Zoom has been grabbing a lot of headlines for a user base that ballooned from 10-million daily users to 200-million during the pandemic (and the increased scrutiny that comes with increased use). But other video communications services have also seen an uptick in usage as folks stuck at home try to stay connected to one another while social distancing.

So it’s not surprising to see developers rolling out new features.

WhatsApp is increasing the number of people who can participate in group video calls from 4 to 8. And Google recently upped the group video call limit for its Duo app from 8 to 12.

Now Google is unveiling a few other changes coming to Duo soon, including support for a more efficient video codec and the ability to snap a picture during video calls.

Here’s a roundup of recent tech news from around the web.

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3 replies on “Lilbits 389: Group video chatting during the pandemic”

  1. Jitsi Meet and Jami: Exist.
    Everyone else: “but everyone I know uses zoom!” or “now don’t go trying to pull a fast one on me, I need something I understand, like the face book”, or “*crickets*”.

    Also, glad to see that my watch can measure just how mad I got at something I saw on TV, because that’s definitely something that should be any of Samsung’s business.

  2. I don’t use Duo myself, but when these video conferencing platforms move to newer codecs it is always a death knell for anyone with an older computer.

    At work I use a Macbook with an older 5th gen Intel CPU, because I don’t like the keyboards on the newer Macbooks. And the only downside for me is that we use Google Meet/Hangouts for video conferences at my work. Unfortunately Chrome does not offer hardware-decoding ability for Google’s VP9 video on Intel chips older than 7th gen.

    So this means that when I’m in a call with 4 colleagues, my computer is using Software decoding to show me 4 HD video feeds simultaneously. My CPU is pinned to 100% usage.

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