Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
Research | By Raquel Erickson

Google Duo Spotted Working on Android Smartphones Without the App Installed

Google Duo Spotted Working on Android Smartphones Without the App Installed

Like Google Duo, but don't have many of your contacts using it?

Google has made a very new and significant change to its Duo app.

Google has rolled out an update to the Duo and Allo video calling and messaging applications.

Google Duo

It all happens through something called App Preview Messaging, which works through a background Android app called Google Play Services. Google Duo usually displays two lists - one with the names of users who have installed the app and the other with names of people who haven't. Users who received a call from a Duo user but do not have Duo installed themselves can answer the call by dragging the phone icon up. It's not clear if Google has done that yet. It enables an app to operate as a part of Android, even if it is not directly installed by the user.

At this point, some of our readers must be thinking about the privacy aspect of this new feature.

Those who tested the feature noticed that it works with audio-only calls as well. This feature shows the live video of the caller before answering the call, which gives the recipient full power over answering or disconnecting the call. The update has brought an updated look to the contact list on Duo and a fun rearrangement of pixels as well. But it's struggled to overcome the network effects advantage of apps such as WhatsApp and Hangouts: No matter how good Google Duo is, when all of your friends and family member use a platform, it's hard to get them to switch. The person on the receiving end of the call is asked with a prompt if he wants to install Duo on his phone, which would allow him to initiate Duo calls instead of only receiving them. Head to the comments section below and let us know!


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