Google Reportedly Begins Testing H.265 Codec for Duo for Improved Video Calls In Low Connectivity

Google Duo Will Soon Let You Share Your Screen on Android

Google recently started rolling out a new update for its video calling app Duo (v26). While the update itself doesn’t bring any significant changes for the end user, an APK teardown conducted by Android Police reveals that Google has started testing the h.256 codec for video compression.

Google Duo currently uses the h.264 codec for video compression and upgrading to the h.265 codec is expected to significantly improve video compression. The h.265 codec is a “widely supported standard on modern chipsets and delivers extremely good compression compared to h.264.” While the original tester didn’t find any difference upon forcing h.265, it is expected to benefit users who have a slow or unreliable internet connection.

The following strings of code found within the app reveal that Duo may eventually get support for the h.265 codec:

<string name=”pref_h265x_title”>Use H265x</string>
<string name=”pref_h265x_dlg”>Use H265x</string>
<string name=”pref_h265x_key”>h265x_preference</string>

from /xml/preferences.xml
<ListPreference android:entries=”@array/autoOrBooleanValues” android:layout=”@layout/settings_preference” android:title=”@string/pref_h265x_title” android:key=”@string/pref_h265x_key” android:defaultValue=”@string/pref_value_auto” android:dialogTitle=”@string/pref_h265x_dlg” android:entryValues=”@array/autoOrBooleanValues” />

The teardown also reveals more information about a video message feature, which has been spotted in previous versions of the app. The video message feature will allow users to send their contacts a video message without connecting a call and the recipient will be able to view the message, save them for later or delete them. Additionally, the teardown also highlights the Google sign-in option which is currently in the works and will allow users to connect with other using their Gmail ID, with no need to share their phone number.

As of now, Google has revealed no information about the aforementioned features and since they’re still in development you shouldn’t expect them to go live anytime soon. Just like the camera adjustments feature was removed from the app with this update, there is also a possibility that the features may be shelved altogether.

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