Google’s messaging strategy may still seem chaotic to many, but the basic tenet of how it wants the public to think about Hangouts, Hangouts Meet, Hangouts Chat, Allo and Duo is that Allo/Duo are for consumers and Hangouts Meet/Chat are for business users. Hangouts itself is meant to… actually, I don’t know what it’s meant to be now and I’m not sure Google does either. What I do know, though, is that you are probably neither an Allo nor Duo user, even though both are perfectly competent messaging and video chat apps. Just in case you do use Duo, though, here’s some good news: You can now leave voice and video messages when nobody picks up your call (or politely declines to talk to you).
Duo users can now leave up to 30-second messages and your contact will see them in the Duo app. After watching the video or listening to the message, your contact can call you right back, at which point you can decide if you want to pick up the call or just let it go to videomail, too.
Google notes that all messages are end-to-end encrypted and that the update will start rolling out to Android and iOS users today, and that all users worldwide should see it within the next few days.
While I don’t think Google’s Allo/Duo strategy is working, or that mainstream users are even aware of it, Duo is a perfectly fine video chat app that puts a few interesting twists on this concept. Just like with Allo, though, none of my friends are on it and Hangouts already has a perfectly good video chat option.