Google launches video calling app

Google has launched a rival to Facetime, allowing users to make and receive video calls over Wi-Fi and data without interruptions from bad reception.

Call quality will adjust according to the available signal, meaning if it's bad, the quality of the video will reduce so you'll still get crystal-clear sound quality and if it's good, the video will sharpen too. Google also promises it'll seamlessly switch between Wi-Fi and mobile data without you noticing, making it perfect if you take a call at home and then need to pop out while you're still talking.

Unlike Google Hangouts, Google Duo works using your usual phone number - you won't need to set up a special account and all your contacts will seamlessly integrate with the app so you don't have to go searching your phonebook for your colleague's number. It's secure to, utilising end-to-end encryption, so there's no fear of the authorities or hackers listening in.

Google explained it had worked hard on the design of the app, to make it work in a friendlier manner than a standard phone call.

Google Duo "We designed Duo to feel warm and inviting, focused on just you and the person you're calling," Justin Uberti, Principal Software Engineer said.

"To make calls feel more like an invitation rather than an interruption, we created a feature in Duo called Knock Knock which lets you see live video of your caller before you answer, giving you a sense of what they're up to and why they want to chat.