Many people have iPhones because of FaceTime. If Google can show that you can Duo anyone and it works as well, then they may switch, perhaps even to their very own Nexus devices.
I'm not sure I personally like this app because I'm on Android and I used to have an excuse to not FaceTime friends and family, haha. If they discover this Duo, I may get pressured.
Assuming it ends up on all Android phones. Which is a big assumption.
It's as disadvantageous a spot as you can be in, and Google put themselves there by squandering their multiple previous big advantages.
How is that not a big advantage? Sure it's overdue, but they sold over 1.4B devices without it. It makes their offering more compelling to iOS users who've come to expect FaceTime.
my entire family and friends circle runs on WhatsApp. Photo sharing, video sharing, voice calls, video calls ... anything you can think of. And it does a good job, really good job. I have never interacted with WhatsApp and felt frustrated or lost.
The lack of desktop interface didnt feel like losing something becasue it was never there to start with.
given Google's history, I don't trust them to do a decent UI that works for everyone or the longevity.
Several other search engines fizzled underneath Yahoo's reign, Google would've been no exception has it not been for Yahoo's miscalculation.
That link can actually make it much easier for the use case you described. The url after it loads can be shared.
Hangouts is likely to become a Google Apps Slack competitor, I guess.
Hangouts is able to mix voice, video and text just fine. Why start requiring separate apps?
This is Google at its dumbest. They are squandering the small amount of momentum Hangouts has.
Almost a decade of inexplicably stupid product decisions later, they've squandered their hugely valuable lead (and then some). I can't imagine why anyone would go out of their way to use any Google product whose usefulness is at all dependent on network effects (I've completely ignored the launch of Allo and Duo and, years after everyone else, have pretty much moved to FB Messenger as my primary messaging app). This is a pretty chronic Google problem that I noticed both from the inside and outside: their engineering and design talent are incredible, but the people responsible for the product and marketing side are evidently really, really bad at what they do.
This is part of why products like GMail or Google Search do so well, and products like G+ so poorly: you could be the only person in the world using GMail and it would be just as useful (and well-designed), while the quality of products like G+ depend less on their quality _per se_ and more on network effects, which Google's product/marketing is clearly too incompetent to do well.
See, I don't even think it's marketing, it's Google not understanding what they already have and engineering a solution without a problem. Hangouts as an app on mobile is okay - I have qualms, but it works well enough. Hangouts on Desktop though is horrible, and it's integration into Gmail is frustrating at best (it took them a long time to get something as simple as status messages back to Hangouts after the switch). I get the impression Google saw what was happening with Slack and wanted Hangouts to be that (and also a successor to Wave); a persistent "better than email" communication method with every bell and whistle you could want for communication. But since Hangouts was released, they've removed the few fun social features, removed hangout plugins, and just took what was feature-rich and dumbed it down to the point where I wonder why I should have an entire separate page open dedicated to hangouts when even Skype is a more graceful solution with more functionality.
I really liked gChat when it was small and out of the way. I won't make the claim "everyone used it", but we certainly enjoyed in our GAFE environment as it was an appropriate intermediate between email and phone call.
Duo makes me ask the same question now - why do I want this as opposed to just Hangouts, unless video is going to be removed from Hangouts or only Duo is going to get improved performance updates. This seems like it could easily be a hangouts update instead of a standalone application, and Hangouts is already available cross-platform on iOS and Android, or via any modern web-browser.
Google is terrible at marketing what they have.
Can you please elaborate on why you think so? I feel the exact opposite I guess. Maybe it is because it was horrible before and I', using a newer version?
It is one of the most unobtrusive and great apps I've used. It sits in the corner of my screen and I have no problems at all even when I'm chatting (texting too! Google Voice!) with someone.
Many times at least one person invited via desktop app doesn't receive the invite, but do receive if we send via gmail.
Confusing UI, lack of error messages, and several major UI bugs (press button, nothing happens) have been cause for hours of accumulated wasted time.
I'm glad you'be had a better experience. It's been very unreliable for us.
The people designing Google products just do not understand human interaction. Excuse the Gawker network link, but I think this reaction to a past Google keynote hits the nail on the head.
Also, centralized chat history! Very few did that at the time and most had massive issues with unread tracking.
The moment I went on mobile and tried hangout it was dead to me. Read notification duplicates, phantom notifications for read messages, long startup times, and group everything came mich much later
Everyone jumped ship at that moment. The hangout app was THAT bad early years, and even after quite some time later real usability issues were never fixed.
I've been using DDG for years, though I'll return to Google Web search periodically (Books and Scholar I use more often). It's nagware that's begging me to make it my default browser (no, you blew through that trust relation ages ago, sweetheart), and long before then stopped providing actual usable URL links in favour of its craptacular redirects. On desktop I've got a demungifier script I can run those through, on Android, if I see those, I remember why I don't use Google Web search, abandon it, and return to DDG.
Google News, in a moment of major irony, fails to work at all on Chrome/Android.
The company lost its soul a long time ago. It's been losing its mind for some years now.
Which is incredibly stupid since maybe the biggest original selling point of AJAX was "it's faster because you don't have to reload the whole page".
And of course the memory use is way, way lower. Especially than Inbox, which is a resource hog.
IMO most google products have been getting steadily worse since ~2008/09. Including things like Youtube.
> The Gmail team did not have to wait for the reaction for long. And it wasn’t very “googly.” It caused an uproar teeming with disgust for just about every decision the Gmail product/design team made. Phrases like, “You guys just completely destroyed Gmail!” and “What are these crazy designers doing over there?!” were everywhere. From being spoken at many of Google’s cafes to every internal online forum.
Great job Google.
My usual bias is towards giving companies a pretty huge benefit of the doubt, since these problems are usually very difficult to get right. There's just so, so much data here (from inside and outside the company) to suggest that this was actually pure incompetence.
People (especially product managers and designers) don't get promoted at big software companies for incrementally and carefully improving on some existing thing.
Novelty and churn pays off in the internal promo economy of a large company. Steady at the oars does not.
I was using the term more generally to refer to "the way Google runs product and marketing (including the incentive structure)". Though part of this does bleed over into engineering: One of the reasons I quit the company was because promotion had become so far removed from quality of work that I was starting to feel compelled to spend too much of my time thinking about what the promotion rubric might think of my work vs what was actually good for the project.
For varying values of "just fine". For me, hangouts is probably the worst performing app on mobile, desktop and tablet. It's so bad that even Skype shames it. And FaceTime...well let's not even compare.
But aside from that it has generally been way more reliable for me too.
Facetime is just a feature. It's a calling option in contacts and any phone call to another iPhone can be turned into a facetime call at the push of a button. That means you don't even need to think about it. There's no install process, no configuration, no account to set up, it's just there.
Furthermore because it can rely on guaranteed hardware features it has the best compression, bandwidth utilization and image quality in the business. If it's a joke, I'm not sure who it is that's doing the laughing.
It works for calling people who bought from the same brand as you, it doesn't work for the rest of people, and it pretends to work (WTF?) for people who used to have the same brand as you.
That's a very different bar from just needing to install an application.
No one ever claimed FaceTime works on your android. They wanted to open source it and got fucked on patents.
Try using gmail to send a regular iCalendar format invite to an event. If they just happen to have used that email for a google account, fuck you it ends up in the Google calendar account they likely didn't know they even had, and never goes to their email.
THAT is unexpected, and arguably deceptive behaviour.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I've read that they actively shutdown or circumvent projects to create other clients. If they really didn't consider it a strategic asset to push people to iOS I doubt they'd bother with that.
Think on that for a moment - "Sorry grandmama, I can't send you iMessage or talk to you in person since you didn't spend your pension on an expensive Apple device."
For something as fundamental as human-to-human communication, closed, single vendor, protocols and systems deserve every criticism (and yes, Google deserves it as well).
I'm not sure that's true. At least in my sample, there are quite a few people who explicitly ask you to use some chat app instead of texting them, because they don't pay for unlimited texting.
So it makes sense to use whatsapp because it's data based and you can keep the same account across SIM card changes.
For example, take this use case: you have whatsapp with a german number. You go to italy. You get an italian sim. You get a new phone. Result: you can not use your german whatsapp. There is no way you can activate your german whatsapp account without yout german sim.
In the last 4/5 years, the only time I've met people not on WhatsApp were Chinese (WeChat) or Korean (Kakao) so basically. Amongst people I've just met it's pretty common to go straight to WhatsApp now when "adding" each other
I'd say that it's also commonly used as a photo/video/file sharing tool.
Still makes no sense to me.
I'm on iOS.
At least last time I checked Hangouts required you to join G+ first? Is that still the case?
Allo I think will be the same - they're transitioning to phone # based auth instead of Google account auth so that using a Google account is not a limiting factor.
From a business perspective this makes sense for Google. A big problem with Skype was always the lack of ubiquity. Lot of people had it, but it required another install and explicit configuration. Now that Skype is nearly bundled with W10 and WebRTC has made skype.com trivial, the gap for Google to move in is closing. If this rolls out with Google branded Android, people will use it irrespective of its merits (a la bundled Internet Explorer). Interop on iOS makes it stand out from Facetime. There's always room to change terms later when it becomes a household name.
Also, with all these services adding an E2E sticker on their communications, Google's hand was forced, they're not trend setters here and they shouldn't be applauded for being extremely late to the privacy game.
And they should be forbidden, according to (admittedly a broad interpretation of) the telecommunications act of 1996, .
99% of people will never run their own matrix server, and 98% of people will never pay $5/mo for a chat service.
Basically, where can the general public sign up for a matrix account that's free, offers a good experience, and respects my rights?
Also, I should have stated, I hosted my home server on a vps, but one can also totally just do it on your own server at home (so you could avoid paying any vps provider)...again, for those who have an interest in hosting their own.
Personally, my goal was to host the server for my family...but the really big advantage of decentralized platforms like matrix.org (and others like gnu social, etc.!) is that my host can connect with others...hey email has worked successfully connecting billions of decentralized people for so long now, so there is precedent for this type of concept.
I suggest heading over to vector.im - its the easiest on-ramp - and give it a try! i hope that helps!
Another example of this is the current IndieWeb movement, which while great, doesn't fix very much because 1) low penetration means you have to republish all your content back into proprietary silos, regranting them license to use that we're supposed to be escaping and 2) by forcing people to set up and develop their own platforms means that the majority of indieweb blogs are subtly incompatible through bugs and mostly suck up time that could be used blogging with time spent to fix the blog.
But man, that is one hard-to-use (browser) client.
When you look at the person on the screen whom you're talking to, that person sees you looking away, because you're not looking into the camera, which is somewhere on the edge of the screen. So you don't make eye contact with the person you're talking to.
And for me, that makes video calls feel weird.
After hundreds of Skype calls with people, I just don't notice it anymore.
Sure, to fix that problem would be nice. But I don't think the engineering required to put a camera behind a screen, or creepily adjusting people's pupils in realtime, are worth it to rectify what is hardly an issue.
EDIT: also, it's a bit weird to write a critique like yours for the launch of a new platform. No one else solves this issue, so why does Google not solving it suddenly make their platform pointless?
It's like if Tesla releases the Model 3 and you're like "Uh, it doesn't fly? Pass."
I think this is a fair critique because the release announcement states the product should address the symptom that "nearly half of us never make video calls on mobile". If you believe the underlying problem is that lack of eye contact makes video calling low-value to many people this is not a viable solution.
Somehow I don't see a phone that has a camera hole in the middle of the screen selling too well. If the camera is put in the bazel, then it replaces looking up/down with looking slightly to the side.
recently improved upon it:
Wonder why it never made it into a product.
Published in 1996
> build an algorithm
> adjust eye position
[Online interactive demo](http://sites.skoltech.ru/compvision/projects/deepwarp/)
anyway I think its a minor issue. I am more worried about if I am dressed / groomed appropriately for the video call rather than if I am having constant eye contact.
but then we developers would be lost without problems.
But sounds like it might be Skype soon: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/research/publication/gaze-ma...
The #2 thing I want is to be able to pick the app I use. I like pidgin, i want to use pidgin. I hate having to open gmail to use certain hangouts features. This tends to go hand in hand with the "I'll call you on X" thing. I dont care where people are calling me from/at if receiving it is centralized.
Of course, people like Zuckerberg can't use this feature because they cover up the camera lens on their laptops with tape.
"... since it is phone only for now."
Hangouts work, but it's heavy and not a good experience overall. And facetime is ios only, so Duo will definitely bridge this gap.
I read on a Verge's article that Google wants to make Hangouts enterprise focussed by integrating more into the Google apps and keep Allo/Duo as the consumer focused communication apps which i think is a great strategy.
Once all of android users get this pre installed, i think its not difficult to get rest of the users use this.
This makes a lot of sense: there are some big differences in the experiences wanted by these two groups.
Edit: and there's a whole story about that: https://www.engadget.com/2016/08/16/google-hangouts-business...
And how far in the future will that be? Will Samsung install it on their phones?
I'm sure Duo isn't bad, but I'm not going to be able to convince my friends to sign up for it when Facebook Messenger already exists.
This is a new ground up video app and so the performance is better compared to other apps(I tested it, its definitely better than hangouts/messenger/skype, but probably same as facetime quality).
Do they share speechwriters with Donald Trump?
I just hope it can be disabled with rest of the Google bloatware when I buy my next phone.
I have 3 Android devices and can use this only on the one that has a SIM card?
And even if the others had SIM cards, they'd be on different accounts? WTF.
When you install the client on such device, Viber app on the main phone serves as a authenticator and displays a QR code/PIN that you enter on the other device. This adds the other device as trusted and can use the account, contacts get synced to it.
I have no clue who in Google really thinks their solution will be popular. Someone need to shake up that company a bit and make it step out of their bubble.
I think google is trying to mimic whatsapp here: A single device with end to end encryption so that your keys never leave the device.
The past several years have shown that providing a more integrated experienced typically brings a better user experience so this just smacks as a mistake.
The linear line through the data points says Hangouts are going away.
Has it really? One of the reasons I originally signed onto the google ecosystem, was that they had their services split. My youtube was separate from gchat, which was separate from gmail. Now I don't use almost any google products, because I don't want everything linked back to one account. Whenever they do this, google half-asses the integration, and things end up in a weird state
Absolutely and without a question. You will find exceptions here and there where the integration was done poorly or ultimately didn't make sense but the idea around providing integrated experiences is eliminating friction. Smart phones are fast but switching from one application to another is incredibly slow. Yes it's easy and yes you can download special launchers to slightly improve this but the fact remains that switching applications runs the risk of an application being unloaded from memory, it requires typically several taps and possibly yet another initialization.
But what if it works together in the same app? Take Google Maps and Waze for instance. Waze is awesome for gathering social data around traffic whereas Google Maps had some of that but not nearly at the same level of detail. Google integrated the Waze data into Google Maps so now, in the same application, you have both. No switching required. No need to run two mapping apps (because, let's face it, Waze's directions were never the greatest).
Let's go in a different direction now. Android didn't natively support finger print readers when companies, such as Samsung, started to include them. Due to the terrible integration you couldn't use finger prints so much of anything beyond unlocking your phone and even then there were several security vulnerabilities around that very point. Now that Google has included finger print reading, natively, into the platform you can use it everywhere. It's no longer a weird, separate, nebulous thing.
Maybe those examples are not the best but the point is that you must always march towards less and less friction. Once your app is fast and good enough the next step is integrations into other apps / systems to decrease the friction.
The best UX typically wins. If the implementation is complex or not is immaterial.
Not sure why this had to be its own app. Could have just been included into Allo. Also, all of the other apps I mentioned above have some form a desktop app (which is in a way, the biggest factor for me considering that's where I spend most of my time). Sigh! Great tech, terrible packaging.
And this is why we need to be using open protocols, instead of walled-off systems. If I had one client that could integrate all of these, I'd use them. But since I need one install per chat-system, I end up just using none of them.
but seriously I have the same problem. I liked that hangouts was bringing it all together and had live hangouts, and collaborative document editing and everything.. it feels like they just really didn't work on making hangouts lag free and high throughput and bringing the people there with superior quality calling.
Although I get where you're coming from. It would also be nice if all products discontinued by google would just get open sourced.
They are basically saying it's useless to them so why not let somebody else give a try.
Real-time video is plain hard, especially when latency comes into play. Having Google tackling this with their unique technology (QUIC / lots of low-level performance expertise) and resources (GCP / CDN), I'm really looking forward to try it out.
Their standard reason is that most products use tons of internal API calls/private modules and it would take a lot of hours to replace those with code they're willing to release.
Video chat has been around since forever. Having a major player like Google wade into the fray, destroy all the small fry, then bail out (as it has done many times before)? Not good for the market.
Whatever small fry exists on the market, they have survived the Skype juggernaut, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Facebook chat. I find it highly unlikely that Google Duo is going to be a uniquely destructive force.
The point is given the many, many other video chat apps that do already exist and fill this function, several of them produced by Google, what does Google think it's doing bringing out yet another one.
> Mr. Nikhyl Singhal joined Credit Karma after four years at Google, where he held several senior product roles, including leading Hangouts, Google Talk, Google Voice and Google Photos.
When I started using it a few months ago, the contacts discovery was a bit buggy, but it's worth a try. The feature set is quite rich.
First they deprecated SMS on Hangouts. Now they have replicated the video and voice portion. The next shoe to drop will be discontinuing Hangouts.
Give them a chance to collect more data first. Many governments might be backing this service.
You don't run this through your google account, only your phone number is needed to sign up.
The new video protocol supposedly degrades better if you go somewhere where the service is slower.
I'm sure there are others.
This does not add any value if I want to have two different Duo accounts - e.g., one for personal use, and one for business use.
They already had Hangouts, they recently launched a group sharing app "Spaces". And now a new video calling app "Duo". They also have an app "Allo" which is another chatting platform.
I am not complaining or anything, I am just curious about what are they planning to do with their old apps? i.e. Hangouts?
Google Talk group chat features were released in 2007.
The clones get passed around the campus for dogfooding until enough interest builds up and the project goes up the chain of command until a VP (at the time Marissa) signs off on it with notes on what to improve along with granting the necessary resources to spin it up.
Then if someone decides the project has legs they figure out how to engineer it for Google's audience and launch. If it doesn't work then the team disperse and move on to another project. Or it works and the team gets a moment in the sun.
Every single popular thing on the internet has a Google clone somewhere in the intranet.
There was a separation of business and content creators but since they don't rely on advertising to pay the bills the content creators got more freedom and resources to play with than a traditional newspaper firm.
Some companies just can't get their branding straight. They launch a video product, then buy one, then try to keep them separate, then try to merge them, then kill one.
Or they launch any of a bazillion interactive chat apps, each worse than the first, and keep killing them off. Then wonder why people don't use them.
They have a secret sauce money machine and start fucking with it.
They create a fear-driven paranoia taillight chaser, set up really stupid rules about engagement, drive off their highly enthusiastic early-adopter crowd, try to cram it down everyone's throats, allow 2 billion random strangers on the Internet to set Calendar appointments (Scoble's blast at Slic Vic was classic), and mix a bazillion random Internet freaks with your personal email contacts.
They shove cameras into the world's face and the world bitchslaps them for it, rightly.
And that's the piddling stuff.
Then they create smoke alarms that cannot be turned off, thermostats that can't work without Internet, and buy, then sell, a war-making robot-terminator-dog company.
And they expect us to believe them that their Majick Cars will be bugproof, un-annoying, and non-lethal.
I think they'll find that when the time comes, the letter H will be well occupied by Hubris.
Hangouts works on phones, tablets and laptops. It does voice, video and text. Fragmenting these features across apps and devices seems to be a major step backwards...but apparently two apps is simpler than one?
Instagram and Whatsapp are just examples of how not to kill a successful product. Turns out it's quite simple: You change nothing.
For a long time it seemed like the strategy was to change nothing. Now it's become clear the strategy is to be scared of changing anything, just leave it to fester and fall behind then panic and recklessly start cloning competitors features and diluting what made the service compelling in the first place.
Which is a huuuuuge difference. This is the same factor that made whatsapp so popular on the smartphone compared to all other other chat apps that were popular at the time (including google talk) but where each system was using a different account creation/login flow on that tiny screen, Whatsapp came along and had the brilliant insight/accident of simply supporting your phone's addressbook to find you and your friends. Even facebook chat couldn't keep up with them even though facebook app was installed pretty much on every internet connected phone at the time. Rest is history.
Perhaps as a video-calling alternative to Whatsapp? (given that neither of them are open source)
Looking forward to seeing an analysis of the protocol. Does it go through Google servers, or is it really peer to peer? How does the "end to end encryption" work? How are the keys generated and exchanged? Do the servers have the keys? Are you sure?