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Chat face to face with just one tap

Chat face to face with just one tap
photo courtesy of DIGIT.IN

So many companies are working on virtual reality headsets that will project our presence into far away places. Being there, without really being there, will be the wave of the future. But until that day comes, video calling is the next best thing.

Video calling services keep bonds strong; not only can you hear their voice, but you can virtually be face to face. You can read your kids a bedtime story while you're away on a business trip, stare into your long-distance lover's eyes, or wish faraway relatives a Merry Christmas.

You can already use Skype, Facebook Messenger, and FaceTime to make video calls but now, Google wants to throw their hat in the ring. Their service is called Google Duo and it has some cool features that may detract attention from the other services.

The "Knock Knock" feature makes Google Duo stand out, it works like a peephole. With other services, you see the caller's contact picture but with Google Duo you can view a live video of the caller. Before you place a call, a selfie cam comes up so you can see what you look like. That way you can save yourself the embarrassment of video calling with food stuck in your teeth.

Google says the video and sound quality will be better than the competition. If your Wi-Fi signal becomes weak during the call, Duo will automatically switch to data. And if you're receiving a call you'll have more time to answer it because your phone will ring for over a minute.

The name Duo alludes to the fact that this service is for one on one calls. Unlike Google Hangout, Google Duo does not allow group calls or chats. The point is to communicate on a personal level. It also works on Apple and Android devices so everyone can use it, for free.

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