It’s been a while since Google updated its messaging apps, and we were nearly ready to give up on the search giant’s regular tweaking of its messaging apps and services. No, that is not the case.
The firm stated today that Meet and Duo will be merged. Until now, the former was largely geared at corporate customers, whilst the latter was supposed to be a general-purpose video chat software to compete with Apple’s FaceTime.
Google will integrate all of the Meet capabilities into the Duo app starting “in the coming weeks.” The Duo app will then be changed to Google Meet “later this year,” becoming Meet the company’s exclusive video communications service.
That is, unless Google changes its mind again. And given that this is Google and the topic is messaging apps, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that it will. The repeated launching, shelving, re-launching, re-branding, re-shelving, re-resurrecting, and merging of Google’s many messaging-related apps have become so well-known over the years that it’s almost become a meme.
Anyway, back to the merger: Duo will preserve all of its existing video calling features, and if you’re a Duo user, your conversation history, contacts, and messages will be protected because there won’t be another app to download. You’ll just wake up one day to discover that Duo has a new name: Meet and all of the additional features you’ve come to expect.
Customizable virtual backgrounds in calls and meetings, meeting scheduling, in-meeting chat, live content sharing, real-time closed captions, video calls with up to 100 participants, “enhanced video and audio experiences with noise cancellation” and integration with other Google tools such as Gmail, Calendar, Assistant, and Messages are among the new features.
You won’t have to pay anything for “the new experience” if you’re already using Duo or Meet for free. If you’re currently using the Meet app, you’ll be given the choice to install Duo when you open the old Meet app once it’s renamed to Meet. Until then, the original Meet app will continue to function normally, and the Meet in Gmail feature will be unaffected by the app’s antics.
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