Google Duo has become one of my most used apps in recent years. The simple interface that allows my wife and I to quickly call each other on any platform is the way we now communicate instead of via traditional phone call. We use it from phones to tablets to computers and smart displays. It’s also how I often call my mom or dad for quick chats between them and their grandson. Google is about to f*ck with that situation in the name of integration or a “single solution” that someone has been asking for.
Google announced today that Google Duo will be renamed to Google Meet later this year. Before that happens, Google is going to add a bunch of Google Meet features into Duo, to give it “power.” In other words, gone is the simplicity of Duo and in is the integrated complexity of Meet. Whew…weee hew.
OK, that’s just my initial take here. I would also understand why someone would want a single experience with more advanced features, rather than this two-app system of Duo and Meet. I just don’t use Meet unless it’s work related and actually like keeping personal and work experiences separate.
Google Meet Taking Over Google Duo
My complaining aside, here’s the basics of what you need to know. Over the coming weeks (mid-2022), Google Duo is going to get “all the Google Meet features.” Not some, but all. Here is the list of what’s coming:
- 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
Additionally, Google Duo’s existing feature set is here to stay and your conversation histories, contacts, and messages will all continue to be saved in the app. You won’t even have a new app to download when the big name change happens.
At some point “later this year,” Google will rename Google Duo to Google Meet. And again, they are suggesting this won’t be a new download, only an update that will change the name.
If you access Duo via the web, you will still be able to use duo.google.com for now, but that will eventually redirect to meet.google.com/calling.