Technology giant, Google is one of the most innovative tech companies. They develop creative and out of the box apps, features and updates that has made them an example for others. However, anyone familiar with Google knows that they axe just as many apps as they develop. Just as we have so many nifty Google apps that make our lives easier presently, we have lost even more for some reason or the other. After all, Google strives to improve itself constantly, learning from the present. One such Google innovation is the Google Duo. Google Duo was one of the initial apps that provides video call functionality.
It was launched globally way back in August 2016, even before WhatsApp’s video call feature. This just shows how far ahead of the time they were, and still are. But just like many of their developments that have faced the axe, now it seems to be Google Duo’s turn.
Google Meet’s Past
According to recent developments, Google now seemingly plans to get rid of Google Duo and integrate it with Google Meet. For the uninitiated, Google Meet was initially launched in 2017 as a video conferencing app for up to 30 participants. It is one of two apps that intends to replace Google Hangouts. It was initially enterprise friendly and convenient for businesses.
However, come 2020 and the COVID-19 lockdowns, people flocked to video conferencing tools for personal and official uses. Zoom became the leading video conferencing tool, while apps like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams trailed behind. Google focused efforts to make Google Meet a more user friendly platform, rather than just enterprise friendly to get in on the trend. They started giving free access to users with minor restrictions like up to 100 participants and 60 mins duration.
End of Google Duo?
Going by latest reports, according to 9to5Google, it may be the end of the line for Google Duo soon enough. Javier Soltero, GM and VP of G Suite, doesn’t see any reason for coexistence of both Duo and Google Meet. The decision intends to make Meet the only video call and conferencing tool that Google will offer. This is for both individual and corporate users. Ever since the pandemic, Zoom has soared in popularity. Google has been pouring its efforts to make Google Meet a one stop shop for this purpose, to tackle Zoom.
Name for the Merger
The integration merger of the 2 apps has also been code named internally, which is quite a surprise for the team working on Duo. The code name for the merger is Duet, with a simple reasoning i.e. merger of the names too- Duet + Meet = Duet!
Statement by Google
In a recent statement by Google to 9to5Google, they stated this. “We’re fully invested in Duo, which has seen astonishing growth during the pandemic. People around the world are relying on video calling more than ever, and we have no plans to interrupt that. We’ll continue to invest in building new Duo features and delivering a delightful experience for our users, customers and partners. We brought the Duo organization under Javier Soltero’s leadership in May, and it follows that we’re looking at ways that our video calling products can improve alongside one another.”
While there has been no rejection or confirmation of ending Duo, it is still a probable possibility. Especially given Google’s history of ending even well to do projects. But, Duo fans can rest easy knowing that it may still take about 2 years to completely integrate the app, but there’s no guarantee.
Google claimed that Duo’s usage rose by 8 times and 30 times for Meet. This decision to merge the two may seem a bit foolish, given the different purposes of the two apps. What is your opinion on this merger? Do you want Google Duo to get integrated with Google Meet?