Google Duo video chat app makes the jump from mobile to the web

duo
Kyle Wiggers/Digital Trends

Google Duo, one of the many video chatting services and a competitor to Apple’s FaceTime, is expanding beyond mobile phones. Previously only available on iOS, Android, and Chromebooks, it now is available for all to enjoy on the web from any PC or Mac.

To access Google Duo on the web, visit duo.google.com from any computer. If you have previously used the app on iOS, Android, or on a Chromebook, you’ll see a box with your contacts who are also using the service. If not, you can sign up for the service by inputting your mobile phone number and verifying your identity with a one-time code sent via SMS message. Once set up, there’s no need to scan a QR code or input a verification code each time you sign on; you can simply log in with your Google account to enjoy the service.

The overall user interface of Google Duo on the web is straightforward, with no superfluous menus to navigate. A search box allows you to search for contacts or dial a number and a preview window will pop up before making a video call. Naturally, both Duo voice and video calls are supported in all of the major web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, and Safari. Unfortunately, the service doesn’t appear to work in Microsoft’s Edge web browser. For an unknown reason, visiting the Duo website in that browser instead suggests downloading the app on iOS and Android.

Google Duo was first introduced at Google’s I/O developer conference back in 2016 and has picked up quite the number of new features over the years. Most recently Google started testing a group-call ability for the service, and before that, it had also made way onto iOS and Android tablets.

Duo remains fairly popular, and according to its listing on the Google Play Store, it has been downloaded on Android 1 billion times. It originally launched alongside Allo, a separate messaging app that is now scheduled to shut down in March.

If Google Duo isn’t to your liking, check out our guide to the best video chat apps for iOS and Android right here, with the list including Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more.

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