It looks like the testing period is over for Google Duo’s group calling feature as they are now rolling it out to all Android users. Even better news is that you can now have eight people on your call as opposed to the previous limitation of only four. The update also brings new features like Data Saving mode (available only in selected markets) as well as tools to personalize your video messages in case you can’t make or receive video calls.
Group video calls on Google Duo were only previously available in selected territories but now they’re rolling it out globally for both Android and iOS users. You can also now have eight people simultaneously in your video call, an improvement over the four that it started out with. Of course, that’s still a far cry from the 50 that Skype has or the 32 of FaceTime but at least it’s definitely more than two. All group calls also have end-to-end encryption.
For markets where data is still pretty expensive, Google is offering a Data Saving mode. This will allow you to limit data usage whether you’re on your mobile network or on WiFi. If you turn on the mode and if the person or people you’re talking to also have it available in their area, then you’ll be able to save data usage. It’s currently available in select regions like Indonesia, India, and Brazil but will soo be expanding to other territories.
If you don’t have time to do a video call but you want to say hi or give a short message, you can always leave a video message, which is basically a video voicemail. You will now be able to personalize this message by adding text and emojis. You can also draw on your face or on your message using different brushes.
To enjoy all these new features as well as the usual bug fixes and improvements, update your Google Duo app to the latest version.