While the Google Duo app and service is now coming to an end, its spirit will live on inside the new Meet app. Here’s what you need to know.
Google Duo and Google Meet will soon be merged together into one app, creating a unified video-calling service in the process. For those familiar with Google’s various apps and services, the merging of the two might not be all that surprising considering the general overlap between their core purposes. For Google Duo users, however, the change is something they will want to be aware of before the merge actually takes effect.
Google has always had a complicated relationship with communications apps, resulting in a variety of different, and often conflicting, options throughout the years. This has also resulted in various changes over that time as well. For example, Google closed down its Google+ social media network with no replacement, merged Inbox by Gmail with the standard Gmail, and replaced Hangouts with Google Chat. Of course, there was also Google Allo which launched in the same year as Duo, but then closed down again in March, 2019.
The latest change to Google’s communications apps will see Google Duo and Google Meet becoming a single app, resulting in some changes. Firstly, Google has confirmed that all of the features currently available through Meet will soon be added to the Duo app. While that might seem like Duo is what’s living on in the future, the opposite is actually the case. According to Google, the Duo app will be rebranded as Google Meet later in the year. It is this new version of the Meet app which will then live on as Google’s “single, powerful, easy-to-use solution.”
A Bigger Change For Duo Users
Arguably, the merging of the two services will be a bigger change for Duo users. In its current form, the Duo app is a lightweight app which makes it quick and easy to start a video call with friends and family. However, the very purpose of the merging is to add the power of the Meet app to the Duo app and this will result in a vastly different experience for Duo users in the future. One of the immediate benefits that Duo users will see is the increase in the number of callers. Meet was always positioned as more of a business-based solution while Duo was more thought of as a personal solution. This resulted in the Duo’s participant limit not being ideal for large-scale meetings, unlike Meet. Following the merger, the new Meet will allow calls with up to 100 participants and will better integrate with other Google services, including Gmail, Calendar, and Assistant. There will be some other feature upgrades as well, such as the ability to customize virtual backgrounds, schedule meetings, share content, and more.
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While a lot of things are changing for Duo users, others aren’t. Once the migration happens, users will still be able to take advantage of the personal touch that Duo became known for including the ability to call friends and family with just their phone number or email address. There also won’t be any need to download a new app. As Google explains, the current Duo app will automatically be updated with all of the new features and branding as well as the user’s history, contacts, and messages. Finally, and even though Duo is about to become a far more powerful and capable video-calling app, there won’t be any change to the cost. The new Google Meet app will be available to all users free of charge.