What you need to know
- Google has removed the phone number requirement from Duo's web app.
- Users now only need their Google account to make use of the service.
- The change is rolling out now to non-G Suite account holders.
Google has now reduced a barrier to using Duo, making it so that users are now able to use it without a phone number. The feature was first spotted by 9to5Google in an APK teardown and later confirmed by a Google employee in Duo's help forums.
Now, as per a report from Android Police, it's rolling out to non-G Suite account holders, albeit on the web only.
I've been able to confirm this using my alternate Gmail account, and Duo works exactly as it's supposed to. You can make video and voice calls without confirming a phone number on the web app.
It never really made sense for a company as web-focused and future-looking as Google to tie Duo to phone numbers when our online identities are more often tied to our Google accounts. It also limited parents of young children from handing out little Android tablets to their kids for the purpose of Duo access if you needed to have a phone number anyway. With the web app now dropping the requirement, it seems likely that the Android and iOS apps will soon follow.
It's a small change in the grand scheme of things, but at the same time, a great improvement that boosts an already decent service.