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Google has rolled out an update to the Duo and Allo video calling and messaging applications. The update has brought an updated look to the contact list on Duo and a fun rearrangement of pixels as well. The most noted feature that this update brings is the ability to call people who have not installed Duo or registered with this app before. It is said that this feature works the same way it does with regular Duo calls including Knock-Knock.
According to a report by AndroidPolice, an incoming call will fly over the display with view of the caller's camera even if the recipient has not installed the Google Duo app on his or her device. However, these will be audio calls and the recipient has the liberty to accept, hang up, change cameras or mute their mic. At the end of the call, the person will be prompted to install the Duo app if interested. Also, it will display a pop-up that lets the person block the caller from contacting again. There is also a notification icon that is persistent and it can bring the call into view even on navigating away from the call.
It is the App Preview Messaging feature powered by Google Play Services that powers this option. This feature debuted with Google Allo back in 2016. It is available only to select developers via an early-access preview program but did not make its way to all users of the app.
Apart from this ability of Duo, Google Allo always supported the App Preview Messaging feature including two-way communication but the messaging window appeared weird and was unlike Allo. With the recent update, it has started appearing like Allo. However, it does not let you do activities like sending attachments or images and changing the text size by dragging the send button up or down.
The update that lets people make calls to those who do not have Duo installed in their device is meant to reduce the complaints that "none of my friends use Duo". But it is not going to work with everyone on your contacts as the report shows that only some legitimate contacts are being listed. The invite button next to the contact will still send a text message asking them to install the Duo app on their device.