Google DUO

Google Duo

Posted on Posted in Technology

If you have looked at Apple’s Facetime as an app to desire then look no further. Google has recently announced (at Google I/O 2016) its equivalent to Facetime called Google Duo.

Google Duo allows video calling and you do not require a Google account to use Duo plus it’s available for both Android and iPhone devices.

Once Duo is installed it’s asks for your mobile number similar to What’s App. A verification code is sent to your mobile which when entered activates Duo. You are now ready to use it.

The user interface is simple. There is a ‘Video Call’ button, on pressing this a list of your contacts show up. Contacts that have Duo installed will show right on the top while the other contacts without Duo will have an ‘invite’ link next to them. On pressing this a text invite is sent to your contact. Once they install and activate Duo you are ready to video chat with them.

The video quality is quite good. Tap on the screen while you are connected to your contact and you can change the camera (front or back) being used. Duo works on your WiFi connect as well as your mobile connection. By default the mobile data usage is limited but this can be changed by going to settings.

Overall it’s a pretty good app specially for Android mobile users as now they can video chat just like iPhone users. Oh and yes Duo is a free app.

To know more about Google Duo or see a video please Google Duo.

Windows 10 – Major Update features and precautions

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Windows has released a major update to it’s latest operating system Windows 10. Key features include;

  • Activate Windows 10 with a Windows 8.1 or Windows 7 product key
  • Coloured Tile Bars
  • Start Menu to recommend Apps
  • Windows 10 update now includes a “Find My Device” option
  • The browser ‘Edge’ has been updated
  • and many more…click here to find out

Some precautions before updating;

  • Make sure to create a restore point in case the update does not go as planned. Click here to learn how.
  • Create a USB recovery drive. Click here for details.

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Google Nexus 7 – I just got one!

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Just got my Google Nexus 7 (16GB) by special delivery. Great looking device, set it up to charge and on switching it on it welcomed me by my name as my google apps account was already associated with this device. Had to enter my google apps password to get all my e-mail, contacts and calendar on the device. This did not take long maybe 2-3 minutes.

The OS (android jellybean) is pretty easy to use specially if you have been using any of Google’s other android products. In my case I was comparing most of the navigational features with the IPad and found it stood up to it.

The 7″ screen is great, the resolution is also very good. The touch screen works very smoothly, no jerks etc. It’s very comfortable to hold

I was very keen to try out ‘Google Play’ their online store for Books, Movies & Apps. Oh forgot to mention the Nexus came with a free Movie (Transformers Dark of the Moon) and one free book.

Cannot watch movies on this device for too long as it gets very tiring unless you have it propped up on a desk. The sound quality is good and works better with headphones like most portable devices.

Google Play had most of my favourite apps like Dropbox, Kindle, Zinio, BBC News, Catch, Google Drive, Evernote, Fring, Kobo, Skype that were installed on my IPad. Google’s Talk works brilliantly the voice is very crisp and clear and the video is also good.

Transferring movies or music to the device can be done via the USB cable supplied as this device does not have an SD/USB slots nor does it have any other connector ports except for the power and headphones port.

As soon as you plugin the UBS cable to your computer it’s picked up as another storage device. Navigate to it and copy your music to the music folder, movies to the movie folder, pictures to the picture folder etc.

There are some issues like you cannot view flash sites as Adobe is not developing a version of the flash player for the latest android version called jellybean. So BBC iPlayer does not work and neither does 4od. Oh and Lovefilms instant movies does not work on this device as yet.

Keeping aside the above drawbacks the biggest ommission I feel is that of a 3g connectivity. Google is clearly a company in the cloud and by not providing a 3g option it has shot itself in the foot.

Yes new versions might have this option but it might be too late as the tablet race (10″) has already been won by Apple. If Apple decide to release an IPad with a smaller screen then they have won this section of the tablet too.

Overall I would give it 7/10. Good upgrade to a Kindle but cannot replace the IPad as yet .

P.S wrote this entire blog on the nexus.


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Google Operating System

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What does one look for in an operating system? Well, in my case I would like one that loads fast, has some cool application pre-installed and costs nothing. Dream on!

I think not. Google is coming close to fulfilling my wish. The new browser ‘CHROME’ has been designed to work each web site or web application as a new process. This means that if a web page crashes it will not crash the browser but only the tab the web page was open on.

The idea is simple and has huge implications for the PC/Laptop users. As more and more applications are going on-line a browser like chrome can make all the difference for mobile workers.

If we look deeper into Google’s treasures we know they already have a very successful e-mail application which also incorporates Google Talk an IM application. Then there is a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation applications available on-line all packaged under Google Apps. With Google Gears installed the same is available offline.

The other graduates of the Google labs like Google Reader, Notebook, Desktop can all be incorporated into a neat little package.

The only thing missing with Google is a piece of software that can join all these web centric services and be installed as a single entity called an operating system.

Knowing how Google operates I won’t be surprised if they are already working on modifying an open source version of Linux to incorporate the above and hopefully many more of their great products into a Google Operating System.

I am looking forward to the day I can install a small and quick OS from Google on my EEE PC which will allow me to access all my web applications without having to bother about software versions, viruses, updates etc. 🙂

An update: In July 2009, Google announced Chrome OS, an operating system they designed based upon the linux kernal. “The first Chrome OS laptop, known as a Chromebook, arrived in May 2011. Initial Chromebook shipments from Samsung and Acer occurred in July 2011.” (reference Wikipedia). The Chrome OS does seem to have all the features mentioned in the blog earlier and according to a blog post by PC World seems to be taking on the big guys in the OS market namely Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OSX.


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