Google Duo Now Lets You Make Voice Calls Worldwide

Google has added the ability to make voice calls to Google Duo. So what started out as an app purely for making video calls now does voice calls too. Unfortunately, this just makes Google’s strategy with its many messaging/chat apps look more confusing than ever.

At Google I/O 2016 , Google unveiled two new apps designed to complement each other. Allo was focused on messaging, with Duo focused on video calls. Now, Duo also does voice calls, just like Hangouts, which Google recently split into Chat and Meet . Confused? Then you’re not alone.

Making Voice Calls Using Google Duo

Almost a year after its debut, Google Duo has the ability to manage voice calls. Google tested voice calling inside Duo in Brazil last month, but it’s now available to users worldwide. We know because Duo’s technical lead, Justin Uberti, tweeted the following this past weekend.

Duo was designed to keep things simple, and the integration of voice calling is no exception. Once you have updated the app, all you need to do is switch the toggle at the top of the app from Video to Audio. Et voila, you can now make an audio-only call without making sure your hair is on-point.

Too Many Apps Which Do the Same Thing

We can’t help thinking Google has one too many messaging/chat apps on its books at the moment. Most of which do the same, or very similar, things to each other. Google has already killed Talk , but do we really need Allo, Duo, Chat, Meet, Google Voice, and the Supersonic Fun Voice Messenger ? In a word, no.

The big problem for Google is that none of these apps are gaining enough traction to justify their existence. Google would be doing us, and itself, a huge favor by rolling all of these various messaging/chat apps into just one master messaging/chat app which does everything. Right?

Have you ever used Google Duo? If so, what do you think of it? Are you likely to use it for voice calls? If not, why not? What app do you use for video calls instead? Should Google fold all of its messaging/chat apps into one? Please let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: Simon Blackley via Flickr

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