Google Duo and Meet to be merged into one app
Google will soon merge its personal video chat service, Duo, with its business-oriented video chat system, Meet. The company has announced the upcoming changes on the Google Workspace blog. The Duo app will receive all the features of Meet in the coming days. Later this year, it will be renamed Google Meet. The move was first proposed in 2020 but was reportedly scrapped.
- Google Duo has always been a FaceTime rival while Meet takes on Zoom and Microsoft Teams in the business space.
- While Duo can make phone calls directly from your smartphone, Meet relies on links. But Meet is better for group calls. You see, there is lot of fragmentation.
- Hence, Google wants to club the features of both the apps into one platform.
Google Duo was launched alongside the now-defunct Allo at the I/O in 2016. Although Allo failed, Duo succeeded. On the other hand, Google Meet began as videoconferencing service built into Hangouts and became its own thing in 2020. Hangouts too is not in existence now. Duo and Meet have overlapping video call functionality and the now announced merger has been in consideration since 2020.
The new announcement from Google says that Meet and Duo will be one app. All the features of Meet, including scheduled meetings, custom virtual backgrounds, in-meeting chat, live-share of content, real-time close captions, and more call participants will be added to Duo. Later, the Duo app will be rebranded as Meet, while the current Meet app will be called 'Meet Original' until its deprecation.
The users of the Google Duo app are not required to take any actions to avail the update as long as they have the latest update installed. On the web, however, Meet will serve as the base for the new unified system.
Dave Citron, Google's director of video products, said that Duo was chosen to become the base because "it had a lot of sophistication, especially under the hood." However, there is a much more obvious reason for this selection: user base. Meet only has over 100 million downloads on Play Store, while Duo has over five billion installs.