Google Duo will soon support group calls on the web, gets shareable invites and “Family” mode
With many people stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, video calling has surged in popularity. What used to be a somewhat niche thing has become very common. Everyone from grandparents to toddlers suddenly has experience with video calls. Google Duo is one of the company’s more popular communication apps and it’s being used more than ever. The app recently expanded group sizes and now it’s getting even more features.
First up is a feature that directly competes with Zoom and Facebook Messenger: group video calls on the web. Google Duo now supports group calls with up to 12 people and it will eventually support up to 32. That will become much more useful on the extra real estate of a laptop or desktop with Duo on the web. The feature will start as a preview on Chrome in the coming weeks.
To coincide with the larger group calls, Google Duo is making it easier to invite people. Rather than choosing every contact one at a time when creating the group call, you’ll be able to send an invite link. Anyone with a Google account will be able to join via the link. We recently discovered this feature in an APK teardown.
Lastly, Google Duo is getting some fun features under a new “Family” mode. When in a video call, you can open the menu and tap “Family.” This mode hides the mute and end call buttons to prevent accidental touches from little fingers. It also adds a number of fun features like doodling, effects, and masks. The “Family” features are available for group and one-on-one calls.