Android iPhone and iPad Tech News

Google Duo Now Lets You Make Voice Calls Worldwide

Dave Parrack 10-04-2017

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. Unfortunately, this just makes Google’s strategy with its many messaging/chat apps look more confusing than ever.


At Google I/O 2016 The Best of Google I/O 2016, Nokia Makes a Comeback... [Tech News Digest] Google reveals new products and services at I/O 2016, Nokia comes alive once more, a reminder that Facebook Live broadcasts are public, and the first teaser for the new Star Trek TV series. Read More , Google unveiled two new apps designed to complement each other. Allo was focused on messaging, with Duo focused on video calls. Now, Duo also does voice calls, just like Hangouts, which Google recently 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 . Confused? Then you’re not alone.

Making Voice Calls Using Google Duo

Almost a year after its debut, Google Duo has the ability to manage voice calls. Google tested voice calling inside Duo in Brazil last month, but it’s now available to users worldwide. We know because Duo’s technical lead, Justin Uberti, tweeted the following this past weekend.

Duo was designed to keep things simple, and the integration of voice calling is no exception. Once you have updated the app, all you need to do is switch the toggle at the top of the app from Video to Audio. Et voila, you can now make an audio-only call without making sure your hair is on-point.

Too Many Apps Which Do the Same Thing

We can’t help thinking Google has one too many messaging/chat apps on its books at the moment. Most of which do the same, or very similar, things to each other. Google has already killed Talk Google Finally Kills Google Talk After 12 Years Google is retiring Google Talk, also known as Google Chat, after 12 long years of service, and urging existing Talk users to switch to using Hangouts. Read More , but do we really need Allo, Duo, Chat, Meet, Google Voice, and the Supersonic Fun Voice Messenger Google's New App Turns Your Words Into Emojis Supersonic Fun Voice Messenger is yet another messaging app. However, at least this one, which is backed by Google, does something interesting with emojis. No, really. Read More ? In a word, no.


The big problem for Google is that none of these apps are gaining enough traction to justify their existence. Google would be doing us, and itself, a huge favor by rolling all of these various messaging/chat apps into just one master messaging/chat app which does everything. Right?

Have you ever used Google Duo? If so, what do you think of it? Are you likely to use it for voice calls? If not, why not? What app do you use for video calls instead? Should Google fold all of its messaging/chat apps into one? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Simon Blackley via Flickr

Related topics: Google, Google Hangouts, Video Chat.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. William Peckham
    April 11, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    A major issue I have with Google apps right now is that they are too BIG and ask for too many permissions. Small, fast, efficient apps with fewer demands are far preferable. Google just needs to decide (at some point, no rush) which combination of apps to support, and thst will never be locked in stone.

    • Shauna
      March 16, 2018 at 10:37 am

      I love DUO. I can make higher quality sound calls from DUO than I can on Verizon cell phone. I just wish more of my friends would adopt it. Can I call people with an IPhone, I don't know.