It's not always easy to keep track of Google's various apps – it often has more than one for the same job – and it would seem that the latest app to be in danger of getting sidelined is the Google Duo video calling tool.
Sources have told 9to5Google (opens in new tab) that Google Meet is seen as the better option – that's the video calling app that is usually aimed at business users. In recent months, Google has been pushing it to consumers too, as it tries to take a bite of Zoom's market share.
As you might have missed if you don't work for Google, the business-focused G Suite and Google's consumer communication apps – Messages, Duo, and the Android phone app – are now managed by one team, headed up by exec Javier Soltero. Apparently Soltero doesn't see a need for Meet and Duo to co-exist.
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That's a reasonable enough position – Google could get by just fine with only one video calling app – but it does raise the question of how the transition away from Duo is going to be handled. Up until now it's been heavily promoted to Android and iOS users, almost like Google's version of FaceTime.
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From the information 9to5Google has, it sounds as though Meet and Duo will be merged somehow. There's even an internal codename for it: Duet, which combines the names of the two products together.
Google Duo was first launched in 2016 and has undoubtedly been a success story for Google. In recent months, as many of us have been stuck at home making video calls, Google has added more and more features to the Duo experience.
Zoom has of course been the big winner when it comes to capitalizing on the boom in video calling, and everyone else – including Google – is scrambling to keep up the pace. You might have noticed the big Google Meet button that recently got added to the Gmail app on mobile.
While it doesn't appear that Google Duo will be shuttered anytime soon, it does seem as though Google Meet is the future. A number of Duo features – including 3D effects and end-to-end encryption – are reportedly now being transitioned to Meet.