In 2016, Google announced two new instant messaging apps called Google Allo and Google Duo. Google Allo never gained traction for users, but Google Duo quickly became the talk of the town. Consumers appreciated it for its simplicity, its default integration with Google Contacts, and some unique features like Knock Knock. A competitor to Google Du includes WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc. So it’s easy to think about whether you should use Google Duo out of comfort or use Skype to make video calls on your Android phone.
Due to the global pandemic, many people are working at home and searching for the perfect video calling app to have a face to face chat with family members and professional contacts. On the iOS side, iPhone and iPad owners have FaceTime, while on Android the situation is a bit more complicated. While Google Duo is Google’s competitor, we have another one to consider and that is Skype.
Recently, Skype has been adding new features which are much preferred by mobile users. In this post, we will compare Google Duo with Skype to find out a suitable video calling app. The comparison will include user interface, features, video calling features, availability across platforms, conference calling, and more. Let’s get started.
Availability on platforms
There is no contest here. Skype is natively available everywhere – iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Web, and even Linux.
Google Duo is available by default on all Android phones (which is a big plus), and it’s also available on the iOS platform. The company provides Google Duo on the web, but the experience is mediocre at best.
You will see the primary purpose of Skype and Google Duo when running these applications respectively. Skype takes you to the default home screen, which consists of threads like a regular instant messaging app.
Google Duo takes a different path. By default, it opens the front camera and suggests contacts at the bottom. Swipe up to view more contacts and swipe down to send a message, note, or photo to a contact (more on that later).
Skype and Google Duo support dark theme. However, Skype is a step ahead as it offers a bunch of gradient themes for chat threads.
Let’s talk about Skype first. The app pioneered video calling capabilities, and you can see the results in the trial. Skype offers a lot of features when it comes to video calling.
From the chat screen, click on the video button at the top and start video calling. You can also click on the profile name and schedule calls by date and time. Skype also supports live translation, which detects the narrator’s language and translates it directly for the audience.
The app supports up to 50 participants at the same time in a group video call. And to make it even better, Skype lets you blur the background, and even share the screen with others. It is ideal for explaining a topic to the participants.
The company recently introduced the Meet Now feature, which allows you to create meetings and share the link with others. Attendees do not need the Skype app to attend the meeting. You can open this link in your browser and join the conversation without creating an account.
I like the Knock Knock feature from Google Duo. It gives you a live video preview of the caller before you answer the call. During calls, you can use portrait mode which blurs the rest of the scene behind you. The app also supports Low Light Mode which improves video quality during dark scenarios.
Google Duo is designed for mobile first. As a result, it only supports up to 12 people during conference calls, which is far less than what Skype offers. Google Duo supports a long press function, which allows you to quickly make a video call to your contacts.
For video calls, I found the audio and video quality of Skype and Google Duo to be on par with each other.
Skype offers the usual chat functionality, the ability to send files, photos, and more. My favorite job is surveys. You can create poll questions with up to four options and send them to the group so that members can vote.
The app also comes with OneDrive integration so you can send files using its cloud storage. Skype also supports international calling. With Skype Credits, you can make Skype calls to landline and mobile numbers.
Apart from video calls, Google Duo allows you to send photos, write notes, and video message to contacts. Simply swipe down from the home screen, compose and send a message to up to 32 people at a time.
I love the video recording options. It offers a set of filters and fun elements for video recording. With Notes, you can change the background of the note, rotate and resize the text, and more.
The biggest advantage of Google Duo over Skype is its integration into the default Android Phone and Contacts app. Users can directly place the call using the dialer app. It makes the whole experience seamless with regular calls on Android.
Make video calls on the go
As you can see from the comparison above, Skype and Google Duo are powerful apps for creating video calls. Skype is better when it comes to features, chat, and availability across platforms. Google Duo kicks it out of the park with ease of use and perfect integration with Android, video recording, and Knock Knock.