Javier Soltero of Google:
To support the millions of users who rely on our technology for video calls and meetings, we’ve made deep investments in both Google Duo and Google Meet. For those using Duo as their cross-platform video calling app, we’ve introduced new features like group calls for up to 32 people, the addition of doodles, masks, and fun effects with family mode, and video calling on tablets, foldables, smart devices, and TVs. And for those using Google Meet, we’ve introduced more than 100 features and improvements since we made Meet available to everyone in 2020. This includes a more intuitive interface, virtual backgrounds and effects, live captions and features that help people feel seen and heard, like auto-light adjustments and noise cancelation. We’ve also made quality and reliability improvements as well as introducing new moderation controls to help keep meetings safe and productive. Outside of video conferencing for work, we continue to see millions of people around the globe use video meetings to host game nights, parent-teacher conferences, and gatherings of their community groups.
In the coming weeks, we’re adding all the Google Meet features to the Duo app, so 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. Later this year, we’ll rename the Duo app to Google Meet, our single video communications service across Google that is available to everyone at no-cost.
What a bizarre strategy; then again, it is no stranger than Google’s entire messaging and communications strategy. It seems that Duo has the most modern infrastructure, but Meet has better branding, so the company is taking features and the name from the latter and jamming it into the former. Later in the press release, Google says this is a “transition from Duo to Meet” — why not use that language through the entire thing and save us from such unnecessary obfuscation?
Ron Amadeo, Ars Technica:
The move comes after Google unified its communication teams under Google Workspace VP and GM Javier Soltero (the author of Google’s blog post) in 2020. Google has not clarified which products are being unified, but it should mean that Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Messages, Google Duo, and Google Voice will all live under one roof.
Hangouts was finally deprecated in April after years of promises to migrate to Meet and Chat. After Duo’s discontinuation or rebranding — whatever you want to call it — it will mean Google will be left with just four communications apps plus the entirely separate chat feature in Google Photos, down from six or seven just a couple of years ago.