The Covid-19 pandemic is forcing individuals and organizations online to see each other and to communicate. Web-meetings, concerts, and happy hours online have become the new normal as our society adjusts to the demands of social distancing while still being social. Popular applications such as Zoom and Skype have been gaining extra attention as the go-to apps for video chatting during the pandemic. Many people, however, do not want to create a new account to access video chatting. The quality of each software is different depending on the type of device you use: desktop PC, laptop computer, phone, or tablet.
Luckily, Google account holders can access Google Duo, the star tech company’s video chat app. Google Duo replaced the much beloved Google Hangouts as the company’s main communication software. If you ever used Google Chats or the Hangouts, then each software’s functions and capabilities have been adjusted and added to Google Duo. Duo appeared as a way for the company to consolidate their communication apps into a single piece of software.
Inviting Users to Google Duo
Google Duo is widely available. If you do not have a Google account, then you will need one to use the service. Signing up for a Google account is easy and will allow you to have access to the entire Google suite of software, as well as 15 gigabytes of cloud storage for your email, photos, and documents. Simply visit the Google Account creation page and enter your information. Choose a username and create a strong password with symbols, uppercase and lowercase letters, and numbers. Make sure that you also add your mobile number as a two-factor authentication method to protect your account and personal information.
Step 1: Signing In
If you are accessing Duo from a web browser such as Firefox or Chrome, then you can find it in the upper right hand corner of the Google Home screen. Click the small squares and you can access the full Google suite of software, including Duo. Select the application you wan to use, in this case Duo. For those accessing the video chat app on a different device, then you will need to make sure the Duo app is downloaded. Duo comes preloaded on all Android devices and will automatically link to your Google account. If you use an Apple device, then visit the app store, search for Duo, and download it. Enter your Google information when prompted and sign in.
Step 2: Select the User
Next, you’ll need to call someone! Click or tap the Video Call icon to start a new video call. If you are using Duo on a mobile device or tablet, then the app will ask for permission to sync with your contacts. After that, then select a person from your list of contacts to call. The app will automatically generate an invite link and send it to that person from your preferred SMS app.
Step 3: Start a Call
Duo users on the computer can access the app in the browser. You will need to sync your contacts from your mobile device or enter them in individually. Starting a call is similar to opening a video chat in the app. Select the contacts you want to invite and start the call. Add your mobile number to your Google Duo profile to make it easier for your friends and your colleagues to find you.
Starting a Google Duo video chat is a great way to communicate with your social circle during the Covid-19 pandemic. Now that you can invite users to Duo calls, you can gather the whole extended family for a game of virtual charades, schedule pajama coffee dates with your besties, and share a cocktail virtually with colleagues.