Will Google's 'Facetime Killer' app launch in UAE?

Duo, unveiled in May was released in US and other markets on August 15

Google's new video calling application - the Duo, which was unveiled to the public in May was released in the US and other markets on August 15.

But within the UAE, you can currently pre-register for the application on Google Play.

Google has however announced that it could be rolled out soon, but it is still not sure if you will be able to install the application here in the UAE.

It should be noted that the use of VoIP is restricted in the UAE.

All Apple mobile devices such as the iPhone and the iPad, that are officially sold in the UAE, come without Facetime and have built in hardware modifications that prevents a user from installing Facetime.

Similarly, WhatsApp calls are disabled for users registered with telecom networks in the UAE.

Google targets WhatsApp with new text and video chat platforms

It remains to be seen if Duo will face a similar fate. Interestingly users in the UAE can still download google hangouts, which allows one to make both audio and video calls. The service is however blocked by network operators in the UAE. But unlike Facetime and WhatsApp, users will be able to use the feature when they are roaming or outside the UAE networks.

With the launch of Duo, Google is hoping to target Apple users. While Facetime only allows calls to other Apple devices, Google's latest roll out removes any such restriction. WhatsApp is yet to roll out video call feature.

In an apparent dig at Apple, Google notes that half of those who use rival features hardly make video calls and that Duo would try and change that practice.

"Video calling is the next best thing to being with someone in person, but too often it can be a frustrating or complicated experience. You shouldn’t have to worry about whether your call will connect, or if your friend is using the same type of device as you are.

It’s no wonder that nearly half of us never make video calls on mobile," it said.

Duo comes with a 'Knock Knock' features that shows a live preview of the caller even before you answer the call. It is also built to adjust seamlessly between high and low bandwidth so that video calls connect even on slower networks. "Call quality adjusts to changing network conditions to keep you connected — when bandwidth is limited, Duo will gracefully reduce the resolution to keep the call going smoothly," it said.

It allows you to switch between Wi-Fi and cellular data automatically without dropping the call.

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