Google’s video chat app, Duo, has finally made its way to tablets. With its latest update, the app is able to work on both iPads and Android tablets. (It had previously been confined to just phones.) It is a nice addition, especially since people tend to video chat at home where tablets are around and a larger screen is appreciated.
It has been two years since the launch of Duo, and not much has changed for Google on the video chat front. Getting a call started is still a disjointed and confusing experience. It is getting better: Duo is preinstalled and integrated into the dialer app on some Android phones, but it is far from being as seamless as FaceTime. The app still often feels like it was grafted on, rather than being a core function that is truly built in.
This is a useful update. But until starting a Duo call is as easy as starting a regular phone call, people are going to keep to turning to another app they have installed that their friends are already using, be it Skype, Facebook Messenger, or something else. Or you can do what I did just the other weekend: pull out an old iPad and charge it up to use FaceTime since, somehow, that was still simpler.