Google has a hard time managing and branding its communication apps and services. Rumors about the Hangouts app being killed off have been circulating for the past two years, and even though Meet and Duo started off as relatively distinct services, both have a lot of overlapping functionality now. To tackle the latter problem, Google has now announced that it is merging the two products in a single, unified app.
The transition process is a bit confusing, though. First, all Meet features will be migrated to Duo, and then later this year, Duo will be rebranded to Meet. This will act as Google's single video communication service for customers, available at no cost.
As part of the feature migration process, the following capabilities will be added to the Duo app starting from this month:
- Schedule meetings so everyone can join at a time that’s convenient for them
- 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
Of course, the revamped Meet app will be available both on mobile and the web. Enterprise and education admins will also be able to manage its availability on platforms for employees. The unification impacts all Google Workspace and personal account users.
Google hasn't defined a concrete deadline for the completion of this unification but given that it plans to rebrand Duo to Meet later this year, expect it to happen within the next few months.