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Google unveils its latest video calling app 'Duo'

26-August-2016
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Google unveils its latest video calling app 'Duo'

The battle for market dominance between Google and Apple seems to be getting intense by the day. The two platforms have already battled neck to neck with various apps they have in the offering. While Google provides Hangouts, Apple has iMessage, Google’s browser has been up against Apple’s Safari and both the giants fight out on their versions of map services.

With the latest announcement from Google it looks certain that the California based company is raging another app war. ‘Duo’ is Google’s simpler answer to Apple’s ‘Facetime’. According to Google, “31% of Indian adults use video call everyday, 67% of them say that poor connectivity or dropped calls frustrates them with video calling.”

The one advantage Google ‘Duo’ holds over ‘Facetime’ is its availability in the Play store as well as the App store. 

Google says that its simple steps and easy sign up processes make the app much more user friendly. It switches between Wi-Fi and cellular networks without dropping calls and the calls made through ‘Duo’ are encrypted end to end.

Google ‘Duo’ also emerges as a competition to Skype, another video calling app. A quick look at App Annie’s statistics shows ‘Duo’ surging up the charts just a week after its launch. It currently sits at the 7th spot on the Google Play Store and commands the top spot in the new app category, while Skype stood at a lowly 65th spot. The story in the App store is pretty much the same where Google ‘Duo’ stands at the 7th spot and Skype at 48th.

Google’s announcement of ‘Duo’ comes after a good run in the second quarter. Shares of Google’s parent company Alphabet jumped 5% to $804 on Friday after Google reported its advertising business' fastest growth rate in two years. Google is positively getting the attention and budgets of users and advertisers as they shift to mobile devices from desktop computers and Google Duo is just another example of this paradigm shift for the Sundar Pichai led company.

Google’s cloud and apps business along with Play store, contributed $2.17 billion to the quarter, up 33% from the year before.

Apple on the other hand had a very tough quarter coming on the back of a decline of iPhones sales. Revenues dropped for a second straight quarter and the Cupertino based company stands at a critical point. A bright spot was Apple’s revenue for services, including subscriptions to Apple Music, fees from Apple Pay and sales of apps. The company said its services revenue rose 19% to $5.98 billion.

As the competition heats further Google and Apple will continue to battle each other out in various ways. The third and fourth quarter could prove essential for Apple while Google’s good run is expected to continue and innovation seems to be the only way they can cancel each other out in the future.

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