Google is no longer requiring Android tablet users to sign up with a phone number to use Duo in its latest update.
Users can now sign into the video calling app with their Google account to make and receive calls on their tablet. This functionality was previously only available to people who used the web platform.
Prior to this update, Android users were asked to sign in with a phone number to register for the app. It’s important to note that if you try to sign up for the service on an actual phone, you’ll still be required to enter a phone number. It appears that the updated functionality only applies to Android tablets, and possibly Chrome OS ones as well.
This change is a significant one, especially for people who use Wi-Fi-only tablets. For instance, some children or elderly individuals with a tablet can now use the app, without needing an actual phone number, to stay in touch with their loved ones.
Google is likely adding this functionality to compete with Apple’s FaceTime, which lets users make video and voice calls with an email address.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in video calling across the world, several companies have updated their services with new features to garner more users.
For instance, Google recently made Meet free for everyone in an attempt to compete with Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Similarly, Facebook launched an entirely new service called Messenger Rooms to let its users video call each other.
Source: Android Central