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Google Duo may soon stop working on uncertified Android devices

It seems Google Duo may soon cease to work on uncertified Android devices, following the trend set by the Google Messages app.

About APK Insight: In this “APK Insight” post, we’ve decompiled the latest version of an application that Google uploaded to the Play Store. When we decompile these files (called APKs, in the case of Android apps), we’re able to see various lines of code within that hint at possible future features. Keep in mind that Google may or may not ever ship these features, and our interpretation of what they are may be imperfect. We’ll try to enable those that are closer to being finished, however, to show you how they’ll look in the case that they do ship. With that in mind, read on.

Uncertified Android devices

Earlier this week, an update to the Google Messages app included a notice that the app would stop working on “uncertified” Android devices. More specifically, a certified device is one that’s been tested by Google, is permitted to use the “Android” name, and comes with a suite of Google apps including Play Services.

For the average person who simply buys well-known phones from their carrier or a retailer, the odds of ever coming across an uncertified device are slim. That said, one notable example is that recent Huawei devices are not certified for Play Services.

The latest update to Google Duo — version 123, rolling out now via the Play Store — includes a notice similar to the one included with Google Messages.

Duo is going away soon.

Because you’re using an unsupported device, Duo will unregister your account on this device soon. Download your Clips and call history to avoid losing them.

While the phrasing is a bit different, mentioning “an unsupported device” instead of “uncertified” Android devices, a quick look at the Google Duo app’s code reveals that it’s indeed tied to “GmsCompliance.”

In short, if your Android phone is not properly certified to use Google Play Services, it may soon lose the ability to place and receive Google Duo calls. Unlike the Google Messages notice that specifies March 31, Google Duo does not share when precisely it stops working on affected devices.

Thanks to JEB Decompiler, which some APK Insight teardowns benefit from.

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Avatar for Kyle Bradshaw Kyle Bradshaw

Kyle is an author and researcher for 9to5Google, with special interests in Made by Google products, Fuchsia, and Stadia.

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