Despite the fact that many users Android dream of accessing branded services Apple, which the Cupertino-based company has made exclusive to its devices, there are decent alternatives in the Google ecosystem. I discovered this when I chose Android as my primary smartphone, and I needed to replace FaceTime with something. Not that I have lost the ability to use it, because devices on iOS and macOS from my 'garage' have not gone anywhere. It's just that when you have a phone with Android with you, and you need to establish a video call, it becomes a real problem. So I started looking.
I use Google Duo and have largely given up FaceTime
How to replace FaceTime with Android
Skype I did not consider because of the low quality of the video, Viber too, since I only use Telegram, so I needed something, perhaps less universal, but similar to FaceTime in terms of comfort. Fortunately, I didn't have to go far, because the solution to my question was pre-installed out of the box on my Honor View 20. I just went into the folder with Google services and found Duo (download) there. In fact, I've heard about it before, but I didn't have to use it before. And, as it turned out, it was completely in vain, because the proprietary Google service turned out to be even better than FaceTime.
The first thing I noticed is the 'Knock-Knock' function. It allows you to see who's calling you even before you answer. Everyone appreciates this feature differently, but I found it very convenient. Thanks to her, you can determine in advance where your interlocutor is and thus understand what the conversation will be about, and, which is also important, to see who he is with. After all, it cannot be ruled out that on the other side of the Duo, next to the caller, there will be someone with whom, you might not want to communicate.
In case there are several people with whom you need to chat, Duo has group calls. Unfortunately, although they are in FaceTime, they do not work on all devices. For example, on iPhone 6 FaceTime doesn't support them, and Duo doesn't.
Why Duo is better than FaceTime
Google Duo has many advantages over FaceTIme
The video quality in Duo is also pleasing. However, it was not the good cameras of our devices with the interlocutors, but the processing algorithms. Yes, a good picture requires, firstly, a stable connection to the Internet, and, secondly, it consumes more traffic. Nevertheless, in the settings of the service, you can either turn on the economy mode, or the usual one, in which the image remains simply clean, contrasting and, importantly, smooth.
The Duo even has a night mode. Unlike that in other applications, it is actually used here for its intended purpose, not painting the interface in dark colors, but 'pulling the picture' if one of the interlocutors is in insufficient lighting conditions. This happens automatically and no effort is required from you, but the picture really turns out to be brighter. True, Google warns that the work of night mode depends on your smartphone and is not available at all somewhere, and somewhere it may not work in the best way. But, again, everything is ok for me.
Other Duo features
- Voice calls;
- Support for video messages;
- End-to-end encryption;
- Sending hearts.
Should you use Duo
Google Duo is a cross-platform service that works on all operating systems
Now let's move on to practice using Duo. Like FaceTime, Duo lets you sign up with your phone number and Google account. You just need to confirm the registration with the code from the SMS, which will be sent to your phone. At the same time, you can use Duo on a variety of operating systems – on iOS, and on Android, and on Windows, and on macOS, and on Linux. For desktop platforms, the service does not have a separate client, which may not be as convenient as in the case of FaceTime, but there is a web version that does not take up disk space, which is not bad in itself.
I don’t know how it happened, but I’m so used to Duo, its tricks and logic, that I simply transplanted all my relatives to this service and practically stopped using FaceTime. Why? I just liked the way Google implemented their service. All of these features like face tracking, night mode, and video messaging really make Duo a very convenient communication tool, and its cross-platform functionality makes it just a super-versatile platform that doesn't have the same limitations I've seen in FaceTime.