Duo v11 adds Picture-in-Picture mode
Duo V11 is rolling out and this one might be a bit more interesting to those of us running the Android O Developer Preview. With this release, you can push the app into Picture-in-Picture mode, freeing your screen up for other activities.
The Android O announcement introduced many new features, but one of the most popular was obviously the expansion of Picture-in-Picture mode to phones and tablets. It had previously been limited to Android TV with Nougat. A few apps on the phone already support PiP mode, but Duo may be one of the apps that will benefit from it the most. With version 11, it is now enabled.
There are a couple of caveats on this. The first is that there’s no out-of-the-box way to activate Picture-in-Picture mode in the first developer preview of Android O. However, it’s pretty easy to add a virtual key to your navigation bar. The other major catch, at least for me, is that this version of Duo crashes every time I try to start a video call on Android O DP1. Perhaps this is an isolated issue, but many of the most recent Google updates have been crashing on the O preview. I’m inclined to say these apps will all work correctly on the second developer preview, which is likely to be released next week during I/O.
It’s also worth noting that Duo’s screen, which shows a view through the camera, also currently freezes after switching into PiP mode, but that may be a side-effect of the unstable environment or Google’s team simply hasn’t fully implemented the PiP support yet. Effectively, we might not really be able to use Picture-in-Picture mode right now, but the important thing is that it’s definitely there and will be usable soon enough.
Like Allo, quite a few users have complained that Duo was lacking some key features at launch. One of the common requests has been for a proper call log so you can see who you’ve talked to and when. The support forums have quite a few threads on this subject. The requests haven’t gone unnoticed; the Duo team is working on adding call log capabilities.