Video call

Google will integrate Meet’s video calling features with Duo

Google is embarking on a journey to shore up its vast and often confusing portfolio of messaging apps. At the top of the list are Google Meet and Google Duo, both categorized as video calling apps. Google confirms that the feature set for Meet will be integrated into Duo, which will later be renamed Google Meet. The timeline for the change extends from “in the coming weeks” to “later this year”.

“As part of our ongoing investment to help people stay connected and to adapt to changing user needs, we’re upgrading the Duo experience to include all the features of Google Meet. This integrated experience will provide users a single solution for video calls and meetings with people,” said Javier Soltero, vice president and general manager of Google Workspace, in an official statement. However, it is more than just a merger of two applications for Improve functionality With Google’s apps and especially the way some Android phones integrate them, changes could be complicated.

So far, Google has positioned Meet as the most formal video calling solution, with meeting links, group calls, and Workspace integration too. Duo, on the other hand, is also better with more personal video chats, including one-on-one video calls, including phone numbers (and no need to send meeting links well in advance). Duo is also integrated into the Google Phone app, and there’s also been deep integration of video calling functionality on Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones as well as OnePlus phones. How these integrations are affected by the consolidation of Meet and Duo is a bridge we will certainly cross over the coming weeks.

Google Duo has always been touted as a competitor to Apple’s FaceTime video and voice calling app, as well as WhatsApp calls, while Meet was more of a competitor to Zoom or Microsoft Teams. Duo Calls also lets you add cool filters; not expecting these to go away. When Google completes the integration of Meet and Duo, the existing Meet app will be renamed Meet Original and will be deprecated.

Google Meet, for its part, will bring video calling tools like virtual backgrounds, light adjustments, and noise reduction to Duo video calls. It was 2020 when Google made Meet available to everyone; it was previously limited to Workspace subscriptions. Perhaps it was keeping in mind the global scenario, with the coronavirus pandemic forcing everyone indoors and workplaces to rely on video calling platforms to conduct meetings and talks. Google Meet has since competed with Zoom and Microsoft Teams.

There’s no doubt that consolidation and subsequent reintegration into Google’s own apps (Gmail, for example) and into Android smartphones as well as other platforms, including Google TV and Android TV, will be complicated. The trick here may be to make sure that the way you access Duo currently, especially on phones, shouldn’t change after the merge.

The question remains: how much will Google change features (and subsequently habits) in the switchover? Google believes Duo’s underlying video calling technology is superior, so the changes go in that direction. But, “Meet” as a name sounds better for a video calling app. The risk here is that Duo has always been a very simple app to use.

Will adding many features make it more complex for users?


    Vishal Mathur is technology editor for Hindustan Times. When he doesn’t understand technology, he often searches for an elusive analog space in a digital world.
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