Google’s standalone video calling app Duo launched in August as part of a new stake in the mobile messaging after earlier flagship Google Hangouts failed to reach the desired inspiration. The overhaul also saw the release of a dedicated instant messaging mobile app Google Allo.
Since its inception, Google Duo has attracted over 10 million Play Store downloads within the first month of launch and now the figure stands somewhere between 10 million and 50 million installs. However larger, the number is not good enough for a video calling platform seeking to compete in an environment where some players talk about a billion+ active users. The case is worse for Allo which has taken a whopping 2 months to amass 10 million Play Store downloads.
In a simpler term, Google’s Allo and Duo are failing to gain the projected momentum. In a bid to restore the initial rush that saw both apps hit 5 million downloads within just a week, Google has pushed an update to the video calling chat app. The company said that the released version 5.0 for Android and iOS improves the entire experience along bug fixes.
As Duo’s Technical leader Justin Uberti puts it, the update brings ‘major’ enhancements to the video quality on the app. Mr. Uberti, via a tweet, also said that a lot of stuff is on the way (creating and improving algorithms takes time) and that the developing company is dedicated to improving media quality on Google Duo.
As per the Google Duo update 5.0 release notes, the patch brings along other features: a new seamless way to sign up, the camera now spins smoothly and the issue that was making sound not to play has been fixed. The company claims a positive response from the update’s testing group that has been backed up by a graph Uberti tweeted out. With the video quality improved, Google will watch if the effort will salvage a significant number of users or it will have to dig into reserves for more creativity to convince users.
Video calling has become so competitive more so that the billion-plus-user base instant messaging powerhouse WhatsApp has joined in the mix which already has other titans like Microsoft’s Skype, Apple’s FaceTime and Facebook Messenger just to name a few. Google will have to sweat to supplant these already established characters. The biggest task is to convince users to download two separate apps-Allo/Duo- in their devices when they can get a single app elsewhere, use it for the same purpose and save space. This lack of all-in-one capability has been cited as the key cause of Google Allo setback.
Google Duo 5.0 update is rolling out already and for those who have not been reached, there is also a download file on the internet. Google Allo is also up for grabs in the Play Store and App Store, try it out and feel the power of Google Assistant and the smart reply feature that allows you to reply to a text without typing.