Google has started the process of merging Duo and Meet. It started with putting Meet into Duo and will ultimately end with Duo becoming Meet and Meet staying Meet until Google kills it in favour of Duo Meet (which sounds like a Subway order).
Confused? Well, it wouldn’t be a Google communication platform if it weren’t needlessly complicated. Google first announced this process back in June, but The Verge reports it’s starting today, although really, it started a month ago when Google pushed an update to its Duo video chat app that will add features from Google Meet to Duo.
Duo, which Google had positioned as a competitor to Apple’s FaceTime, is now getting another update to the Android and iOS Duo apps that will change the Duo icon to the Meet icon as part of the rebranding effort. Soon, the Google Duo app will just be Google Meet.
Next up, Google plans to transform the existing Google Meet app into the new Meet/Duo hybrid. This should take place in September. Alongside the change, Google says the ‘duo.google.com’ website will start redirecting to ‘meet.google.com/calling’ over the next few months.
What this all means for users is if you’ve got Duo installed, you can just keep using it — all the changes will arrive automatically over time. Meet users, on the other hand, will need to switch apps unless they’re fine using the current Meet experience, sans Duo features. Google might eventually kill Meet in favour of Duo Meet (which, again, is being rebranded to Meet), and the company says it will tell users when they should make the switch. However, Google hasn’t specified if or when this will happen.
So, to clarify: Duo got Meet, Duo is becoming Meet, Duo Meet will replace OG Meet.
Although this whole Duo Meet business should eventually simplify Google’s video chat app solutions, for the time being, it’s an extra layer of complexity for users to navigate. For that matter, I never found Duo and Meet to be that complex — Duo was clearly the video chat app for personal use, while Meet was intended for business uses like virtual meetings (hence the name). Unifying both platforms under the Meet brand may leave people with the impression the video chat tool is for business, even if it still supports Duo’s features.