Will Google Duo end up being the equivalent of Apple’s FaceTime on Android? New reports indicate this might just happen as users on Reddit have reported the app appears to be working even on phones where it is not installed at all. The video-calling app from Google has between 100-500 million downloads, according to the Play Store. It should be noted that in India, Google had partnered with many smartphone OEMs to pre-install the Duo app on budget devices. Google has not confirmed whether it will soon add Duo app into the Play Services, though there is indication this might take place.
According to the post shared on shared by a user named ‘turdbogis’ he noticed that another friend’s Nexus 6P unit showed that it was ready to accept Duo video calls without the app being installed on the smartphone. The user was also able to make a call on the Nexus 6P for the Duo app and it went through. The post by the Reddit user says, “so I talked to my buddy. he runs a Nexus 6P, stock 8.1 and he DOES NOT have Duo installed (I double checked his phone) he was showing up as having Duo installed (he didn’t have an “invite” next to his name) so I called him. Duo call came though just like he had the app.”
The post notes that it could be either Instant app or Play Services related. It looks like anyone with the latest Android version on their smartphone could find the feature working for them. On other platforms like iOS, if a user wishes to make a Duo call to someone else, they will need the app on their phone. Else the app will ask the user to invite their friend to the app.
Others who have commented on the thread said they too have noticed Duo calls pop-up straight in the dialer itself. One user wrote, “Yep I noticed this in the dialer the other day. You can call most people with Google Play Services and once the call is over it invites the other person to install Duo to make calls.” The feature appears to be limited to Android phones.
It looks like Google might just make Duo, the default video calling option on Android if it does get officially integrated into Play Services. This means Duo calls could be an option in the future Android dialer itself. Of course, this might end up getting limited to just stock Android phones.