Rumor: Google to compete with Zoom by combining Duo and Meet

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Google currently has two different video chat applications although each one is designed for a different use and different users. Google Duo is for non-professional video chats like when you want to wish your girlfriend or boyfriend “Happy Birthday,” and “Happy Valentine’s Day,” or to show your parents that new apartment you rented in Brooklyn. Duo is used to help you share life’s viewable moments with your friends and family.

Google is reportedly looking to combine Duo and Meet

If you need a video for a business meeting, Google has its Meet video conferencing feature which can be opened from the Meet app or from the tab on the bottom of the Gmail app. According to 9to5Google, G Suite chief Javier Soltero was made head of the consumer communication services in May; this unit includes Duo, Messages, and Android’s Phone app. At that point, sources say that Soltero started telling employees that there is no reason for both Duo and Meet to co-exist. Google has worked hard on Duo and has been adding new features. But amid the global pandemic, people working from home have been using video conferencing apps like Zoom that are made for business use and can handle large meetings with as many as 100 participants at no charge.

Google is looking to take on Zoom and the way for it to do so is to combine Duo and Meet. Since Meet is more of a video conferencing app than Duo is, it would appear that it will be the Meet name that will remain standing. Having just the one video app will help keep consumers from getting confused about whether they should be using Duo or Meet for their purposes.

Throughout the pandemic, Google has not only beefed up Meet to take on Zoom, it also has added new features to Duo. For example, Duo now can handle video calls with as many as 32 people involved at one time. And Duo video calls can now be joined by tapping on a link, the same way you can join a video call on Zoom and Meet. For example, tapping on New meeting will bring up a link that can be shared with others that the host wants to join the video conference.

Google has the wherewithal to become a tough competitor to Zoom. Meet is free for the moment and Google could decide to continue that pricing for some time. If Google Duo and Meet are combined, the new name for the remaining video conferencing app could possibly named Duet (a portmanteau made up by combining the first two letters of Duo and the last two letters of Meet). Before this were to happen though, sources say that some features from Duo will be moved over to Meet such as the integration of phone numbers and the use of end-to-end encryption. Some security measures are already available to Meet users. No one can join a Meet video conference without being invited or admitted by the host.

By combining Duo and Meet, Google would no longer have two distinct dedicated video chat/conferencing solutions. Instead, it would have one video app that could be used by both consumers and by the enterprise. When this might happen is unknown; meanwhile, Google does make its video apps available for both Android and iOS. Google Meet can be installed from the App Store and from the Google Play Store. Duo also is available for iOS and Android.
Will Apple buff up FaceTime to compete with Zoom? Don’t count on it. Unlike Meet and Zoom and even Duo, Apple’s video chat app works only on iOS which means that not everyone would be able to use it for a video conference.

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