Google Duo is a popular free video-chat app with over a billion downloads worldwide. It launched as an extension of Google Allo; the instant messaging app scrapped back in 2019 in favor of the Messages app.
While Allo is long-gone, Google is continuing to support Duo, releasing new features for it on a frequent basis. With virtual meetings more crucial than ever before, Duo has received numerous major updates this year. It’s a better alternative to many third-party video chat apps, being cross-compatible with a vast range of devices.
You can use Google Duo on Android, Android TV, iOS, and iPadOS platforms. It’s also available as a web service, meaning you can access it from a browser window on your PC or laptop as well.
Since many of you work from home and have a webcam, we have prepared this guide to help you connect to your family, friends, and colleagues with Google Duo on the web. For Chromebook owners, we have also given separate instructions.
Setting up the web version of Google Duo
You can access Google Duo from pretty much every modern web browser, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Microsoft Edge, Safari, etc. Furthermore, you can join group calls on Google Duo on the web, with up to 32 people together.
- Open a new tab in your current web browser and head over to duo.google.com.
- Click the “Try Duo for web” button above. You will be prompted to sign in to your Google account (only if you aren’t logged in).
- Once you sign in, the site will ask you to verify the mobile number associated with your Duo account. Enter it and click the “Get verification code” button.
- Next, you should receive a one-time verification code via SMS on the mobile number you entered earlier. Type it in to continue.
That’s it! You will now see the Google Duo web interface. You can now dial individual contact or start a group video call to start chatting.
Guide to use Google Duo on the web
Using Google Duo on the web is just as simple as on the mobile app. Here’s how to use it:
- First, choose a Duo contact or group from the main web interface.
- Now you will be given the option to begin either a Voice call or a Video call. Proceed with the one you prefer.
- For the first time, your browser will ask whether you want to give the Google Duo webpage permission to use your microphone and camera. Click Allow in the pop-up to grant the required permissions.
- When you are in a call, you can click the cog icon to open the Source settings menu. From the following window, you can change the camera, microphone, and output audio sources.
- To disconnect from the voice/video call, click the red End call button.
If you wish to initiate a group call on Duo, click the Create group button above Duo’s main web interface. You can now rename the group and add the participants to it, then click Start call.
Additionally, you can copy the invite link in the window and share it with participants via your preferred messaging platform. When they click the link, they will join the group that you created.
Setting up Google Duo on a Chromebook
It’s relatively easy to set up Google Duo on a Chromebook, as you can simply get the Duo Android app. The whole setup process goes as follows:
- Launch the Play Store app on your Chromebook and search for the Google Duo app. Click Install once you are on the download page.
- Once installed, launch the Duo app from the desktop. You will need to agree to the terms and conditions, as well as grant the app access to your device’s webcam and microphone.
- After you are auto-signed into the Duo app with Google, it will prompt you to verify the mobile number you use with Duo on your Android/iOS device.
- An OTP will be sent to your mobile number via SMS. Enter it in the following field to verify your number.
You can now follow the instructions in the previous section of this guide to use Google Duo on your Chromebook. The user interface of Google Duo on Chrome OS is identical to the web version, so you shouldn’t face any issues when following the steps.
If you have a school/company-issued Chromebook, you might not be able to use the Google Duo app on it. However, you can go to duo.google.com from the Chrome browser and still make voice/video calls on the Chromebook.