Google Meet and Google Duo begin a confusing merger

Google has begun the next phase of merging its Duo and Meet video chat apps into a single service.

The brand sent out an update on Wednesday, which will change the Google Duo icon to Google Meet. The update is largely cosmetic, but is expected to roll out to Android and iOS devices over the next few weeks. You can expect to receive a notification on the home screen explaining how Google Duo has been merged with Google Meet.

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The brand clarified in June that it plans to merge the two chat services into a more professional video conferencing system, which will be branded under one name, Google Meet. The transition began quickly in July with Google Google began making changes to the system, moving several Meet features to Duo, including:

  • Personalized virtual backgrounds for video communication
  • Planning meetings
  • In-meeting chat rooms
  • Live content sharing during the call
  • Real-time captioning
  • Video call limit increased from 32 to 100 participants
  • Google tools integration with Gmail, Google Calendar, Assistant, Messages, etc.
  • The brand also sent out an update, changing the app icon to “Google Meet (original)”.

Tech Crunch noted that many frequent Google Meet users probably wouldn’t have noticed the icon change as a major change. However, once the August update hits devices, they will be bound to notice the transition. The post has also been added as the merger continues, you’ll need a Google account to access singular Meet features. Previously, Duo as a calling app only required a phone number.

As the merger peaks around September, everyone will see the new Google Meet app icon and name, and those looking to install the Google video messaging service for the first time will need to evaluate the new Google Meet app, which will be available on Google Meet. Play Store or Apple App Store.

The (original) Google Meet app will be available for a while, but it will eventually be retired, with its users receiving a recommendation to update to the new app.

Google is also updating its Google Meet branding to its Duo services on the web starting Wednesday; however, the full transition of that platform to the new system is expected over the next few months, the brand said.

The fate of Google Duo being merged with Google Meet appears to be simply a numbers game, as opposed to scrapping the app altogether. 9to5Google noted in June that Google Duo had 5 billion Android downloads, compared to Google Meet, which had more than 100 million downloads.

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Valerie J. Wallis