Google Duo logo on a phoneSource: Chris Wedel/Android Central

One of the best ways to stay connected with family and friends (or coworkers) is a group video chat. There are a ton of services and apps that enable this feature, but one of the best is probably already on your phone. The Google Duo app allows you to create group video chats, audio chats, or send pre-recorded audio or video messages with up to 12 people at a time. It works across Android and iOS and is extremely simple and user-friendly. I'll show you how to create a group video call in a few short steps below.

How to create a group call in Google Duo

  1. Open the Google Duo app on your phone, tablet, or Chromebook, and make sure you're signed in with your Google account.
  2. If you've never opened the app before, grant it permissions to access your phone's microphone, camera, and contacts.
  3. Swipe up from the bottom of the screen to open the contacts view.

    Google Duo Group 1Google Duo Group 2Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

  4. Tap on the Create group button.
  5. Select the contacts you want to include in the group call, and then tap the big blue Done button at the bottom of the screen.
  6. Name your group call and tap Save.
  7. Tap the big blue Start call button at the bottom of the screen, and begin your conversation.

    Google Duo Group 3Google Duo Group 4Google Duo Group 4Source: Jeramy Johnson / Android Central

  8. In lieu of a call, you can also record a message to send to the group by hitting the red cirular Message button at the bottom right of the screen.

Once you've created a group and initiated your first call, your most recent groups will appear at the top of your contacts list in this view, under the Groups label.

It's important to remember that group calling/messaging is only available in the Duo app (Android, iOS, or on Chromebooks and Chromeboxes). It is not available at this time in the web view when you type duo.google.com into your browser.

Our top equipment picks

The Google Duo app is available in the Google Play Store and Apple Appstore for mobile devices running Android or iOS. Here are a few of our top picks for Duo-enabled gadgets.

Power and Style

Acer Chromebook Spin 13

Phenomenal Chromebook power, reasonable price point

With an i5 processor, ample storage and a big, bright, beautiful screen, this is a premium Chromebook for a mid-range price.

Increadible value

Google Pixel 3a

Still one of the best mid-range phones

By retaining the same 12.2MP camera as the Pixel 3, Google has basically ensured that the Pixel 3a is the king of the mid-range segment. Then there's the fact that the Pixel 3a also has three years of guaranteed updates, and you begin to see just how good a deal it is for under $400.

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