Are they not picking up? Now you can leave a video message with Google Duo

Google is updating its video calling app, Google Duo, to make it a little more useful for situations in which you can’t reach the other person. Now, if you video call someone and they don’t pick up the phone, you have the option of leaving a video message — kind of like a video voicemail.

According to a blog post from Google, you will be able to leave messages of up to 30 seconds and once you’re done, you can send the message to the other party. They will then be able to see the message within the Google Duo app. If you get a video message for yourself, you will be able to play it back by simply tapping on their icon, after which you can tap the “Call Now” button to return their call.

The new feature is nice and while it doesn’t really change the core functionality of the app, it does mean that you will be able to share a moment with your friends and family regardless of whether or not they pick up the phone. Like standard Duo video calls, video messages are encrypted and secure.

The new feature will start rolling out to Duo users on both Android and iOS starting Tuesday, March 6, and Google says it will be available worldwide within a few days.

The new feature is nice, but not unexpected. 9to5Google found references to the video calling feature in a recent app teardown and even managed to activate it for itself. It also found a few other new features. For example, the website found a revamped screen-sharing interface, which involves a small pill-shaped interface that allows users to start screen-sharing, pause it, and then end it. Next up is “Guest Mode,” which the report found allows users to use Google Duo without an actual account. All the user would need is a phone number.

In general, we expect to see more features added to both Duo and Allo, Google’s text messaging service. We are not quite sure if the apps have been adopted as heavily as Google might have liked — Google launched countless messaging apps over the years and they haven’t all been popular.

Mobile

5G your old phone: HTC’s 5G Hub is now available for pre-order from Sprint

HTC almost made a phone. The HTC 5G Hub runs Android 9 Pie, has a Qualcomm 855 processor with the X50 modem, 4GB of RAM, and an HD touchscreen -- but it's a hot spot designed to connect to 5G networks.
Home Theater

Netflix vs. Amazon Prime Video: A battle of streaming giants

It might seem like Netflix should be your default choice as a streaming video service, but Amazon Prime Video's price and many extra perks make it a compelling alternative. Which one is best for you? Our comparison can help.
Mobile

These 100 best iPhone apps will turn your phone into a jack-of-all-trades

The iPhone is the most popular smartphone in the world, and we want to bring out the best in yours. Behold our comprehensive list of the best iPhone apps, from time-saving productivity tools to fun apps you won’t be able to put down.
Social Media

6 easy ways to archive all of your favorite Instagram videos

Saving Instagram videos should be just as easy as taking a screenshot. So, we've put together a list of the best apps and tools that save your favorite Instagram videos onto your phone or computer.
Smart Home

Nest Hello vs. Ring Video Doorbell Pro: Which is better for you?

Video doorbells provide added peace of mind. You can catch porch pirates in the act, your kids throwing a party, or a prowler roaming around your driveway. We compare two video doorbells: The Nest Hello vs. The Ring Video Doorbell Pro.
Gaming

Get ready to slay spiders and skeletons in real life with Minecraft Earth

Minecraft Earth is the new augmented reality mobile game that uses the Minecraft engine. We have everything you need to know including the release date, features, price, phone compatibility, and more.
Mobile

The Realme X is so cheap and so good that it defies the rules of economics

The Realme X has a 48-megapixel camera, an in-display fingerprint sensor, an AMOLED screen, and a Snapdragon 710 processor, yet it costs from $220. We've tried out the phone to see if it's too good to be true.
Mobile

Grab it as soon as it pops up: The OnePlus 7 Pro is now available for sale

The OnePlus 7 Pro has been revealed, and it's a monster of a phone with a stunning redesign, a pop-up selfie camera, powerful flagship specs, and a price that's hundreds of dollars less than the competition.
Mobile

Mad U.K. retailer slashes 99% off Google Pixel 3a price for a few lucky buyers

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL are considered to be two of the best Android smartphones, but it looks like Google could be prepping a midrange line. Say hello to the Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL.
Mobile

How to use recovery mode to fix your Android phone or tablet

If you’re having a problem you can’t seem to resolve with your Android device, or maybe you want to update it or wipe the cache, recovery mode could be what you’re looking for. Here's how to get your Android phone into recovery mode.
Home Theater

Why you can’t buy Car Thing, Spotify’s first hardware device

Spotify created a voice-activated, in-car device that lets you listen to music and podcasts. But Car Thing, as it is known, is not for sale. Instead, it will be used to gather data from a limited set of customers.
Social Media

Be the master of your own Insta-verse with multiple Instagram accounts

Whether you own a small business or have separate Instagram accounts for your five cats, we'll walk you through the process of switching between your multiple accounts on your Apple or Android devices.
Mobile

Can Apple or Samsung steal the OnePlus 7 Pro's flagship killer title?

OnePlus has long been the go-to for flagship specs under a flagship price. But now Apple and Samsung have challengers in the arena, and they want the Flagship Killer crown for themselves. Who wins? We found out.
Deals

Turn your Apple tablet into a laptop with one of these iPad keyboard cases

A keyboard case serves to both protect your iPad and give you a set of laptop keys. You don’t have to shell out tons of cash for a good one, either; if you’re looking for a way to turn your iPad into a 2-in-1 laptop, check these deals…