When you sign up for Google Duo, you have to register using your mobile number (except through the web) and people can search for you through your number or through your connected Google account. But it looks like there will soon be another option if you don’t want people to see your number. It looks like they’re preparing a toggle button so you have the option to be reachable with your email address. This way, people can still call you from the app but you can make your number not visible to them.
Renowned reverse engineering expert and tipster Jane Manchun Wong shared on her Twitter a screenshot of the new toggle that will soon appear on Google Duo. It says “reachable with email address” which when toggled on will allow people to contact you on the video calling app through your email address. It doesn’t explain yet how exactly that will work except to say that it’s in the Account settings.
Google Duo is working on “Reachable with email address” setting pic.twitter.com/BbCiOhoW0Z
— Jane Manchun Wong (@wongmjane) April 30, 2020
Currently, the only way for people to find you on Google Duo is to add your phone number. Just a few months ago, you could sign up for Google Duo on the web without linking your mobile number. You can just use your email address to sign up and to make video calls. However, you will not show up in the contacts list of the app. With the upcoming reachable with email settings, this may mean signing up with just your email address will become a reality through the Android app.
Just last month, Duo has received a few upgrades since more people are connecting through video calls during this whole physical distancing phase. From 8 participants, you can now have a video call with up to 12 people. You also now have a button to let you take screenshots during your call and your Google Duo messages can now be saved instead of just being up to 24 hours.
We’ll probably find out later this month if the reachable with email address toggle will show up in the next update. Expect more features as well as Duo tries to compete with other video calling apps now, at least in the personal calls space. The business/enterprise video conferencing battle is a whole other ball game.