Google is mixing up its video chat apps again

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Google currently has two apps for video and audio calling, Meet and Duo, but the company will soon combine them into a new Google Meet app.

Google today confirmed that its two apps for video and audio calls, Meet and Duo, will be merged into a single service. Although the new combined app will keep the Google Meet name, the mobile apps will be an update to the existing Duo app; the existing Meet app will eventually be renamed “Meet Original” and then discontinued. Chat history, contacts, and messages will be preserved during the transition.

“In the coming weeks,” Google said in a blog post, “we’ll be adding all the features of Google Meet to the Duo app, so users can easily schedule a video meeting at a time that works for everyone, or continue.” using video calls. to instantly connect with a person or group. Later this year, we’ll be renaming the Duo app to Google Meet, our only video communications service on Google that’s available to everyone at no cost.”

Google used to have a single video and audio service for business customers and everyday people, known as Google Hangouts. However, the company released two new apps in 2016 that were intended to replace Hangouts for regular people: Allo (for text messages) and Duo (for calls). Hangouts quickly spun off into two new products aimed at organizations, called Hangouts Chat (similar to Slack or Microsoft Teams) and Hangouts Meet (for calling). In 2018, Google began shutting down Allo and moving its features to Messages (the default SMS app on Android), while Hangouts remained an enterprise product.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the popularity around Zoom have blurred the line between Google Meet and Duo. Google opened up Meet to anyone with a Google account, rather than limiting it to paying customers, while Duo steadily increased the maximum number of participants that could be on the same video call.

With so much overlap between Duo and Meet, it makes sense for the two services to merge. However, that doesn’t make the process any less confusing, especially since Google is still mulling over how to handle its messaging services. Six years after Hangouts split into multiple services, we’re back to a single app. “This has all happened before, but the question remains, does this all have to happen again?”

Source: Google