Google Duo getting new codec to to improve video call quality and reliability

Google Duo app

After bumping up Google Duo’s group video calling limit to 12 members last month, Google is once again improving its video calling app.

Google Duo is rolling out a new video codec technology this week. It’s called AV1 (AOMedia Video 1), and it’ll improve video call quality and reliability, even on low bandwidth connections.¬†

Another new Google Duo feature that’s rolling out today is the ability to take a photo of you and the other person on the video call with a special layout. You can do this on smartphones, tablets, and Chromebooks, and you can share the photo after it’s taken. This feature will be enabled for group calls and on more devices soon.

Google Duo snapshot feature

Google says that it’s beefing up a couple of existing Duo features, too. Right now Google Duo users can send personalized video and voice messages that disappear after 24 hours, but soon you’ll have the option to automatically save those messages in Duo so you can look at them again later.

And finally, Google has teased that it’s working to increase the maximum size of Duo group calls again. That number grew from 8 to 12 last month, and in the coming weeks Google says it will boost that figure again. However, it doesn’t say exactly how many more people you’ll be able to squeeze into a call.

With many people self-isolating at home to fight the spread of the coronavirus, video calling apps are seeing a huge surge in popularity. Google reveals that in the past few weeks, Duo users have sent 180 more messages, with an 800 percent increase in regions that’ve been particularly impacted by social distancing. And so it’s good to see Google improving Duo to make the video calling experience better for people who use it to get the contact they need while staying home.

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