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Why Google Duo could see a user base boost after Google Assistant integration

You can now easily make video calls through Google Assistant... as long as you want to use Google Duo.

Published onJuly 24, 2018

Google Assistant Logo
  • Google Assistant can now make video calls using Google Duo.
  • It works on Android phones and would also appear to be a useful feature for the upcoming smart displays with Google Assistant.
  • The integration is another example of how Google is able to leverage existing products to get more users on its services.

Google Assistant can now make video calls using Google’s video messaging service, Google Duo. First spotted by Android Police, some users with Duo installed are now able to say “video call [name]” and the assistant will automatically make a video call to the chosen person.

For those that don’t have Duo installed, once you’ve issued the voice command, you’ll get a prompt to download the Duo app from the Play Store.

While the Assistant feature may be somewhat useful on smartphones, it was most likely designed with the upcoming Assistant-powered smart displays in mind where video chat will be a key selling point.

Google Assistant Duo integration

While testing the service out, I realized that I’d never used Duo before. Instead, I’d always used Facebook Messenger or Skype when making video calls. Based on my attempts at trying to call people once I was set-up, this appeared to be the same for many of my contacts.

However, by making Google Duo the default video calling service for anyone utilizing Google Assistant, I likely won’t be alone in moving some of my video calling time to the platform.

In an article about Google’s recent fine from the EU, we explained how Google is able to achieve a huge user base for its apps by making them part of the core Android experience. In some cases, this leads to the app in question becoming the dominant platform.

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Google Duo is some way from being the dominant video calling app. However, by making it the de facto voice calling app for Assistant voice commands, at the very least it is likely to see an increase in users — especially those who missed Duo among the ocean of other Google chat/calling/messaging apps on the Play Store.

Google also appears to be exploring other ways to get people to use Duo; recent APK teardown found that it may be about to introduce a new rewards program to encourage people to use the app. If you want to give Google Duo a try, then hit the link below.

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