Google Duo made its debut in 2016 to take on Apple's FaceTime video calling service. Google is smart to make Duo available on Android and iOS devices. Meanwhile, the FaceTime is still exclusive to Apple's ecosystem only.
Duo's registration is quite similar to WhatsApp. You need to feed your phone number for getting started and make calls to everyone on your contact list. Though the Google Duo looks quite simple initially, it does pack a number of features.
To make Duo experience further an effortless task, use these 13 useful tips and tricks.
Duo app shows the recently contacted people at the bottom. However, the call history doesn't carry a few basic details like the time and duration of the calls.
To view your detailed call log, you need to open the dialer or phone app on your device. That’s because Google has integrated the call history into your phone’s dialer app on both Android and iOS devices.
Note: If you don’t see Duo call log on your Android phone, go to device Settings > Apps > Duo > Permissions. Enable Phone from there.
2. Make Calls Directly from Dialer
Without opening the Duo app, you have the freedom to make calls directly from the dialer. To do so, open the dialer app and tap on a contact's photo. Then tap on Duo video or voice call.
3. Remove from Recent Contacts
To remove contacts from the recently contacted box in Duo, tap and hold on their contact name. Then tap Remove from recent contacts.
4. Download Call History
If you want to download your Duo call history, you can do that too. For that, you'll have to dig a bit into settings since there's no quick option available.
On Android devices, open the Duo app and tap the three-dot icon at the top-right corner. Select Help & feedback.
On the next screen, tap the three-dot icon followed by Export call history. You can take a backup of the call history or share it using other apps from the Share menu.
Meanwhile, iPhone and iPad users need to open the Duo app, and tap the three-dot icon followed by Settings. Then tap on About, terms & privacy followed by Export call history.
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5. Disable Video Preview
Duo houses an interesting but a bit creepy feature called Knock Knock. Enabled by default, the recipient can see the callers live video before they answer the call — that's the creepy part. Thankfully, you can disable it.
To turn it off, tap the three-dot icon on the home screen of the Duo app. From the menu, select Settings. Here tap on Knock Knock and disable it on the next screen.
Note: If you disable Knock Knock, you will also lose the ability to see other callers preview video.
6. Use Picture-in-Picture Mode
With Android 8.0 Oreo, Google introduced the picture-in-picture (PIP) mode on Android. Thanks to this feature, you can continue your Duo calls while using other apps on your phone.
Tap the Home button during a Duo video call. The video call will appear in a small box on the screen instead of disconnecting. If your device doesn’t support PIP, you will only hear audio when hit the Home button while using the Duo app.
Another cool feature that is available in Duo is the ability to send audio and video messages. You can leave a message before or after calling someone.
To send a message without calling, swipe down on the home screen of Duo. Then tap the record button and select the recipient. You can record messages for up to 30 seconds.
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8. Mute Calls
Most of us have been in an awkward situation when an unavoidable sound or gibberish talks around us interrupt our video calls. Instead of ending the call, you can simply mute your audio for a while.
Whenever such situation arises, tap on the mute icon while you are in a call. It works for both video and audio calls.
9. Switch Cameras
By default, the front camera is enabled for video calls. At any point, if you want to switch to the rear camera, tap on the camera icon while on a call.
10. View Your Video in Full Screen
When you make a Duo call, the other user’s video fills the entire screen with your own video visible in a small box aka window. To fill your own video on the screen, tap your video box. To revert, tap the smaller box.
11. Move Your Picture Window
On a Duo call, your face appears in a small window — round or rectangular at the bottom-left corner. You can move it to other corners by dragging the window.
12. Disable Duo Calls
Wondering how are you are getting Duo calls even though you haven't registered for it? It’s happening because of the App Preview Messaging feature of Google.
You can disable it on your Android device by going into phone Settings > Google > App preview messages. Disable Google Duo here.
13. Block Duo Contacts
If someone is bothering you on Duo, you can block their calls. Blocking on Duo will not affect your communication with the contact outside Duo. They'll still be able to message and call you via other apps.
To block a contact, tap and hold the contact name on Duo. From the menu, select Block number.
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Do It with Duo
When it comes to video calling, Google Duo competes with the likes of WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, and others. It comes pre-installed on most Android phones and works iOS as well. It enjoys an extra privilege of working with unregistered numbers too. While the latter is debatable, the perks such as not worrying whether the other person is using the same app or not surpass its shortcoming.
What do you think about Duo? Let us know in the comments below.
Next up: Want to record Facebook and WhatsApp videos to save those precious memories? Here are two ways to do it.
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