Tech

How to group video chat between iPhones and Android phones

Key Points
  • Google Duo now supports group video chats with up to 8 people.
  • That's shy of the 32 supported by Apple FaceTime, but it works on Android and iOS.
  • Here's how to set up Google Duo groups on your iPhone or Android device to group video chat with your family or friends.
Google Duo video chat with 8 people.
Google

Google this week updated it Duo video chat app with group support that allows up to eight people to chat at the same time.

Duo is Google's version of Apple FaceTime, which supports up to 32 people in a single video chat call. But Duo is supported on both Android and iOS, making it a compelling alternative to FaceTime for families or groups of friends who don't all have iPhones. My wife, for example, primarily uses Android, so she can't regularly join in on FaceTime calls that are started by my other family members on iPhones. Duo lets everyone get in on the fun.

Here's how to use Google Duo for video calls across iPhones, iPads and Android devices.

  • Install Google Duo either from the Google Play Store on Android or from the iTunes App Store on iPhones and iPads. Make sure everyone you want to chat with also installs the app.
  • Allow the app to access your microphone, camera and contacts by tapping "Give Access" and tapping "Allow" and the subsequent pop-ups.
  • Swipe up on the bar on the bottom of the screen.
  • Tap "Create group."
  • Add the people you want to be in your Google Duo group. Remember, they have to have Google Duo installed also. You can select up to seven other people.
  • Tap "Done."
  • Tap the pencil icon to name your group -- choose something like "family" or "friends."

Now, on the main screen, you'll see the group you created. Just tap it and click "Start" to begin the call. Google Duo, unlike FaceTime, will show your face as the phone rings on the other end, however, which allows the other person to see you before they even answer. It's neat, but it also means you should fix your hair before you begin.

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Google Duo steps into the video chat space