Skype vs Google Duo: Which Video Call­ing App Is Bet­ter on Android

Parth Shah

Back in 2016, Google announced two new IM apps called Google Allo and Google Duo. Google Allo never gained traction among the users, but Google Duo quickly became the talk of the town. Consumers appreciated its simplicity, default integration with Google contacts, and some unique features like Knock Knock. Google Duo’s rivals include WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc. So it's easy to consider whether you should use Google Duo out of sheer convenience or use Skype for video calling on your Android phone.

Video call

Owing to the global pandemic, many folks are working for home and are looking for the perfect video calling app to have a face-to-face chat with family members and professional contacts. On the iOS side, the iPhone and iPad owners have the FaceTime app, while the situation on Android is a bit more complicated. While Google Duo is a capable contender, we have another rival Skype to consider.

Lately, Skype has been adding new features that favor the mobile users a lot. In this post, we shall compare Google Duo with Skype to figure out a suitable video calling app. The comparison will cover UI, features, video calling features, cross-platform availability, group calling, and more. Let’s get started.

Cross-Platform Availability

There's no contest here. Skype is natively available everywhere — iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Web, and even Linux.

Google Duo comes by default on all Android phones (that’s a huge advantage), and it’s also available on the iOS platform. The company does provide Google Duo on the web, but the experience is average at best.

User Interface

You will see the prime purpose of Skype and Google Duo when you launch those apps respectively. Skype takes you to the default home screen, which consists of chat threads like a normal IM app.

Google Duo takes a different route. By default, it opens up the front camera and suggests contacts at the bottom. Swipe up to view more contacts and swipe down to send a message, note, or picture to a contact (more on that later).

Skype home
Google duo home

Skype and Google Duo support the dark theme. However, Skype is a step ahead for it offers a bunch of gradient themes for the chat threads.

Video Calling

Let’s talk about Skype first. The app pioneered in the video calling capabilities, and you can see the results in the execution. Skype offers tons of features when it comes to video calling.

From the chat screen, tap on the video button at the above and start video calling. You can also tap on the profile name, and schedule calls with date and time. Skype also supports live translation, which detects the language of the narrator and translates it live to the audience.

The app supports up to 50 participants at the time in a group video call. And to make it better, Skype allows you to blur the background, and even share the screen with others. It’s perfect for explaining a topic to the participants.

Skpe calling features
Skype meetnow

The company recently introduced the Meet Now feature, which allows you to create meetings and share the link with others. The attendees don’t even need the Skype app to attend the meeting. You can open that link on the browser and join the conversation without making an account.

I like Google Duo’s Knock Knock feature. It gives you a live video preview of the caller before answering the call. During calls, you can use portrait mode which blurs the rest of the scene behind you. The app also supports a low-light mode that improves video quality during dark scenarios.

Google duo calling geatures
Google duo long tap

Google Duo is designed for mobile-first. And as a result, it only supports up to 12 people during group calls, which is way below than what Skype offers. Google Duo supports long-press function, which lets you quickly place a video call to your contacts.

As for video calling, I found both Skype and Google Duo’s video and audio quality to be on par with each other.

Features

Skype offers the usual chat function, the ability to send files, images, and more. My favorite function is the polls. You can create poll questions with up to four options and send it to the group so the members can vote.

The app also comes with OneDrive integration so you can send files using its cloud storage. Skype also supports international calling. Using Skype credits, you can place calls from Skype to landline and mobile numbers.

Skype poll
Skype send files

Apart from video calls, Google Duo lets you send pictures, write notes, a video message to contacts. Just swipe down from the home screen and create a message and send it to up to 32 people at a time.

I like the video recording options. It offers a bunch of filters and fun elements to record a video. With notes, you can change the background of the note, rotate the text, change its size, and more.

Google duo fun
Google duo note

The biggest advantage of Google Duo over Skype is its integration in the default Phone and Contacts app on Android. Users can directly place the call using the dialer app. It makes the whole experience seamless with normal calls on Android.

Make Video Calls on the Go

As you can see from the comparison above, Skype and Google Duo are solid apps to create video calls. Skype is better when it comes to features, chat, and cross-platform availability. Google Duo knocks it out of the park with ease of use, perfect integration with Android, video recording, and Knock Knock.

Next up: Zoom is another popular video calling tool to place video calls. Read the comparison below with Google Duo to find a perfect app for you.


The above article may contain affiliate links which help support Guiding Tech. However, it does not affect our editorial integrity. The content remains unbiased and authentic.

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Parth Shah

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Parth Shah

Parth previously worked at EOTO.tech covering tech news. He is currently freelancing at Guiding Tech writing about apps comparison, tutorials, software tips and tricks and diving deep into iOS, Android, macOS, and Windows platforms.