Google says that Duo will soon support video chats with as many as 32 participants
Back in 2018, Apple announced that FaceTime users could engage in group video chats with as many as 32 participants at one time. When Apple disseminated iOS 12.1 a few months later, it included this new feature for its video chat app. That put the ball in Google's court and while it didn't immediately match Apple, it did allow eight participants to have a video chat at one time on Duo. When the pandemic was starting to rev up in the U.S. in late March and people started to quarantine, Google increased the number of Duo users that could appear in the same video chat to 12. And now Google has confirmed to Android Police that it is about to match Apple's FaceTime by having Duo host video chats with as many as 32 participants.
The Zoom app has become the video chat app of choice for many since the COVID-19 outbreak has kept most of us at home. With its free tier of service, Zoom allows up to 100 participants to take part in a video chat at the same time. Now imagine 100 boxes in a grid on your phone. That wouldn't work so Zoom allows you to select from the Active Speaker View or Gallery View. The former shows the person speaking at the moment taking up all of your screen (this is the default setting). You can swipe left for the Gallery View; this shows thumbnails for four participants at one time. Keep swiping left to see the next four participants.
The free version of Zoom allows video conferences to run for 40 minutes before participants are kicked out of the "room." Of course, nothing prevents the host from starting another call. Zoom says that it has the best iPhone, iPad and Android video meeting quality and screen sharing quality.
Apple's FaceTime app is only available to iOS users although there is an app listed in the App Store for those who don't have it on their iPhone, iPad or iPod touch for one reason or another. Google Duo, on the other hand, is available for both iOS and Android users. The Zoom app can also be found in both the App Store and the Google Play Store.
While Google did say that it is matching FaceTime and will allow 32 participants to engage in a video chat simultaneously, there is no indication exactly when Google plans on launching this feature.