Google Meet and Duo Are Merging into a Single App

According to a recent blog post, the company is pouring more money into Google Meets, too.
Isobel O'Sullivan

In a recent blog post, Google announced that two of its video apps, Google Meet and Duo, are about to be combined into one centralized chat service.

The integrated app, which will be called ‘Google Meets', will inherit features from both video calling platforms, including customizable backgrounds, real-time closed captions, and creative filters and effects.

With Google previously merging all of its messaging services under the umbrella of ‘Google Chat‘, it's clear the tech company is no stranger to a merger. Here's how Google's plan to create “one connected solution” might impact you.

Best of Both Worlds? Google Meets and Duo Combine Forces

Google has finally made the decision to ax Google Duo, its video calling app that was released in 2016.

Rather than abandoning the platform altogether, however, the software firm has decided to transfer all of its features into its enterprise video conferencing tool, Google Meet.

In a blog post recently released by the company, Google announced that it would be adding all Google Meet's features to the Duo app, so that users can “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.”

Google Meets and Duo

It also explained that later in the year, it would rename the Duo app to Google Meet, and that the single video communications service would be available to everyone free of cost.

“In addition to having new ways to connect, this upgrade will give Duo users enhanced features, previously only available on Meet” – Blog post from Google

While many experts are suggesting this could be a cost-cutting method, Google attests that the merger is in line with its mission  to “build a connected experience for all users.”

The changes are planned to come into effect by the end of 2022. If you use either of the video communication platforms, here's how your experience with the apps could change over the coming months.

How Will This Impact Google Duo Users?

If you're a loyal Duo user, here's what new features will be available to you once the service is rolled into Google Meets:

  • Customizable virtual backgrounds in calls and meetings
  • Schedulable meetings
  • In-meeting chat
  • Real-time closed captions
  • Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Assistant and Google Message integrations
  • Video call limit increased to 100 participants

According to Google's blog, Google Duo users will have to update their app to benefit from these new features.

How Will This Impact Google Meets Users?

Here's what Google Duo features will be introduced to the Google Meets package:

  • Text and video messages
  • Fun filters and effects
  • Setting up video meetings with phone numbers and email addresses

Is Google Meets the Best Way for Businesses to Stay Connected?

As hybrid working remains a staple in many of our professional lives, the importance of video conferencing technology has never been greater. This places a massive onus on companies like Google to step up to the plate.

Fortunately for Google Meets users, aside from unifying its flagship video calling platforms, the firm plans to invest more in video communication going forward.

According to a recently released statement, the company is continuing to invest in Google Meet to help people “connect, collaborate, and share experiences on any device, at home, at school, and at work.”

This announcement comes as the platform introduces a raft of features, including an “Also invited” tool that displays if attendees are late to meetings and a multitasking feature that allows users to join meetings through apps like Google Docs or Sheets.

With the platform continually refining its offering, Google Meets is a pretty safe bet for businesses looking to stay connected. This being said, lesser-known providers like GoToMeeting and Zoho Meeting also provide quality call services for reasonable monthly rates.

But each solution has its benefits and shortfalls. So to see how Google Meets compares against the competition, you can take a look at our table below.

0 out of 0
Price from
The lowest starting price for a paid plan. The lowest price available for your business will depend on your needs.
Best for
Free plan
Audio-Conferencing
Pros
Cons

Zoho Meeting

GoTo Meeting

Zoom

RingCentral Glip

Webex

Google Meet

Microsoft Teams

Lifesize

BlueJeans

$14.99/month

$11.99/month

$6/month

$4/month

$12.95/month

$12-$16/month

Zoho users

Overall conference calling

Beginners

Longer meetings

Larger businesses

Google users

Microsoft users

Users that need hardware

Users that need customer support

Yes (paid plan) – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – Add-on audio plan allows you to add Call Out, global Toll-free & local dial-in for premium countries

Yes – Companies get a single audio conferencing bridge dial-in phone number for easy universal access.

Yes – Audio-only calls can be created when a host generates an Audio pin

Yes – Just call the number listed on the meeting invite, or join via the link and turn off your camera

Yes – but only in selected countries, and each user dialing into meetings will need an audio-conferencing license.

Yes – in a meeting contact card, users can tap the phone number under Details to call using their default phone or voice app

Yes – Easy access to audio conferencing is provided via a traditional PSTN number

  • No time limit on free plan
  •  Browser functionality
  •  SSL/128-bit AES encryption
  • High quality audio and video
  • Very reliable and secure
  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to use
  • Feature-rich free version available
  • Intuitive interface
  • Lots of customizability
  • Affordable
  • Feature-rich software
  • High quality audio and video
  • Easy setup
  • Google Calendar compatibility
  • Saves chat logs
  • Easy integration with Google apps
  • Completely free
  • 300 participants
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • 1080p video and HD audio,
  • Integrates with third-party apps
  • Good value
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Lots of features
  • Many software integrations
  • Recording costs extra
  • Weak free plan
  • Poor audio quality
  • No analytics or single sign-on with free plan
  • Occasional bandwidth issues
  • Spotty connectivity
  • No gallery view for guests
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unsophisticated chat function
  • Connectivity issues without update
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Isobel is a writer at Tech.co with a wealth of experience covering business and technology news. Since specializing in Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also spent time working as a freelance tech researcher. As a writer, Isobel takes a particular interest in issues regarding data security, social media, and emerging business technology.

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