You no longer need a phone number to use Google Duo on Android tablets

How to use Google Duo in the Galaxy S20 phone dialer
How to use Google Duo in the Galaxy S20 phone dialer (Image credit: Harish Jonnalagadda / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google no longer requires Android tablet users to register their phone numbers on Duo.
  • Prospective users may now access the service with just a Google account.
  • Google dropped the requirement for phone numbers on the web late last year.

Google's video calling app, Duo, has been updated for Android devices to remove a particular bug-bear, the phone number requirement. But first, a caveat, Duo will still ask you for a phone number if you're using an actual phone -- it just doesn't do so if you're using an Android tablet (and presumably a Chrome OS one too).

This means that you can sign in to the Duo service with just your Google account and make and receive calls from there. Previously, only users of the Web-app could do so, with Android users being prompted for a phone number before they could register for the service. The update was spotted by the folks over at Android Police.

This change for Duo users makes the app more viable for families. Consider parents who purchase WiFi tablets for children or grandparents, they can stay connected without needing a separate plan or device.

It's something that Apple has offered with Facetime and it's something that makes a lot of sense for the type of connector company Google's trying to be.

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Michael Allison