Google Duo's audio-calling feature now available worldwide
Google Duo now lets you make audio calls no matter where you live. The feature, which received a limited test run in Brazil last month, is now available to use worldwide.
Duo was originally conceived as a one-on-one video calling app, accessible only on smartphones and with no desktop or browser support. While that is still the case, it nonetheless seems keen on expanding its reach with its newly-added support for traditional calls. Google Duo only requires that users have a working cellphone number and at least one Duo user as a contact.
As website ArsTechnica notes, the inclusion of audio calling positions Google Duo to better compete with other communication apps that also feature audio and video chat. However, other apps usually feature messaging options too, which Duo lacks—Google's standalone Allo app takes care of that communication aspect. Google has shown no intent of adding texting to Duo or merging it with Allo; if the voice chat feature becomes popular enough and users start requesting messaging, maybe it will reconsider.