A recent update to the Google duo app now allow users to make both audio and video calls to some friends & other people in their contact even when the app is not installed on the recipient’s phone.
For individuals who do not have Duo app installed, they are able to see an incoming video call which uses the view of the caller’s camera. They can then pick the call and join the conversation. The feature is not limited to video call, audio-only calls also works with it.
The change was noted by Android Police
You can now call people that haven’t installed or registered with Duo in the past. It works almost exactly like a normal Duo call, including the Knock-Knock feature.
An incoming call can instantly fly over the screen with a view of the caller’s camera. Of course, this also works with audio-only calls. Recipients can answer the call by dragging up on the phone icon, mute their mic or change cameras, and hang up just like a regular Duo call. There is also a persistent notification icon that can bring the call back into view if you hit a button to navigate away while it’s still connected.
Immediately the call is terminated, an option to install Duo is presented to the user. Also, the caller can be blocked by the user which makes them unreachable next time.
This is made possible by the help of a feature incorporated into Google Play services called App Preview Messaging, which was launched back in 2016 by Google.
The ability to make Duo calls to people without it installed on their end should make it more accessible and reduce the complaints that none of my friends use it.
The feature is available to some contacts on the user smartphone and restricted to Android phones running recent versions. It simply means iPhones and non-Android devices are not welcomed.