duo contacts – who then have 24 hours to view the message before it disappears, much like the messaging features in Snapchat.
Oddly, you can't send the photos from within the app yet, but when viewing a photo in your gallery or similar you'll be able to share the image via the Duo app.
We imagine a more fully-fledged feature will make its way shortly, though for now the added flexibility will be useful for anyone not wanting to swap between different apps for different types of messages, photos or otherwise.
The new photo feature is just the latest in a renewed push for Google's video app, which recently brought in group video calls – something WhatsApp also offers – and the ability to make video calls from a web browser in the US. Google Home owners will also soon be able to make Duo audio calls through their smart speaker.
While there are plenty of messaging app options out there, Google Duo has a good record for video quality, with a OnePlus study rating it the highest of any competing app – leading to OnePlus integrating the service into OxygenOS.
Even if there are other apps to choose from, Duo's placement as the de facto video app for OnePlus – and naturally Google – could see more of us using it as time goes on. Let's hope Google keeps working to make it worth our while.
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