Google Duo is getting 4 exciting upgrades to make video calls even better

Google Duo logo on a phone
Google Duo logo on a phone (Image credit: Chris Wedel/Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Duo's end to end encrypted calling is getting a new video codec to improve call quality and reliability.
  • You can now take a photo with the person you're chatting with, so you can create memories together.
  • Group call size recently increased from eight to twelve participants, with plans to further grow that limit.

Google Duo, like many other video calling platforms, has seen a lot of additional traffic in the past couple of months, and Google has been working to keep the service fresh. Today, the company is bringing even more new features and upgrades to Duo to help keep us all connected when we can't be together.

Google Duo has been working to ensure that calls are private and secure for its users. Utilizing end to end encryption to keep calls safe, AI to keep audio interruptions to a minimum, and the company is now rolling out a new video codec in the coming weeks. This update is designed to help with call quality and reliability, which will be much appreciated when dealing with lower bandwidth connections.

With so many social norms that used to be handled in person, such as a birthday, dates, dinner with friends, and many more moving to video calls, one thing that has been missing is a way to commemorate the occasion. Google Duo is adding a feature to help solve that problem, and starting today, the ability to take a photo together while in a video call will be possible. Using your smartphone, tablet, or Chromebook, you'll not only be able to take the photo, but also share it with those on the call.

In the vein of keeping memories of your time with friends through video calling, Google Duo also allows you to send a personalized video message when a live call isn't possible. You can add text, doodles, even AR effects to the message to make it more personal before sending it on to one of your contacts. These messages would previously expire after 24 hours, but Google is adding the ability to have those messages automatically save so that you can retain those memories.

Duo group calls had been recently increased from eight to twelve members, and today, Google says it has plans in place to increase that number further. The exact number isn't known yet, but soon you'll be able to have even more of your friends and family together in a single call.

Google Duo: Everything you need to know

Chris Wedel
Smart Home Writer
Chris Wedel is a fan of all things tech and gadgets. Living in rural Kansas with his wife and two young boys makes finding ways to get and stay online tricky. By utilizing his years of experience with the tech and mobile communications industries — success is assured. When not conquering connectivity challenges and testing new gadgets, he enjoys cruising a gravel road in his UTV with some good tunes.