in August 2020And the 9to5Google You mentioned that Google was planning to replace Duo with Meet. That development is official today — and the app that the vast majority of Android users have installed on their devices will see it renamed to Google Meet later this year.
Tower (video) of Babel
If you asked a user of free Google services in the early or mid-2000s how to video call someone, they would say Hangouts. In 2016, that answer changed to Google Duo, a very focused and lightweight app that people liked by all accounts.
The answer to that question started shifting again a couple of years ago as Work From Home (WFH) saw Google constantly upgrade Meet, which It dates back to 2017.and add new features that enhance The company’s prowess in artificial intelligence. However, the biggest change was how closely Meet integrates with Gmail.
Next to search (and YouTube), Gmail is probably Google’s biggest offering to consumers. Email app started to appear Meets for all users In 2020, not only enterprise customers. Because of its importance, Meet has become a stronger competitor to the service that the average Google account holder thinks they use.
Today, the company is officially answering this question itself: Google Meet is a “one-connected solution”. And this step might just work to make this unified Meet more than the sum of its parts.
What happens: Meet the beat
Google first updates the Duo app on Android and iOS with “all the features of Google Meet”. This includes the ability to:
- adjust or adapt virtual wallpapers In calls and meetings
- Schedule meetings so everyone can join at their convenience
- Use the chat in the meeting to share deeper
- Live post content to enable interaction with all participants of the call
- Get Closed comments in real time To support better accessibility and promote engagement
- Increase the size of video calls from the current limit of 32 to 100 participants
- Integration with other tools, including Gmail, Google Calendar, Assistant, Messages, and more
Google quickly notes that “the existing Duo video calling features are here to stay.” You will still be able to “make video calls to friends and family by phone number or email address”. This latest ability to make 1:1 calls without having to drop the link first is already Possible today in google chatHowever, video calling someone’s number is largely a Duo feature that remains important due to the service’s integration with many phone dialer apps, such as the Pixel. In the meantime, you’ll be able to ask Google Assistant to connect using existing devices.
Another important thing that Google notes is that you won’t have to download a new app as “all your chat history, contacts and messages will continue to be saved”. Google desperately wants to transform its existing user base, especially since Duo has seen it 5 billion downloads (on Android) compared to 100+ Million for standalone Google Meet, which will end working after this migration. (Enterprise and education administrators will receive more instructions.) Meet will remain a tab in Gmail for mobile and the web as it is today.
The addition of all these features comes with an “Upgraded Home Screen” which is basically the current history view of Duo, which is a popular way to initiate calls. However, you may see a new scheduled Meetings section appear first in that list. Meanwhile, when you click on the “new” call button FAB (floating action button) in the lower right corner, you now have the Meet options for “starting a new meeting” and “scheduling in Google Calendar”. Elsewhere, Duo’s web experience will see similar updates with the original branding gone.
meet today restrictions Along group video calls if you’re not a Workspace customer. New Duo/Meet users will mostly not come across them if they are primarily using the mobile app. However, free users will have a maximum of 60 minutes for conference calls on the web.
This first phase – of sorts – will take place “in the coming weeks” and will be closely monitored by Google so that users are not left behind or see quality deterioration. During this entire period, the ability to make calls using your favorite application will remain, regardless of what the other person is using.
Why This Happens: Covering Every Call
Once this is complete, the company will rename the Google Duo app to Google Meet “later this year”. This will result in “a single video communication service through Google that is freely available to all”.
Google’s drive for a single service (for video) sees it all back to the Hangouts era’s desire for a unified app. At first, this amalgamation may seem untenable to sacrifice a beloved app like Duo – one indication of which is certainly the ‘how dare you’ pronunciation in 9-5 slack.
However, there is reason to be optimistic that this merger will run smoothly. The bright side comes from how complicated it is to talk to people via video/audio, and how this difficulty will increase in the future.
With this built-in Meet app, you can use Google to reach anyone if you have their phone number or email address, send them a Meet URL, or schedule something on their calendar.
Duo users expect to be able to call anyone by opening the app and selecting a contact, or tapping the Duo button available in the Google Phone or Messages app. None of that changes when Meet takes over.
At the same time, Duo users will gain the ability to easily schedule calls, which is something interesting Google told us that consumers are increasingly looking forward to when they return to the world. (On the flip side, the company has found that Meet customers want more instant, one-click communication options.)
I’ll be the first to admit that having three or four ways to initiate a call isn’t the best turn of events. This new Google Meet is the antithesis of what iPhones offer with FaceTime, but this platonic model of having one true way to reach someone is becoming less and less realistic over time.
Each method of initiating a Meet call serves a unique circumstance. Getting someone’s contact information straight is akin to offering Android a direct competitor to FaceTime. Even then, knowing someone’s phone number means a level of familiarity that’s different from just having their email address. The former allows you to make a video call at any time, while the latter may be prefaced with a confirmation text beforehand. Meanwhile, initiating a link-based call is something we now expect to be a group exchange, and it might be better to schedule it with a dedicated tool rather than a text string.
Google’s solution with Meet is to give you every possible way to reach someone. There is definitely a complexity as there are so many options that undoubtedly come with a learning curve. (Ideally, Google would take advantage of its own AI to learn the context and automatically suggest the best method.)
Until then, Google’s approach is like throwing everything into a wall. Old Duo users may take a while to realize everything the new app can do, but Google is betting that people will appreciate all the options.
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