Google Duo is becoming Meet - here's what you need to know

Google Meet on phone
(Image credit: / sdx15)

After months of preparation and speculation, the merger between Google Duo and Meet is finally underway, with the first users seeing the changes on Android devices.

Google has decided to combine its two video calling apps to offer a more comprehensive service that it says will benefit all kinds of users.

However, the initial merging has caused some confusion, with different app names and functions already puzzling users. Here's what you need to know about the new Google Duo and Meet partnership.

Google Duo and Meet - what's happening?

First released back in 2016, Google Duo will soon become Google Meet as the company looks to combine its consumer and enterprise tools into a single platform.

Users logging in to the Google Duo app over the last few weeks will have seen an alert outlining how the service will soon become Meet, "with a new name and icon, and more features like background effects."

Google Duo

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Asides from the name change, Google says users shouldn't see too much disruption, with the two services already offering pretty similar features. However, Google Duo users will now be able to enjoy features such as in-meeting chat, virtual backgrounds and visual effects, and being able to start a call with up to 100 participants.

Now, the latest Android update for Google Duo is making the change official with the new Meet branding. 

After installing, the original Google Duo blue icon remains until a user opens the app. There, they are welcomed with a “Duo has been upgraded to Meet” notification prompt, which when accepted, changes the app design to the new Meet branding.

iOS and iPad Google Duo users aren't seeing the change just yet, but Google has said it is aiming to switch all customers over to Meet by the end of September.

The Google Duo web app also remains with its original branding for now, but Google has also said this will redirect to the Google Meet page within the next few weeks.

For those users that have already updated (including TechRadar Pro) this has led to a strange in-between setting where we now have two apps, both entitled "Google Meet (originally Duo)" on our devices - something the company will hopefully amend soon.

How do I get it?

The Google Duo app listing still remains on the Play Store and iOS App Store for now, so users can download and install in the usual fashion.

Users only need to be signed in with a Google account in order to try the new version of Meet and enjoy all its features, as accounts set up with only a phone number won't be able to use meetings.

All Duo user conversation history, contacts, and messages will continue to be saved in the app, Google added, and there will be no new app to download or extra costs to pay.

Google Duo users are also reassured that, "video calling capabilities are still available in the updated Duo app on mobile devices at no cost. Conversation history, contacts, and messages remain."

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.