Google has begun integrating its Meet and Duo video chat apps to create what the company calls a “single video communication service.”
Starting this week, Duo will get an upgrade to include video calling and meeting capabilities. Once the app is fully rolled out later this year, the app’s name and icon will also change to “Google Meet,” which features a camera in familiar Google colors.
“We’ve done this carefully, first adding Google Meet features to the Duo app, and now we’ve renamed Duo to Meet,” a company spokesperson told PCMag. And at the end of the year, [we’ll] Get it all in one web and mobile experience under Google Meet. “
Confusingly, the current Google Meet has been running for quite some time – now with different-colored logos to help differentiate the new “Google Meet” from the “(original) Google Meet”, the latter of which will be rolled out in a pasture someday, (along with Labs and Wave and Reader, and soon Hangouts).
If you’re baffled by the changes (and honestly, we’re all a few), Google has released a few help articles about the changes to Duo and the effect this has on the icons of various apps.
Duo video calling app was launched in August 2016 as a FaceTime alternative for iOS and Android mobile users. Based on your current phone number, it taps into your contacts list and automatically adjusts call quality to suit changing network conditions – switching between Wi-Fi and cellular data without dropping the conversation.
Google officially launched Meet, formerly known as Hangouts Meet, in March 2017, but the enterprise-friendly video conferencing service gained traction in April 2020, when the platform became free for all during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Over the years, Google has bundled software, offering features like virtual effects, live annotations, and noise cancellation. All of that (and more) is now combined into one app.
“Duo’s existing video calling features are here to stay, including the ability to video call friends and family by phone number or email address, use fun filters and effects, send messages, and ask Google Assistant to connect using existing devices,” according to an announcement. Blog for the month of June. “All chat history, contacts, and messages will continue to be saved in the app and there will be no new app to download.”
Users can also expect enhanced functionality such as custom backgrounds, meeting scheduling, internal chat, integration with other Google tools, and the ability to invite up to 100 participants.