Google announced that Google Duo, the company’s video chat app will now allow users to make group video calls on the web. You will need a Google account to access this feature but who doesn’t have a Google account, these days. The feature will be rolling out on Chrome in a few weeks as a preview. The app will also feature a ‘family mode’. This mode will allow users to draw on the screen and adds masks and effects in real-time as well. You can access this mode if you’re signed in to your Google account while using Duo. The app will also hide the mute button as well as the hang-up button so that you can draw and have fun without accidentally cancelling the call on Duo.
When using the app on a one-on-one call, the effects and masks will be made available to you then. This feature will be available on both Android and iOS. Just last month, Google increased the limit for group calls to 12 members from the 8 it previously allowed. In a blog post, Product Manager Humberto Castaneda said, “In the coming weeks, you’ll be able to make group calls with Duo on the web, starting as a preview on Chrome, alongside a new layout that lets you see more people at the same time.”
Just like Hangouts, which is now being changed to Google Meet, you will also be able to invite people on the call using a link. Again, you need to have a Google account to be invited.
In other Google news, the company will launch the Android 11 beta on June 3. You can read more about that story here. Also, the company’s other video calling app Google Meet finally rolled out a Zoom-like 16 grid video conferencing layout. You can read more about that here.