If you’re on a mobile data connection, you almost certainly have a data cap restricting how much data you can download each month while on the go. A number of home broadband providers also include monthly data caps in their packages, although these tend to be less common than they are for mobile data plans.
While pictures and audio both require a fair amount of data, video is the biggest data hog. This is pretty much unavoidable as video files are comprised of multiple images a second and often include an audio track too. Video compression algorithms help to minimise the amount of data required for video transmission, but there’s only so much that can be done.
This means that video calls on any platform are generally the biggest source of data usage. On most computer platforms, you have an option somewhere to reduce your webcam resolution in order to reduce the amount of data you’re sending when on a video call. Mobile platforms, however, tend not to offer quite as many options as their desktop counterparts. Google Duo offers a data saving mode on mobile, which reduces the bitrate of the video you both send and receive. “Bitrate” is a measure of how many bits of data per second are being used to encode your data, with a higher number providing a better quality image but requiring more data to do so.
If you want to reduce the amount of data you use with video calls in Google Duo, by enabling data-saving mode, you can do so by tapping the triple-dot icon in the top-right corner, then tapping “Settings.”
Next tap on “Call settings” to get to the right menu.
Finally, at the bottom of the call settings, tap the slider for “Data-saving mode” to the “On” position.