Video chat apps are great at connectingfriends and family across the globe and especially in times like these wheresocial distancing is becoming the new normal, they help give you a little bitof that social interaction back.
So in this video I'm going to go over twopopular free video chat apps: Google Duo and Google Hangouts.
I'm going to show you how to use them, go over their core features and when youmay want to use one over the other.
Let's dive in.
To get started with eithergoogle duo or Google Hangouts you'll want to make sure that you have a Googleaccount setup.
To do that just go to google.
com, click sign in, and then followthe steps to set up your account.
Now if you're simply trying to have aconversation with 12 people or less including yourself and you don't needthe ability to share your screen on desktop or to have a chat in the samewindow as your video chat, then I think Google Duo is going to be the way to gofor you.
Now Google Duo is available on lots of different platforms it'savailable on multiple different types of browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safariand it's also available on different mobile platforms including iOS andAndroid, and it's also available on some Google Assistant smart displays likethe Nest Hub Max.
To get started on a mobile device like Android or iOS, download the Duo app from the App Store or the Google Play Store.
On a computeryou can use the web version of Duo through Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, andthe best part is that you don't have to download an app or an extension to useit, at least not in Chrome which is the browser that I use.
Google Duo uses yourGoogle contacts to allow you to call others if you're using an iPhone, Duowill use the contacts you have on your phone.
If you select a contact thatdoesn't currently have Duo downloaded, you'll see a screen where you can invitethis contact to Duo through a text message.
When you tap on a contact thatdoes have Google Duo downloaded , you'll see a different screen with a fewoptions: voice call, video call, and message.
The message option allows you torecord a video message and send it to your contact.
Youalso have options to use filters and effects here as well and you can alsojust leave a note or voice message in case you don't want to be on camera.
Theactual interface of Google Duo is very simple, you have buttons to end the call, mute your microphone, or your camera, and there are more options as well.
On thephone app you can click the three dots and then you'll see you have options forAuto-framing, portrait, low-light, and effects where you can use fun effectsthat will overlay your current video.
With Google Duo, if you want to have acall with multiple people you can do this by setting up a group within theapp.
Now do you note that groups have a maximum capacity of 12 people includingyourself.
To create a group in the app you scroll the contacts page up a bitand then hit create a group then select all of the people that you want to be inthe group then hit done, give the group a name and then click start, to start avideo call or leave a video message for the group.
If you've been added to agroup that you don't want to be a part of, click the three dots and then you'llbe able to leave the group.
Duo also has a knock knock feature so when youreceive a call you actually see the video of the person calling you beforeyou pick up the call.
Oh and another thing to keep in mind with duo is thatall Duo calls are end-to-end encrypted, so your conversation staysbetween you and the people you're calling.
Another cool feature with Duo isthe ability to call your Google Home devices.
When you look through yourcontacts in Duo's mobile app you'll see a button where you can call your GoogleHome devices like your Nest Hub, Nest Mini or other smart speakers in yourhouse.
This is useful for when you're out of the house and you need to get aholdof someone back home, especially if your home is like mine where there's at leastone Google Assistant speaker in every room.
When you click that button, every device inyour residence will ring, so keep that in mind when you want to play a prank onsomeone and startle them in the middle of the night.
Alright, so we've gonethrough all of the main features of Duo and now I want to talk about Hangouts.
Now I know at this point you may be thinking, wait a minute, Duo does everything I need, why would I even need to think about GoogleHangouts? I know, I thought the exact same thing when I was doing the researchfor this video, but after doing further research I think there are somecircumstances where you would want to use Hangouts over Duo and the firstone is if you want to have a video call with more than 12 people includingyourself.
Hangouts currently has a limit of 25 people on a video call and thesecond scenario where I think you would want to use hangouts over Duo is if youwant a chat service built-in with the video and audio call service.
CurrentlyDuo does not have a chat service available with it.
It is only videos andcalls where Hangouts actually has a pretty nifty chat service built right in.
Hangouts allows you to chat with up to a 150 people in a group andit allows you to quickly jump into a video or voice call from your chat.
Youalso have the ability to set a status and can invite people to hangouts eitherthrough their email or their phone number.
You can also make yourselfvisible on Hangouts to anyone with your phone number or email.
Another bigdifference with Hangouts is that it lets you chat while your video session isgoing on you have the ability to share your screen with Hangouts as well whichis especially useful for presenting to a group or helping troubleshoot an issue afamily member is having with their computer.
Like Duo, Hangouts is availableon a wide variety of devices including iOS and Android phones, tablets, andvarious computers through the browser.
Note that Hangouts is not supported onGoogle Assistant displays though and from what I could find, the service isnot end-to-end encrypted like Duo.
When you start up Hangouts on mobile you canuse the plus button at the bottom right hand corner to start a new conversationor a video call and on desktop you have similar options as well.
You can actuallystart a video call on desktop without calling anyone and then invite them tojoin your call by email or through a link that you can share with them.
Hangouts video call features are similar to Duo's.
You have buttons to end the call, turn your mic on and off, as well as your camera, you can click the three dots andthat's how you can get to the area where you can share your screen on a desktop.
One pointer for if you're on a Mac, to share your screen make sure that youclick on the screen that pops up and then click share.
Do note though thatHangouts does not have the auto framing features and it doesn't have any funcrazy filters like google Duo does.
Alright, well that's it for our video onGoogle Duo and Google Hangouts.
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For 6 Months Later, I'm Josh Teder, thanks for watching.