Google’s latest update for its internet calling app, Duo, lets you share your phone’s screen in video calls. The feature is only available for Android users for now and restricted to one-on-one chats. Incidentally, back in 2018, Google had rolled out a similar functionality for Duo but it was mysteriously removed after three months. In its tweet, Google advertises screen sharing as an easy solution when you want to view media together with absent friends and family.
Google has yet to show us what the sharing interface will look like, but we expect it to be similar to what we got back in 2018: An extra button in the call interface to activate screen sharing and a floating action bar to pause or stop.
When you enable screen-sharing in a call, everything you do on your Android phone will be visible to the other person. This can come in handy in several situations. While Google is advertising it primarily for showing the photos and videos in your phone’s library, you can also take advantage of this tool for remote tech support. For instance, if your parent is unable to figure out new technology, you can ask them to share their screen and guide them through the process.
Google Duo’s screen-sharing feature is fairly barebones, and once you select to broadcast your screen, the app minimizes the recipient’s camera stream in a small window on the bottom left corner and hides your own to make room for it. In the announcement tweet, Google didn’t reveal how one can switch on screen-sharing in a live call.
Google Duo’s screen-sharing update comes to a couple of months after Facebook added a similar feature to Messenger. However, Facebook Messenger’s screen-sharing option has been rolled out both for Android and iOS users. Other competitors like Microsoft’s Skype have offered screen-sharing on their mobile apps for ages.
Meanwhile, Google also launched a handful of new updates for Meet. The videoconferencing service can now automatically blur your background in calls and display up to 49 people at a time through the tiled layout.
Google has been actively adding features to Duo as more people rely on videoconferencing apps to stay in touch. But its strategy has remained unclear and rumors suggest the company eventually plans to replace it with Meet.