on this friday, Google announced that it will soon let us make group video calls through Google duo on the web. That could be a handy way to catch up with your friends and family while social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic, though group call participants will need a Google account to join, Google says. The feature is rolling out as a preview in Chrome in the coming weeks.
There’s also a new “family mode” in Duo, which lets you draw on the screen in real time and apply Snapchat-like masks and effects on yourself. Duo will hide the buttons to mute and hang up while you’re in family mode so that you can doodle and play around without needing to worry about accidentally dropping the call, Google says. Family mode is available if you’re using Duo while signed in with your Google account. The feature’s demo image is shared below.
The Snapchat-like masks and effects will also be available in one-on-one calls you make on Android and iOS, Google says. The first ones are launching this week, including this terrifying mask that turns you into a flower in celebration of Mother’s Day.