In a move to consolidate its video calling apps segment, technology major Google has announced to merging of its two video calling apps — Duo and Meet. According to the tech giant, users will soon have only one video calling app — Google Meet.
The company said that it will be adding all the Google Meet features to the Duo app allowing users to easily schedule a video meeting at a time that works for everyone, or continue using video calling to instantly connect with a person or group.
The company further announced that later this year it will rename the Duo app to Google Meet. The company reveals that Google Meet remains its single video communications service and will be available for everyone at no cost.
Google further said that the video calling features of Duo will exist after the merger. For instance, users will still be able to make video calls to friends and family by phone number or email address, use fun filters and effects, send messages, and ask Google Assistant to call using existing devices. All conversation history, contacts, and messages will continue to be saved in the app and there will be no new app to download.
“What’s been really important is understanding how people make the choice as to what tool they’re going to use, for what purpose, in what circumstance. Our digital lives are filled with a million different chat apps, each with its own rules and norms and contact list, some for work purposes and some for personal ones. Google’s hoping it can use Gmail addresses and phone numbers to bring all that together. It’s really important and powerful to be able to reach you that way and allow you then to decide whether you want to be reached or not, as opposed to having to manage all of these different identities and deal with the consequences,” Google said in an official blog post.
As per the announcement the upgrade in apps will provide improved features to Duo users. These features were earlier available only to the Meet users. The new features coming to Duo include:
Customize virtual backgrounds in calls and meetings
Schedule meetings so everyone can join at a time that’s convenient for them
Use in-meeting chat for deeper engagement
Live share content to enable interaction with all participants on the call
Get real-time closed captions to better support accessibility and boost participation
Increase size of video calls from a current limit of 32 to 100 participants
Integrate with other tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Assistant, Messages, and more.