Android Tech News

Google Duo Lets You Call People Without the App

Dave Parrack 12-01-2018

Google has quietly updated Duo to allow users to call people who don’t even have the Duo app installed. This means that Google Duo users can make voice calls or video calls to their contacts using Duo even if the other person has never even heard of this particular messaging app.


The number of messaging apps Google offers has been well documented. There’s Allo and Duo (which can now make voice calls) Google Duo Now Lets You Make Voice Calls Worldwide Google has added the ability to make voice calls to Google Duo. So what started out as an app purely for making video calls now does voice calls too. Which is... odd. Read More and Hangouts (which has been split into Chat and Meet) Google Splits Hangouts Into 'Chat' and 'Meet' Google is splitting Hangouts into two separate apps, Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet. No one seems to know why, but it's happening nonetheless. Read More . And all of them do pretty much the same thing. However, Duo does have a cool new trick up its sleeve.

No Duo, No Problemo

As first spotted by Android Police, Google Duo now lets you call people who don’t yet have the app installed. This is made possible thanks to Google’s App Preview Messaging feature, which lets certain apps to be used to contact other people without them needing to have the app installed.

There are some caveats to bear in mind. App Preview Messaging is obviously only available on Android, so you can’t call your iOS-using friends. You will also only be able to call contacts who have added a phone number to their Google account, and switched App Preview Messaging on.

For those who don’t have Duo installed, an incoming Google Duo call looks exactly as it would if you had Duo installed. The call will fill your screen, and you’ll see the camera of the person calling you. You can then choose to answer the call, hang up, mute your mic, or change cameras.


It’s at the end of the call that things get interesting. You’ll be prompted to install Google Duo, or, if you feel aggrieved at the caller for calling, you can block them to stop it happening again. Either way, you’ll have been given a taste of Duo without ever installing the app.

Google Promotes Duo

While App Preview Messaging isn’t a new thing, it’s not yet available to all developers. Which affords Google the opportunity to use the feature to push Duo onto more people. After all, what better way to promote your messaging app 5 Best Free Messaging Apps for Android Need a free way to send messages to friends and family with your phone for free? Check out these apps. Read More than allowing people to use it without installing it.

Are you a Google Duo user? If so, what made you choose Duo over all of the other messaging apps available? Do you welcome this change allowing you to call people who don’t use Duo? Do you think it will help make Duo become more popular? Please let us know in the comments below!

Related topics: Google, Instant Messaging.

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  1. MD
    January 15, 2018 at 11:35 am

    Can any other locking app will do apart from the 3 app's mentioned in step1?
    e.g. Like app named "Screen Off and Lock" by Katecca

  2. ann sawyer
    January 14, 2018 at 5:24 pm

    with your recent updates I am unable to navigate anywhere or anywhere on this computer and now what the heck am I t o do. Thanks so much for nothing.Now how can this be taken care of?
    ann sawyer