Mobiles & Tablets

COVID19: Google's video-calling app Google Duo ups caller limit to 12 people amid global shutdowns

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on March 28, 2020 Published on March 28, 2020

Google Duo

Google is increasing the maximum limit of participants in video conference calls on its Android app -Google Duo from eight to twelve, as more people are mandated to stay home amid the coronavirus pandemic.

India is currently facing a 21-day lockdown to curb the spread of the Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

“We are grateful that Duo is helping users see their loved ones all around the world. We recognize group calling is particularly critical right now. We have increased group calling from 8 participants to 12 effective today. More to come. #AllInThisTogether #COVID19” tweeted Sanaz Ahari, Senior Director of Product and Design at Google.

Google Duo, the tech giant’s answer to Facetime is its Android’s built-in video chat app. Google had increased support for eight people in a video call back in May 2019. It had further increased the limit to twelve accommodating more people in its free video conferencing tool.

Alternative free video-calling tools

Users looking for free tools to host a video conference call can also op for Google hangouts. The free version of Hangouts can allow video calls with up to 10 people at a time.

As of June 2020, Hangouts will only be offered to users with Google’s consumer accounts, which is all users with a ‘@gmail.com’ or ‘@googlemail.com’ email address.

The new 12-person limit is far from Google’s current counterparts such as Apple and Zoom. Apple’s built-in video-calling tool Facetime for iOS has a call-limit of 32. Zoom, another video conferencing tool allows up to 100 people at a time in its free version. Skype has a 50-person limit for its free version. Facebook’s messenger as well has a limit of 50 people in a video conference call.

Houseparty, another up and coming video-calling tool which also allows users to engage in online games together has an eight-person limit.

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Published on March 28, 2020
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