When it comes to instant messaging, voice, and video calling app. Google has a portfolio of them; as if it were an investment and they needed to spread their risks. They got Duo (which now supports voice calls) Allo, Hangout, and Messenger. They all do more or less the same thing; either one or all of these functions; send an instant text or make voice/video calls.
However, Duo has an impressive trick up its sleeve. One that will make it an instant hit with the masses; had Google not baked a particularly exciting feature secretly. Now, that the word is out, it is probably going to be a hit.
Call anyone using Duo, whether they have it installed on their end or not
If you got Duo installed on your phone, you can call anyone on Android, whether they also have the app installed or not. That is all possible thanks to Google’s App Preview Messaging feature, which enables certain apps to be used to contact other users without them needing to install the app.
Like we said, this feature is possible through Google’s App Preview Messaging feature; it automatically therefore means, it is only available on one Android device to another Android device. You cannot, therefore, call someone on iOS from your Android phone, unless they have the app installed on their end.
Even for Android-to-Android calls, the App Preview Messaging feature only works if the person you are contacting (and doesn’t have the app installed) added their phone number to their Google account and switched on the App Preview Messaging.
How the call appears for those who haven’t installed Duo
When you call a person who has not installed Duo on their Android phone, and they meet the criteria mentioned above. The incoming call will appear exactly as it does for a user who has the app installed.
They will see the call fill their screen and the camera of the person calling them. They can then choose to answer the call, hang up, change the cameras, or mute the mic. At the end of the call, they will get a prompt asking them if they will like to install Google Duo, or they feel aggrieved that the call came through. If that is the case, they can go ahead to block the caller from calling again.
Google is aggressively promoting Duo
You would think that App Preview Messaging feature is something new since most of us are probably hearing about it for the first time with this new Duo feature. It is a feature that has been available for a while now but has not yet been available to all developers.
— Google India (@GoogleIndia) January 4, 2018
The fact that Google is using it on Duo simply means the search engine is promoting its app aggressively. You must admit, the ability to get people use an app before they install it goes a long way in convincing them why they should install the app.