Which app is best for video calling

More than half of the world is locked out due to the new COVID-19 virus. Many of us miss spending time with our distant friends and family. Fortunately, we can make video calls with apps like Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp, Google Duo, etc. With such a variety of apps available, one wonders to choose the best app for video calling, especially with almost everyone you know on WhatsApp and Google Duo automatically syncing your contacts. To make your job easier, we will compare Google Duo and WhatsApp in this article.


Looking for a video calling app that you can use to call your friends or family? Google Duo and WhatsApp are good options. Google Duo, as the name suggests, belongs to Google. WhatsApp, on the contrary, belongs to Facebook, which also has Facebook Messenger.

In this article, you will find a detailed comparison between WhatsApp and Google Duo. Look at this.

Multiplatform availability

Cross-platform availability is a unique selling point for video calling applications. Not everyone needs to be on the same platform as yours.

Fortunately, Google Duo and WhatsApp are available on all major platforms. You can use them on Android, iOS and even on PC. Interestingly, Google Duo is also preinstalled on some Android phones. However, while Google Duo works on iPad, WhatsApp does not yet have an iPad app, although it is in the process of being created.

WhatsApp has a desktop client (for Windows and macOS) and is also accessible via a web browser. On the other hand, Google Duo is available via the Web version only on computers.

However, you can only make a video call from Duo on the computer. WhatsApp does not support desktop video calls.


If you have a Google smart speaker like Google Home, Net Hub, etc., Google Duo will be your default calling app for audio and video.

Access facility

Google Duo and WhatsApp only need the phone number to work. You don’t need an email ID to create an account. Anyone who has your number saved on their phone will see you in their contact list on both apps. You don’t even need to add a person. Once you see them in your contact list, just tap the call option.



However, if you are using the web version of Google Duo, you can also call people using your Google Account. You must enter their number to call. If you wish, you can also associate your telephone number.


Number of participants

Most video call applications can make video calls one at a time. What makes them different is the number of participants they allow in group calls. Google Duo was previously limited to 8 participants, but in March 2020, they increased the number to 12 people during a group video call.

You may be discouraged from hearing about WhatsApp, as it only allows 4 participants. However, some premature reports suggest that WhatsApp is working to increase the number of users in a group video call.

User interface

The interface of the two applications is quite different. When you open Duo, you are greeted by a simple screen that shows the view from your front camera. Swipe up to see Duo contacts. Tap any contact to open the available call options. You will notice that the main button is for video calling, which facilitates the very use of the application by a novice.



Regarding WhatsApp, you will see the discussion list on the main screen. You can either open a chat and tap the video call option at the top. Otherwise, go to the Calls tab and press the video call button to start the video call.



Call functions

WhatsApp is your one stop app for all communication needs for personal use. You can use it to send text messages to people, call them by voice or video, and even use it as a basic social media tool with its fleeting status feature. On the contrary, Google Duo is essentially a video calling application. Sure, you can make voice calls, but the app is designed in such a way that it puts video calls in the foreground.

Let’s check out the calling features you get in each app.

Messaging

Unlike WhatsApp, known for text messages, Google Duo does not support text chat in the truest sense of the word. In other words, you cannot send normal SMS to your contacts. However, Google Duo offers temporary messages in different formats that last 24 hours. You can record a voice or video message or send a photo. You can even create a note and personalize it.



In addition, you can send a voice note on WhatsApp, but when it comes to video notes, Google Duo is far ahead of WhatsApp due to its laid back nature. WhatsApp also supports photo sharing, and unlike Google Duo, where you can only share one image at a time, WhatsApp allows you to share multiple images.

One major difference is that all of the messaging functionality is permanent on WhatsApp. In other words, texts, voice messages, photos, etc. remain in your discussions until you delete them. This is not the case with Google Duo where they disappear within 24 hours.

Fun fact: WhatsApp is also working on the disappearance of messages. You may soon see it on your WhatsApp app.

Filters and Effects

Like I said, Google Duo is focused on video calling and related functionality. Another interesting feature it offers us is the possibility of using cool filters and effects in video messages. It is not present on WhatsApp. On Google Duo, when you open the screen to record a video message, you’ll see the Effects and Filter options on the right side. Select a filter to add it to your video.


Knock Knock

Yep. It’s a real feature on Google Duo. When you call someone on Duo by video, they will be able to see your video before answering the call. However, you will not see their video for privacy reasons until they answer the call. If you don’t like this feature, you can turn it off in the settings so other people won’t see your video until you answer the call. This feature is not available in WhatsApp.


File and screen sharing

While WhatsApp supports file sharing (PDF, ZIP, APK, etc.), none of the applications offer screen sharing as is the case with other video calling applications such as Facebook Messenger. , Skype, Zoom, etc.

Weak data mode

Video calls use a considerable amount of data. If you’re on a limited plan, luckily, both apps help you reduce the amount of data consumed with weak data mode. On Duo, go to Settings> Call settings and activate the data logging mode. On WhatsApp, go to Settings> Data and storage usage. Activate the low data usage.

Privacy

The popular Zoom app has been in the news lately because of growing security concerns. Fortunately, WhatsApp and Google Duo offer end-to-end encryption for your calls.

Pricing

Google Duo and WhatsApp are free to use. Each user benefits from the same functionalities. There is no subscription or premium package. You only have to pay for the data consumed by these applications.

Note: Your detailed phone bill will not show details on WhatsApp or Duo calls.

Convenience vs popularity

While both apps are suitable for personal video calls, Google Duo demolishes WhatsApp. But only for video calls. It does not offer other features present in WhatsApp. It lacks proper messaging and file sharing. However, it does offer unique video calling features such as Knock Knock that are not present in any other video calling application.

The problem with Google products is that even if they are good, they are far too limited in terms of functionality and popularity. WhatsApp is a popular application, and most smartphone users have it on their phone. Bringing these users to Duo just for the sake of video calling is a task even if it is a great application. But if you can do it, go for it. Google Duo won’t disappoint you.

Then:

If you decide to try Google Duo, check out these 13 tips and tricks for Duo from the following link.

Last updated on April 23, 2020

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