In 2016, Google announced two new instant messaging apps called Google Allo and Google Duo. Google Allo has never gained ground among users, but Google Duo has quickly become the talk of the town. Consumers appreciated its simplicity, its default integration with Google contacts and some unique features like Knock Knock. Google Duo competitors include WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc. So it’s easy to determine if you should use Google Duo for convenience or use Skype for video calls on your Android phone.
Due to the global pandemic, many people are working from home and are looking for the perfect video calling app for face-to-face chat with family members and business contacts. On the iOS side, iPhone and iPad owners have the FaceTime app, while the situation on Android is a little more complicated. While Google Duo is a competent competitor, we have another Skype rival to consider.
Lately, Skype has added new features that favor mobile users a lot. In this article, we will compare Google Duo with Skype to find a suitable video calling app. The comparison will cover the user interface, features, video calling features, cross-platform availability, group calls, etc. Let’s start.
There is no competition here. Skype is natively available everywhere – iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Web and even Linux.
Google Duo comes by default on all Android phones (that’s a huge plus), and it’s also available on the iOS platform. The company provides Google Duo on the web, but the experience is average at best.
You will see the main purpose of Skype and Google Duo when you launch these apps respectively. Skype will take you to the default home screen, which consists of threads like a normal instant messaging application.
Google Duo takes a different route. By default, it opens the front camera and suggests contacts at the bottom. Swipe up to view more contacts and drag down to send a message, note, or picture to a contact (more on that later).
Skype and Google Duo support the dark theme. However, Skype is a step ahead because it offers a lot of degraded themes for discussions.
Let’s talk about Skype first. The app was a pioneer in video calling capabilities, and you can see the results of the execution. Skype offers tons of video calling features.
From the chat screen, press the video button above and start the video calls. You can also tap the profile name and schedule calls with the date and time. Skype also supports live translation, which detects the language of the narrator and translates it live to the audience.
The app supports up to 50 participants at a time in a group video call. And to make it better, Skype lets you blur the background, and even share the screen with others. It’s perfect for explaining a topic to participants.
The company recently introduced the Meet Now feature, which lets you create meetings and share the link with other people. Participants don’t even need the Skype app to join the meeting. You can open this link in the browser and join the conversation without creating an account.
I like the Knock Knock feature of Google Duo. It gives you a live video preview of the caller before answering the call. During calls, you can use portrait mode which blurs the rest of the scene behind you. The app also supports a low light mode which improves video quality in dark scenarios.
Google Duo is designed for mobile first. And therefore, it only supports up to 12 people during group calls, which is far less than what Skype offers. Google Duo supports the long press function, which allows you to quickly make a video call to your contacts.
When it comes to video calling, I found the video and audio quality of Skype and Google Duo to be on par.
Skype offers the usual chat function, the ability to send files, images, etc. My favorite feature is surveys. You can create poll questions with up to four options and send them to the group so that members can vote.
The app also comes with OneDrive integration so you can send files using its cloud storage. Skype also supports international calls. Using Skype credits, you can make Skype calls to landline and mobile numbers.
In addition to video calls, Google Duo allows you to send photos, write notes and a video message to contacts. Just slide your finger from the Home screen and create a message and send it to 32 people at a time.
I like the video recording options. It offers a bunch of filters and fun stuff to record a video. With notes, you can change the background of the note, rotate the text, change its size, etc.
The biggest advantage of Google Duo on Skype is its integration into the default Phone and Contacts app on Android. Users can directly make the call using the dialing application. This makes the whole experience seamless with normal calls on Android.
Make video calls on the go
As you can see in the comparison above, Skype and Google Duo are solid apps for making video calls. Skype is better when it comes to functionality, chat, and cross-platform availability. Google Duo takes it out of the park with ease of use, perfect integration with Android, video recording and Knock Knock.
Another popular video calling tool for making video calls is Zoom. Read the comparison below with Google Duo to find a perfect app for you.
Last updated on April 20, 2020