Google Meet and Duo are Merging. What Does This Mean For Users?

For the longest time, we’ve had Google Meet and Duo on the same phone though virtually, in the long run, did the same things- video and voice calls. The Duo app has a “social media” feel, allowing users to straight-up call other Android users with the app in their contacts. Google Meet is a more consumer and workplace-focused app for video and voice conferencing. Google announced in their recent official blog post that there are plans to merge Google Meet and Duo in the coming weeks.

Google Duo hasn’t been as successful as its competitor, FaceTime. In Android, there are easily better voice and video calling apps in the Play Store (like WhatsApp, Facebook, etc.), rendering it impossible for Duo to ever have a chance of making it to the top. Google Meet, on the other hand, saw a lot of traction over the last year. Hence it makes sense to merge the two and see how far it reaches. Google hopes to make the Meet App more than a formal meeting app.

According to Google’s blog post, “In the coming weeks, we’re adding all the Google Meet features to the Duo app, so users can easily schedule a video meeting at a time that works for everyone or continue using video calling to instantly connect with a person or group. Later this year, we’ll rename the Duo app to Google Meet, our single video communications service across Google that is available to everyone at no cost.”

The Duo app will be fused with all the features that make Google Meet great while continuing to provide updates to improve the overall experience. Subsequently, the Duo app will be renamed “Google Meet”, and the original Meet app will be renamed “Google Meet Original” before being eventually taken down. Since the Duo app is an in-built app in the Android OS and with over 5 billion downloads, keeping the Duo app means having the newly-merged app on more Android users’ phones. This change Google hopes will provide users with a single solution service for both video calling and meetings with people across their lives.

In June, Google will be rolling the following updates:

  • Customize virtual backgrounds in calls and meetings
  • Schedule meetings so everyone can join at a time that’s convenient for them.
  • In-meeting chat for deeper engagement
  • Live share content to enable interaction with all participants on the call.
  • To improve accessibility and engagement, get real-time closed captioning. Increase the number of participants on video calls from the existing limit of 32 to 100.
  • Integrate with other tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Assistant, Messages, and more.

Hopefully, the merger will be as smooth as Google promised. This is a welcome change as the original Duo app continually lost its relevance in the Android space. Handled well, we’re looking at one of the best video calling apps in the Android world. Will it surpass Zoom or FaceTime? Time will tell.

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