Google has been busy improving its Duo video chat app for the pandemic, recently allowing as many as 12 people to participate in a chat at the same time. According to Android Police, version 87 of the app is coming and it brings with it an interesting new way for your Duo contacts to reach you. When you first open the app following the update, you will see a banner that tells you that you are now available to be reached by email. This can be disabled by opening Settings > Account and turning the toggle off under the heading "Reachable with email address." Disabling this feature means that your Duo contacts will have to use your phone number. But you might not feel comfortable turning your phone number over to certain people.
All of your Duo contacts who have enabled this feature on their end will show up on your Duo list with their email address; if you have both their email addresses and phone numbers these people will show up twice (once for each mode of contact). When setting up your Duo account for the first time, you will still have to use your phone number as the initial form of identification which means that anyone with your phone number can still call and enter into a Duo video chat with you (unless you want to block them).
Also arriving in this update is Family Mode. We first mentioned this nearly a couple of weeks ago. Tap the three-dot button at the bottom right of the Duo UI and select Family on the banner that pops-up on the screen. This changes the UI to a more kid-friendly one that allows kids (and yes, even grown-ups) to doodle on the display during a video call. At the bottom of the screen is a space to doodle on and the screen remains split so you can watch your video feed and the feed from your caller. Your caller will see a split screen with your feed and his with the doodle appearing inside a cartoon whiteboard.
And lastly, version 87 of Google Duo brings with it some new filters including one that makes it appear as though you are graduating. This filter places a graduation cap on your head and a diploma in your hand and is perfect for the times. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many schools are holding virtual graduations using Zoom. The filters can be used for both video chats and messages.