Google has began rolling out the merger of two of its communication apps. Google had announced in June that it is bringing the features of both Duo and Meet together, over the coming months, and it has started rolling out on Android.
Following the announcement made by Google, it is clear that Google is not scrapping either app, at least, not yet. However, the company is bringing the features of Meet into Duo, while Meet still retains the status quo.
As confusing as this sounds, it is also pretty basic, by the end of the process, there will be two apps: Meet will be an app on its own, and will carry on with its functions (at least, till it is eventually phased out). Duo on its own will exist with both its features, and the features of Google Meet. Both apps will be able to make conference and one-on-one calls.
Google Meet was created in 2017 as a video chat application, but didn’t become a major project until the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown that made Zoom the major player in the videoconferencing business.
Google later went into development mode to make the app a viable competition for Zoom. Although, Meet became more user-friendly and easy to use, Zoom had already become a household name, and the videoconferencing business had welcomed a handful of players that meant business.
Google Duo on its own, was created as an accompanying video app for Google Allo. After Google went on the tussle for acquiring WhatsApp, it lost the battle to Facebook. Google then spent time to develop a rival for WhatsApp, which it called Google Allo.
Google then created Duo with video calling features, so users could make video calls with Duo, and use Allo for text and images. This however seem as a mistake, as Google could have combined the features of both apps into one, and create a worthy competition for WhatsApp (which at that time, did not have video call features).
Allo was unable to withstand the heat, and it bowed out in March, 2019, but Duo remained as a default app, having about 5 billion downloads.
Google Meet, which took over from Hangout Meet, has only about 100 million downloads on Play store, and these users will have to manually switch over to Duo, while the 5 billion Duo users will get an easy switch to the new and improved app.