Google Duo – Video Calling
What is Google Duo and is it Safe?
A complete app review for awesome parents
Google Duo is silently and consistently one of the top 10 downloaded social media apps. Yet, very few parents know much about it. Are there risks? Read our 30-second app review below to find out!
What is the Google Duo Video Calling App?
App Store Description: “Google Duo is the highest quality video calling app. It’s simple, reliable, and works on smartphones and tablets.” Apple App Store Link. You literally click on a name in your contacts and if they have Duo, a video call starts. If they don’t, you can invite them to join with a link via text.
It’s a simple replacement for Apple’s FaceTime, which is especially useful for families with both Android and Apple devices, with a mix of smartphones and tablets. Other than the cross-platform benefit, it has a few enhancements over FaceTime, including:
- “Knock-knock,” which allows you to see the live video of the person calling before you pick up.
- You can leave a video message for someone who doesn’t pick up.
- You can make voice-only calls when you can’t chat over video.
Category: Social Media
APP Store rating: 4+
What do parents need to know about Google Duo?
Is there hidden access to pornography? Not that we can find. Every link to Google kicks you out to Safari, where we hope parents have enabled Restrictions.
It’s classified as social media. COPPA would say this means kids need to be at least 13 to use this app, but with so few risks, parents can decide for themselves.
Wherever the kids are is where the predators are. We make this statement often, but because it’s so important. The PYE team has noticed a recent increase in receiving text messages from individuals who are clearly fishing for someone to click. “Trick people” could easily send out Google Duo invitation links across a slew of random phone numbers, inviting them to chat. Parents, please prepare your kids for predators!
Self-destructing photos. As of June 2019, users can send photos via Google Duo. It is being advertised as self-destructing photos, but it seems that you can only delete photos from your end and not on the recipient’s end. So users should be careful (as always) with what they send. This article has picture instructions on how to send and delete.
Call history deletion. Call history can be deleted for each individual contact. However, if the account is set to sync call logs with your phone, then the call history will still be available there.
Google Duo bottom line – is it safe for your kids?
COPPA might say that kids need to be at least 13 to use this app, but there just aren’t many risks. In Google’s desire to keep the app as simple as possible, this means they indirectly also create a lower risk app environment.
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