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19 Best Google Duo tips and trick you should know

Google Duo is easily one of the best video callings applications available on Android as well as iOS. The app was released in 2016 alongside Google Allo although Google would be dropping support for Allo in March this year.

Nonetheless, Google Duo isn’t going anywhere since it’s a great competitor to Apple’s FaceTime which is exclusively available on iOS/Mac while Google Duo is available on Android as well as iOS.

The Duo application is fairly simple and easy to use since there isn’t a boatload of unnecessary features, however, there are a few great tips and tricks to remember to make the most of the application.

Let’s check out a bunch of cool tips and tricks to enhance your user experience with Google Duo.

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Enable the low light mode

Low Light Mode Google Duo

One of the most vital features you will get equipped with after the latest update is the low light mode. Using this feature allows you to see the person on the other end more clearly as the lighting adjusts as per one’s surroundings. All you need to do is:

  1. Execute a video call with any of your contacts.
  2. Tap on the low light mode button on the left side of your screen (top one of the three buttons). This will give a brighter tone to your device’s screen making it more convenient to communicate through the video call.
  3. You can even enable the low light mode under settings that will automatically adjust the lighting if you are in darker surroundings. For this, in the app, tap the 3-dot button, tap Settings, toggle on the Low Light Mode.

Let us know how well does the low light feature treat you. It’s incredible how Google is using its mastery in low-light photography from Pixel’s camera to making video calls on Google Duo better in low light.

Pin contacts to the home screen

Though google duo allows you to make video calls with ease but still adding contacts to your home screen can get tricky at times. Especially if the contact you want to add doesn’t appear in the three-four options displayed when you tap and hold the app icon.

In that case, you will need to watch out for the add to home screen option every time you end the video call with the respective person you want to create a shortcut for. As the option doesn’t pop up after every call. So make sure to:

  1. Look for add to home screen popup when you end the call.
  2. When you see the popup, tap on add option and the contact will be added to the home screen.

Call history Deletion

Delete Contact Call History Google Duo

The option to delete your call history for individual contacts makes it much more convenient to maintain your privacy. Here is how you can do it:

  1. Launch the app.
  2. Tap on the contact you want to delete the call history for.
  3. Tap on three vertical dots at the top right corner of the screen.
  4. Tap on delete Duo history option.
  5. Tap on delete option, on the next popup.

If in case your Duo app is synced with the phone app then the call logs will still be visible in your phone app. So make sure to delete the logs from there as well.

Send a video message without calling first

There could be a bunch of different reasons why someone might not answer a video call hence Google introduced a feature which lets you send a video message. There are two ways to send a video message; however, let’s take a look at how to send the video message without having to call first.

  1. Swipe up from the home screen of the Google Duo app to view all your contacts.
  2. Select the contact you want to send a video message to and tap and hold on their name.
  3. From the pop-up window, select Send video message and tap Record to begin the 30-second video clip.
  4. Once you’re ready, hit the Send button and the video message will be on its way.

Note: You could also leave a video message if the contact does not answer the video call within 5 seconds.

Make Duo video calls from the dialer app

You could easily make a Duo video call or even a Duo voice call directly from your dialer application. To do this simply follow these steps:

  1. Open the dialer application on your device.
  2. Tap on Contacts.
  3. Now tap on the contact’s photo.
  4. You would now be able to see the options to begin a Duo video call as well as a Duo voice call.

Switch between the front and the rear camera quickly

Most users might already know this; however, if you haven’t yet figured out how to do this, then we’ve got you covered. The entire process just involves a single tap.

  1. While you’re in a video call, simply tap on the camera flip icon which should be near the bottom left of the screen.
  2. Tapping on the camera flip icon would instantly switch between the front camera as well as the rear camera.

Remove contacts from the recent contacts

Google Duo has a nifty recents menu which grants you quick access to the recently called contacts. However, if you don’t want a certain contact to show up on the recents menu, then here’s how to remove the contact from the recents menu.

  1. With the recent contacts in view, simply tap and hold on the contact which you want to remove.
  2. You’d see a pop-up list appear with a few options.
  3. Tap on Remove from recent contacts.

→ How to Use Google Duo on Windows PC or Laptop

Limit mobile data usage

Mobile data prices are super high in several regions which is why the Google Duo app has a feature built-in to allow users to limit the data usage when mobile data is being used to place a video call/voice call.

  1. Launch the Google Duo application.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots icon and select Settings.
  3. Toggle on Limit mobile data usage.

Once the option is toggled on, the app would consume less data when placing a video call or voice call while using mobile data; however, the video quality would take a hit due to this.

Enable Knock Knock to see the caller before answering

Google introduced the Knock Knock feature back in 2016 hence most users must know about this great feature already, however, in case you’re a new Duo user, then basically the Knock Knock lets the receiver see the caller before answering if Knock Knock is turned on on both devices.

Here’s how to enable the Knock Knock feature on Google Duo:

  1. Launch Google Duo.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots icon and select Settings.
  3. You would see the Knock Knock option right on top; select it.
  4. Toggle on Knock Knock from the toggle button at the bottom of the screen.

Download call history

In case you want to download the entire call history, then you could do that as well with the Duo application. The process is fairly simple and should only take a minute at max.

  1. With the Duo app opened, tap on the 3-dots icon.
  2. Select Help & feedback.
  3. Tap on the 3-dots icon again and select Export call history. 
  4. Now simply save the backup to your Google drive (other cloud services would do as well) or email it to yourself.

Save data by turning of Knock Knock

If you’re on a limited data plan, then it would be wise to save as much data as possible especially where data usage isn’t really needed. To help save some data with the Google Duo app specifically apart from turning on the Limit mobile data feature, you could also turn off knock knock.

  1. Launch Google Duo.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots icon and select Setting.
  3. Tap on the Knock Knock option and toggle off the feature.

Block a contact on Duo

If you’re being pestered by someone on Google Duo, then you could easily block the contact which would prevent them from placing a video call or voice call to you.

  1. Swipe up from the main screen to view your contacts.
  2. Press and hold the contact which you wish to block.
  3. Now tap on Block number.

Once the contact has been blocked, the person would not be able to reach you through the Google Duo application.

Mute your mic during a call

There are a bunch of reasons why you might want to mute the mic during a video call or voice call. Fortunately, the Duo app allows you to mute the mic when the situation requires it.

Here’s how to mute the mic while on a call:

  1. During an ongoing video call, you would see a mute mic icon on the screen.
  2. Simply tap on the mute mic icon and then the person on the other side would not be able to hear any audio from your device’s microphone.
  3. To enable the mic, tap on the same mic icon once again.

Change the position of your video window

By default the position of your video window is set to the bottom left of the screen; however, you could change the position of the window by simply dragging the window to the position you see fit.

Use other apps while on a video call (PIP mode)

Picture in Picture mode was introduced with Android Oreo and allows users to scale down supported apps into a small window on the screen after which you could use other applications as well.

Note: Android 8 Oreo or newer is required to use the PIP function.

  1. During a video call on Duo, simply tap the home key.
  2. The video call screen would shrink down and be displayed in a small window.

Display Google Duo calls in regular call history

If needed, you could display your Google Duo calls directly in the device’s call history to keep track of any missed Duo calls or Duo calls you’ve made in the past without having to launch the Google Duo application.

  1. Launch Google Duo.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots icon and select Settings.
  3. Tap on Add Duo calls to device’s call history.
  4. Grant the necessary permission.

Now you’ll be able to see your Google Duo calls within the device’s call history alongside the regular calls.

Remove your Google Account from Duo

In case you want to sign in with a different Google Account on the Duo application without having to use applications such as Parallel Apps or Dual-messenger, then here’s how to do so.

  1. Launch the Google Duo application.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots icon and then select Settings. 
  3. Simply tap on Remove Google Account from Duo.
  4. To confirm your action tap on Remove once again.

Delete your Google Account

Unlike removing your account which simply logs out your Google Account from the device, deleting your Google Account would completely delete all the account information on Google Duo.

  1. Launch the Duo application.
  2. Tap on the 3-dots icon and select Settings.
  3. Now tap on Delete Duo Account. 
  4. Confirm your action by tapping on Delete. 

Keep in mind that all information including call history would be deleted from the account and you would have to sign-up once again to use Google Duo.

Start a group video call with up to 8 people

You can finally have a group call on Duo and the most recent update enables up to 8 people to join one call. This feature is available globally (unlike when the feature could only handle 4 people in its initial phase) so you can start using this feature immediately. It’s a simple process:

  1. Launch the Duo application.
  2. Swipe up to reveal the create group option
  3. Select up to 7 people from your contacts
  4. Tap on Start to initiate the video call.

Duo also allows you to save these groups so that you don’t have to create a group again the next time. You can also create different groups with different sets of people depending on your preference and needs.

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So, which one is your favorite trick from the above? Do you know any trick that has been left uncovered here but should be given a mention?