FaceTime vs Google Duo on iPhone: Should You Make the Switch

FaceTime vs Google Duo on iPhone: Should You Make the Switch

FaceTime is a defining feature of the iPhone. Alongside iMessage, it’s the best way to communicate — as long as both parties use an iPhone. However, not everyone does, and that’s where Google Duo comes in. Google, rooted in Android, offers top-notch third-party alternatives to iPhone’s native apps and services like Chrome, Google Photos, and Google Calendar. Google Duo falls into this category as well. But is it a suitable replacement for FaceTime? After using Google Duo on the iPhone for a few weeks, here’s my opinion.

FaceTime — iOS Integration

FaceTime is designed for the iPhone. Open the FaceTime app and you are good to go — it’s that simple. Apple has polished it to near perfection, resulting in fewer bugs and issues.

FaceTime vs Google Duo on iPhone: Should You Make the Switch

Google Duo is easy to set up on the iPhone. After installation and granting permissions, you’re done. However, being a third-party app, there’s concern it might break down when it’s inconvenient.

Google Duo — Cross-Platform

FaceTime is only available for the iPad and Mac, making it both a strength and a weakness. It functions seamlessly on Apple hardware, but cannot be used to chat with contacts on Android devices.

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In contrast, Google Duo is compatible with both iOS and Android, allowing communication across different platforms. It also offers a web version, enabling communication with PC and Mac users. If you are looking for a reason to use the app on your iPhone, this is it.

FaceTime — Call Quality

Call quality is subjective and depends on network conditions. In my experience, FaceTime calls sound clear, videos rarely stutter, and lagging issues are rare. Google Duo also performed well, with no connectivity issues and clear voice and video calls. However, I encountered lags more frequently with Google Duo compared to FaceTime.

FaceTime — Group Calls

Both FaceTime and Google Duo support group calls. But Apple excels in optimizing its hardware and software. FaceTime enables group chatting with up to 32 people. That’s remarkable.

FaceTime vs Google Duo on iPhone: Should You Make the Switch

Google Duo’s limit of 12 people per group call may seem small in comparison to other platforms. If you need to chat with a large number of people simultaneously, it would be better to use FaceTime.

Google Duo — Send Messages

FaceTime is solely for video or voice chatting with others. Google Duo goes beyond that by allowing users to send video, voice, and text messages.

FaceTime vs Google Duo on iPhone: Should You Make the Switch

Perform a swipe-down gesture to start recording or composing messages. Easily send them to your Duo contacts and share material from your photo library. You aren’t missing out on anything with FaceTime because you can do all of this effortlessly using iMessage.

FaceTime — Better Privacy

Apple is known for its strong stance on privacy. Google, on the other hand, collects data. And it can be unnerving to grant Google Duo permissions to your contacts, camera, and microphone. Google Duo has a feature called Knock Knock that lets you see a contact’s live video stream before answering their call. FaceTime and Google Duo both encrypt your calls, ensuring privacy.

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Google Duo — Built-in Settings

Almost all iPhone native apps require you to go to the Settings app to make changes. This includes FaceTime. If you want to block a user, you have to go to the Settings app, which is really annoying.

However, Google Duo has all its settings, including the block list, within the app itself.

FaceTime vs Google Duo on iPhone: Should You Make the Switch

It also includes features not found in FaceTime, like the option to control cellular data usage and a low light mode for improved video calls in the dark.

Google Duo — User Interface

FaceTime is minimalist. However, at times, it seems Apple went too far in that direction. To initiate a call, you must manually search for contacts, which becomes tedious quickly.

In contrast, Google Duo conveniently displays all contacts on the main screen. People with Duo set up on their phone appear at the top of the list. You can also invite contacts without Duo to download the app from the same screen.

FaceTime — Special Effects

If you are interested in special effects, nothing beats FaceTime. Not only do you have access to numerous effects and filters (want to look like a comic?), but FaceTime also supports live animojis.

FaceTime vs Google Duo on iPhone: Should You Make the Switch

Google Duo comes with its own set of effects and filters. However, they aren’t as good as the ones on FaceTime. The app also doesn’t support animojis, which do matter. But hey, that’s just me.

Verdict – Use Both

FaceTime is optimized for iPhone, but Google Duo removes the barrier for Android users. If this has been an issue for you, try Google Duo. However, you will still need to use FaceTime frequently. Although Google Duo is widely available, not all iPhone users have it or want to use it. My suggestion is to use both apps to get the best experience. Next, if you have installed Google Duo, here are some useful tips and tricks to help you get started.

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