What is the best app for android for video calls?

Back in May, Google announced the launch of two new apps, Allo and Duo. Allo is for messaging, while Duo (a rather strange name) is for video calling. It’s also a bit odd that Google had already previously offered the ability to make video calls through the Hangouts app. Although, Duo is a new standalone app that allows only two people to connect with each other. So, will it compete with Skype, FaceTime and Facebook Messenger?

How to get Google Duo?

It’s currently free and available in any country around the world where you have access to Google. When you install Duo, you must associate it with a phone number. This is not the serial number of your device itself, so you can download Duo to both your tablet and smartphone.

Google Duo

In terms of functionality, Google Duo only has basic features, but it’s easy to use and gets the job done. FaceTime is a very similar application and works in the same way as Duo. You choose a contact, place a call, and then tap on the screen to choose options such as switching between the front and back camera, muting the microphone, or ending the call. Duo doesn’t allow for group calls, doesn’t have instant messaging, and only provides video calls with one person. Google says voice calling will soon be available. And if you’re interested in video calls, follow this link video calls.

Duo has a couple of features: the ability to see the caller before you answer (Knock Knock feature) and the ability to switch between Wi-Fi and mobile during a call without losing the call. Knock Knock currently only works on Android devices, but the feature is built into iOS 10, so soon iPhone owners will be able to use it.

Duo also has several settings, including a «Mobile Data Restriction» button and the ability to block certain numbers. You can disable Knock Knock if you want, so the person you call can’t see you before they answer.

Because Duo is a brand new app, not everyone has it installed. If the caller you are calling does not have it, a pop-up message will appear saying that that number is not available in Duo.


FaceTime is a video calling service available over Wi-Fi and 3G/4G. You can make FaceTime audio calls if your conversation partner’s device doesn’t have a front-facing camera or if you don’t want to be seen but heard. Often such an audio call is of a higher quality than a regular phone call. One limitation of FaceTime is that it is only available on Apple devices. So only iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, or Mac owners can use it.

Best video and audio calling Apps


Skype is available on almost any device, including even certain televisions. You can install it on Apple products, Windows, Android, Windows Phone, Linux, BlackBerry, smartphones and Amazon Fire tablets. You’re unlikely to find a mobile device that can’t work with Skype.

Skype has a lot of features, but sometimes it can be inconvenient. You have to «sign in» every time you start Skype, unlike FaceTime or Duo. But with Skype you can make group calls, send instant messages, and (with the desktop version) enable translation. Skype can also be used to call landlines at low rates, and you can have a number on Skype that people can call you, although this service is not free either. Skype allowed video calls over mobile networks before FaceTime did, even on the iPhone!

Facebook Messenger

Over the course of its existence, Facebook Messenger has evolved from an unwanted additional Facebook app into a really useful means of communication with a pleasantly surprising number of features. Video calls (including group calls) have been added relatively recently, and they work not only on mobile platforms, but also in Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera on PCs and laptops. You can optionally turn off the microphone and/or camera, minimize video, and continue to use Messenger to write instant messages, send stickers, and so on.

Comparison of Google Duo, FaceTime, Skype, Messenger: quality

Sound and picture quality for video calls largely depends on the speed of the Internet connection between you and the caller. You can have fast fiber-optic connection, but your interlocutor can live in rural area where internet speed is comparable with turtle speed.

And there are other factors that affect quality. One is the level of equipment you use: webcams and microphones vary a lot. Another factor is the image processing and compression methods used. From this point of view, Apple has an advantage, since it is the developer of both software and hardware.

Skype works on peer-to-peer networks, while others use their own central servers to enhance video calls.

Comparing Google Duo, FaceTime, Skype, Messenger: Security

When comparing messaging, calling and video chatting services, the issue of security is often overlooked. The good news is that Skype and FaceTime are pretty secure. Skype encrypts not just video and voice calls, but also any files and instant messages you send. Apple also provides end-to-end encryption for FaceTime and iMessage. That means no one but the sender and recipient can view them. Facebook just recently (in July of this year) started adding end-to-end encryption, and only for ‘secret conversation’ instant messages. Video calls, on the other hand, are not encrypted. Duo has end-to-end encryption for video calls, an option many Hangouts users wish they had.

The BEST Video Calling Apps (100% FREE)

Comparing Google Duo, FaceTime, Skype, Messenger: The Verdict

Each of the video calling services under consideration has its own advantages. However, FaceTime is by far the most limited, as it only works on Apple devices. Duo comes next, as it only offers communication between two people and nothing more. Although, if you don’t need more, it would be a good choice given the presence of end-to-end encryption of calls. Facebook Messenger is good if the person you’re calling has the same app installed and you don’t mind the possible invasion of your privacy. Many more people have access to Skype, since it works on almost all platforms. Both Skype and Messenger are great if you want to talk to a lot of people at once — neither Duo nor FaceTime give you that option. And Skype is encrypted.

If you only want one video calling application, Skype is best. But you can use several of them at once: the described applications are free and you can install them all.

Top 5 Video Conferencing Apps in 2021 Explained