A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What parents need to know
What's it about?
After downloading GOOGLE DUO, you connect a cellular phone number to the service. Users can choose whether or not to access contacts or receive push notifications, and then they're set to go. From contacts, they can invite friends to download the app or dial numbers directly. Google Duo supports group video chats for up to 12. Kids can play with filters to change the aesthetic or special effects that change seasonally (like a graduation cap or Ramadan background.) The Knock Knock setting lets kids see by video who is calling before they answer (and vice versa) but can be disabled in settings. Users can block numbers, limit mobile data usage, and unregister their number from within the app.
Is it any good?
Though there are other similar services available, this one attempts originality in that it's cross-platform and uses end-to-end encryption, which protects your submissions in transit. Video-chatting isn't restricted to users with the same device. Setting up Google Duo is a cinch -- and that's the most challenging part of the whole process. Once users complete the phone number verification, they can connect with contacts with one tap. While those connections are restricted to others on mobile devices with Google Duo also, they can seamlessly move from Wi-Fi to data connections without dropping a call. The ability to do group video chats with up to 12 others makes it easy to connect with multiple people. And playful effects and filters add some fun to the mix. Since you can only call people you know and there's no contact with strangers, it's relatively safe for kids to use with parental supervision.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the pros and cons of video-chatting with Google Duo or any chatting app. While it's a fabulous way to connect with friends and family, teens must be careful and understand that what they share may not always be totally private.
Talk to kids about social media basics from an early age, even when they're kids video-chatting with grandparents.
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
- Price: Free
- Pricing structure: Free
- Release date: May 15, 2020
- Category: Education
- Topics: Friendship, High School
- Size: 115.00 MB
- Publisher: Google Inc
- Version: 88.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.0 or later; Android varies with device
- Last updated: June 15, 2020
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.