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This article was published on April 23, 2020

Google Duo majorly improves low-bandwidth video quality with new codec

Google Duo majorly improves low-bandwidth video quality with new codec

From Zoom, to Skype, to Google Meet, there’s no shortage of apps you can use to video call your loved ones during these days of isolation. But one of the simpler ones is Google Duo, the big G’s alternative to Apple’s Facetime. Today the company announced a slew of updates that make the app a more reliable solution for your video calls

Perhaps chief among them is a new AV1 compression algorithm that appears to improve video quality rather dramatically. Here’s one side-by-sid comparison of video quality at a mere 30kbps:

You can read more about the new codec here. Google will roll it out “in the coming week.”

The company is also adding the ability to quickly take a side-by-side photo of you and your fellow participant, which looks a little nicer than a plain old screenshot. To do this, you’ll first have to enable Duo moments from the settings menu, but once activated all you have to do is press the shutter button on the bottom left of the screen.

Because more people are participating in calls at once these days, Google recently upped the number of participants to 12, but it plans to increase the number even further “in the coming weeks.” Lastly, Google says it’ll soon allow you to automatically save video messages instead of having them expire automatically in 24 hours.

The new updates are rolling out over the coming weeks.

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