While we await the imminent rollout of the screen sharing feature we’ve been watching for a few months, a new version of Duo is rolling out with even more clues about upcoming changes. There haven’t been any immediately obvious changes going live in this update, but a teardown points to a couple of enhancements. The first will be read receipts for video and audio messages sent through Duo. The second set of clues point to three different levels for the upcoming bokeh effect.
Disclaimer: Teardowns are based on evidence found inside of apks (Android’s application package) and are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete information. It’s possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong. Even when predictions are correct, there is always a chance that plans could change or may be canceled entirely. Much like rumors, nothing is certain until it’s officially announced and released.
The features discussed below are probably not live yet, or may only be live for a small percentage of users. Unless stated otherwise, don’t expect to see these features if you install the apk.
Read receipts on messages
It might be more appropriate to call them Seen Receipts; but put simply, we should soon be able to see if a video or audio message left for somebody via Duo has been opened up. It’s a pretty common feature in IM clients and several other types of services, so it’s not hard to imagine here.
Once you send a message, one of two labels will show up to represent the status: Sent and Seen. As the other side watches or listens, the label changes. Not really much to it.
Follow-up: Three levels of Bokeh
In the v32 update, we saw that there is a plan to introduce a bokeh effect for video calls in Duo so the streamed image can look more like the portrait mode appearing in many flagship phones from the last few months. In that version, the only options appeared to be for either enabling or disabling bokeh entirely. The latest update tells us that there won’t just be a toggle to turn the blurring on or off, but there will also be three different levels of intensity for the effect: :Light, medium, and heavy.
Old lines that were removed
Bokeh effect on Bokeh effect off Turn Bokeh effect on Turn Bokeh effect off
I’m only guessing here, but these three options are probably ranging from a little light fuzzing to help make somebody stand out from the background with the light option, while the heavy blur will probably blast away anything resembling a recognizable background. That heavy variant probably doesn’t sound too appealing, but it might be great if you’re trying to avoid letting the other side of a video chat get a good look at whatever is behind you.
The APK is signed by Google and upgrades your existing app. The cryptographic signature guarantees that the file is safe to install and was not tampered with in any way. Rather than wait for Google to push this download to your devices, which can take days, download and install it just like any other APK.