Google Duo and Google Meet are the two leading video calling and video conferencing tools from the house of Google. As we all know, the company takes great pride in creating unique solutions for its ever-expanding customer base, and these two applications aren’t exceptions.
Both Meet and Duo have their own distinct, dedicated fanbases. However, if the whispers are to be believed, the scene might change in the near future, as the company moves towards a more unified look. Today, we’ll take a look at the prospect of unification and tell you why it might not be the best of ideas.
Google Duet = Duo + Meet?
The name and concept are far from finalized, but Google have reportedly started working on a merger that would bring the best of both world together. The codename, for the time being, is set to ‘Duet — ‘Du’ from Duo and ‘Et’ from Meet. Apparently, running Duo and Meet separately is adding a lot of unnecessary stress to Google’s development team, and the men in suits believe that a unified approach may very well be the best course of action.
As mentioned, Google has revealed no specific timeline for the said project. However, considering how much attention the company’s been paying to Google Meet, a unified video calling/conferencing tool doesn’t seem like a reach. Additionally, by bringing Duo and Meet under the same umbrella, Google would look to pull some Duo users into the productive world of Meet.
How has Google Meet grown over the months?
Meet, at this point, is being marketed as a more secure alternative to Zoom. Meet, which is currently offering its goodies for free, has garnered respectable fanfare, but bringing Duo into the fold would make it a more robust video calling solution. It will give Meet an edge over its competition.
With Google Hangout slowly being phased out, Meet is likely to take the center-stage. Google has already integrated Meet with Gmail — both on PC and mobile — and it won’t be surprising to see it pop up in more places sooner than later.
How could Google fuse Meet and Duo?
It’s still speculation at this point, but Google could take a gradual approach in terms of unification. What that means is Google probably won’t go all out and ask users to abandon their favorite personal video calling service at once.
They would, of course, highlight the key features of Google Meet and explain why it makes more sense to use one, all-powerful application. And after building the platform, they’re likely to bring Duo’s standout features to Meet, making it a more attractive package.
Related: How to remove Meet from Gmail
Reasons why Google shouldn’t merge Duo with Meet
The merger, if and when it takes place, would probably see Google Duo being phased out of Google Play and Apple App Store, with Meet engulfing the entire operation. There is a lot of speculation surrounding this move, with many already standing in Google’s corner. But from where we’re sitting, we can see a bunch of reasons why Google should not replace its super popular Duo with GSuite’s hard-hitting service, Duo.
Related: How to use Family Mode on Duo?
Meet is not free
Since its inception, Google has marketed Google Meet — Hangouts Meet, back in the day — as a premium video conferencing solution. Before the pandemic, when people still had the option of physically attending meetings, Meet used to be an afterthought at Google. But now that everyone’s working from home, Google has gone ahead and made the service more accessible, made it free for all Google account holders. All you need is a Gmail account and you’re good to go.
However, this scenario is set to change from the next month — September — itself, as Google would once again impose a restriction on the call duration. It won’t be a deal-breaker for most, but it would surely be annoying to regular Duo users who haven’t had to pay a single dime for Google Duo since it was first launched in 2016.
It’ll be more complicated
Google Duo banks on its seamless connectivity and ease-of-use to lure potential users. Both Google Meet and Google Duo do excellent on that front, individually. While Duo is all about large fonts, engaging screens, and effortless dialing, Meet is the epitome of straightforwardness in the world of video conferencing applications. However, we’re not sure how much of it would be retained when the two are merged.
Google Duo is perfect for one-on-one conversations, be it friends or family. The entire user interface of Google Duo screams personal, and a complete redesign is likely to disrupt the flow of the design. Also, with Meet also residing in the same space, users would have to spare extra minutes getting their hands on Google Duo’s feature set.
Related: How to make Google Duo calls on PC?
Compromises will need to be made
As we know, both Duo and Meet are exceptional services in their respective sectors. While one is built for professional use, the other makes video calling with friends and family a breezy walk in the park. So, to fuse the two and make Duo a part of Meet, Google will need to port Google Duo’s celebrated features to Meet.
Now, we understand that Google is likely to bring over only the most-used or loved features from Google Duo, which means that many of the understated features probably wouldn’t make the cut. So, users who enjoy the little pleasures of life are likely to miss out on some small but nifty features in the Google Meet.
Integration with dialer
In its current form, Google Duo is a seamless personal video calling application. It allows you to connect to your loved ones in a matter of minutes, and it gives you the option without even firing up the app. Depending on the make and model of your mobile — found especially on Pixel devices — you’d have the option of making a Duo video call right from the default dialer app. Additionally, you could make Google Duo add video call entries to your regular call log.
Meet, of course, could also try to port this little feature, but it’s likely to involve an extra step.
Familiarization will take time
Even if Google Meet manages to please almost all parties and deliver a powerful, unified video calling app, it would take time for the Google Duo faithful to embrace the changes. Especially the elderly, who usually have a hard time mastering new software, could be forced to get accustomed to a whole new system. And we don’t Google has enough reasons to put its users through the wringer.
Video chatting with friends and family on a regular basis has become the new normal in this post-pandemic world. We have learned how to live without daily physical interaction, learned how to make the best out of the direst situations. It wouldn’t have been possible without the brilliance of handy video calling applications, without Google Duo.
Google’s personal video calling application is the unabashed leader in its segment. It has an excellent codec, which helps immensely when the network connection isn’t up to the mark. It comes with a dedicated low light mode, has fun filters, message recording, and, of course, complete end-to-end encryption. As we’ve stated, Google would probably import most of Duo’s most celebrated features, but at this point, at least, the migration or merger seems wildly unnecessary — a step away from simplicity and familiarity.