Google made a big announcement today
, revealing that it is combining two of its video-calling apps to create a single video streaming platform that it will call Meet. The two video platforms that will be combined include Meet and Duo. The former is a streaming video platform used to engage as many as 250 people in a single video chat. Duo is a free video chat app for iOS and Android.
Duo is leaving Google with a single video platform that it will call Meet
Besides combining Duo and Meet, eventually Google will also eliminate Duo leaving Google with a single video platform, Meet. Javier Soltero, the head of Google Workspace, said, “What’s been really important is understanding how people make the choice as to what tool they’re going to use, for what purpose, in what circumstance,” Meet has been used for meetings and group chats.
Meanwhile, Duo has a lot in common with FaceTime as it was developed for one-to-cone video chats rather than the large conferences that Meet and Zoom are used for. By integrating Meet and Duo, you can start a meeting from just about anywhere. One advantage that Duo has is the ability to start a video chat by simply calling a person’s phone number instead of relying on someone to click on a link or tap on a giant “Meet” button.
The new Google Meet home screen
As Duo and Meet become one, Duo’s mobile app will become the default and the Duo app will be renamed Google Meet later this year. The current Meet app will be known as Meet Original. An update will eventually be made available to Duo that will send Meet features to the Duo platform.
Duo will receive these new features thanks to the update:
- Customize virtual backgrounds in calls and meetings.
- Schedule meetings so everyone can join at a time that’s convenient for them.
- Use in-meeting chat for deeper engagement.
- Live share content to enable interaction with all participants on the call.
- Get real-time closed captions to better support accessibility and boost participation.
- Increase size of video calls from a current limit of 32 to 100 participants.
- Integrate with other tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Assistant, Messages and more.
Dave Citron, the director of product for Google’s video products, said, “The Duo mobile app had a lot of sophistication, especially under the hood and in emerging markets, where network connectivity was sparse or highly variable.” Citron says that on the web, it’s different; There, Meet is the much more developed web platform “creating the base of the new combined system.” But in both cases, the Googler says, the idea is to combine Meet and Duo with something available for everyone with no user being left out.
Meet is the obvious choice for Google to focus on for its video and voice options
Workspace’s Soltero says that as Meet has grown during the pandemic, it has become the more obvious choice for Google to focus on for its video and voice options. Google has plenty of work ahead as it seeks to recognize which device you’re using at a particular moment and sends notifications to that device only.
Google says, “As part of our mission to build a connected experience for all users, we’re excited to bring our video calling and meeting technologies together into a single, powerful, easy-to-use solution. Video communications is a major area of focus for us and you’ll continue to see our investments in Google Meet to help people to connect, collaborate, and share experiences on any device, at home, at school, and at work.
We’re committed to making the transition from Duo to Meet as smooth as possible,” Google said. In 2020, Google started offering Meet free to users and also pushed out more than 100 features and improvements for the app.