Google has released a new video calling app called Duo for iOS and Android. The app offers a very simple video calling experience that seems designed to compete with Apple\u2019s popular FaceTime app. FaceTime, as you probably already know, comes with every Mac, iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.\nDieter Bohn reports on Duo for The Verge:\n\nFirst, a bit about how Duo works. It\u2019s available on both Android phones and iPhones. When you sign up, the app checks your phone number from your SIM and then sends you a confirmation text. That\u2019s the whole setup process \u2014 there are no accounts to create nor friend lists to maintain. It\u2019s tied directly to your contacts list and your phone number.\nHow Duo will actually compete was (and is) one of my biggest questions. Why use Duo when Facebook Messenger, Snapchat, FaceTime, Hangouts, and any number of other options exist? Is Google going to leverage the massive power of the Android install base somehow? Will Duo be part of the standard suite of Google Play apps preinstalled on the vast majority of Android phones (outside of China)? \u201cWe haven\u2019t made decisions on that yet,\u201d says Fox. \u201cWe want to get it out there, see how it does, and then I see distribution as the next step rather than the first step.\u201d\nI have no idea if that plan will work: sometimes boldness is just naivet\u00e9. But I can\u2019t help but respect the clarity of purpose behind the creation of Duo. It\u2019s aggressively, obsessively focused on making the best possible mobile experience for video chat, at the expense of all else. He said no to desktop, no to conference calling, no even to allowing the same account to work on multiple devices. For the Duo team, getting \u201cmobile first\u201d right meant demanding it be \u201cmobile only.\u201d\nMore at The Verge\n\nHere's a video preview of the Duo app:\n\n\n \n\n\nDuo is not a threat to FaceTime\nThe release of Duo has many people wondering if it might woo some iOS users away from using FaceTime.\nHere\u2019s why Apple has nothing to worry about from Duo:\n1. Duo only works with phones not tablets.\n2. Duo is not available for Macs, unlike FaceTime.\n3. Duo is yet another Google project that may eventually be cancelled by the fickle company which has been named by MacDailyNews as \u201cour lady of perpetual beta.\u201d\n4. Duo is also Google\u2019s umpteenth messaging app and will have to compete with the company\u2019s other apps for resources and promotion.\nSo I see no reason for Apple to worry about Duo whatsoever. I doubt that it will attract many FaceTime users at all. There\u2019s simply no reason for them to switch to Duo.\nDuo might find a niche market for iOS to Android video calls\nOne area where Duo might get some traction is in making it easy for iOS and Android users to engage in video calls. Since Apple has still not made FaceTime available for Android users, it\u2019s not possible for them to use it to talk to their iOS-using friends and family.\nDuo might work well as a quick and easy way for Android and iOS users to talk to each other via video chats. In that sense it would fill the void left by Apple\u2019s failure to offer FaceTime directly to Android users like it has with Apple Music.\nI have friends who use Android, and it\u2019s always annoyed me that I can\u2019t use FaceTime to call them. So if they install Duo, I\u2019ll probably install it on my iPhone too so we can do video calls.\nOn the other hand, there are already other apps that Android and iOS users can utilize for video calling. So it may be that even that niche might be out of Duo\u2019s reach. We\u2019ll have to wait to find out after Duo has been available for a while.\nWhat others are saying about Google\u2019s Duo app\nAs you might expect, news about Duo has drawn a lot of responses from users. It certainly caught the attention of folks in the Apple subreddit, so I\u2019ll leave you with this selection of comments from a recent Duo thread:\n\nAfruitpie: \u201cHuge Android\/Google fan here. Duo and Allo are going to fail so\u2026hard and I couldn\u2019t be more disappointed about it.\u201d\nPersonaut: \u201cWhy can\u2019t they just make something AND STICK WITH IT? It drives me bonkers. Why not just fix Hangouts? Why make another new thing? Argh.\u201d\nJobuneedsarefill: \u201cBecause Google has always created far more services than they can effectively manage. They\u2019ve shut down so many services over the years, that I\u2019ve stopped relying on them for anything for fear that I may come to depend on something they made, only for them to shut it down. Google Reader is a perfect example. iGoogle is another.\u201d\nBananakabobbb: \u201cJust look at the article on the Verge where they interviewed the developer\/guy in charge. It\u2019s going to fail because he has absolutely no clue of the vision or direction of the product. He couldn\u2019t have sounded less interested.\u201d\nFarcrypanda: \u201cSo it\u2019s like hangouts\/skype\/FaceTime\/every other video chat app except it works on fewer devices, has fewer features, fewer users, and requires a tie into a phone number rather than the option for an anonymous account\u2013 or even for that matter your existing google account.\nWhy the heck would I ever use this?\u201d\nHamonrye: \u201cFace time is so successful because you KNOW if someone has an iPhone you can instantly connect. This is just another app to ask people to install.\u201d\nBabysgotthebends: \u201cBut it\u2019s cross platform, so if the person you\u2019re trying to contact doesn\u2019t have an iPhone you can do it with Duo, something you weren\u2019t able to do with FaceTime.\u201d\nRo31e5: \u201cOr Skype, or Facebook Video, or WhatsApp.\u201d\nCodemonkey85: \u201cI assume Google will start bundling Allo and Duo with Nexus devices. I\u2019m not sure about other Android devices, and without those, this will never work as well as FaceTime.\u201d\n011111000101: \u201cWhy can\u2019t all these companies get together and just decide on some kind of standard or some agreement on interoperability. I\u2019m not going to install yet another app for video calling.\u201d\nMore at Reddit\n\nDid you miss a post? Check the Eye On Apple home page to get caught up with the latest news, discussions and rumors about Apple.