What in the world is going on with Google Meet and Duo?

(Pocket-lint) – Last month, Google announced it’s merging Meet and Duo. Specifically, it promised to bring the features of Meet into the Duo app. That process is now underway and live for many users. Unfortunately, Google isn’t making this transition clear, because it’s not getting rid of either app.

Duo has been rebranded as Meet and will offer features from both apps, while Meet will remain Meet. Pocket-lint has broken down everything you need to know.

What’s happening now with Meet and Duo?

Google is attempting to streamline its approach to communication apps. The Mountain View-based company is combining its main video-calling tools, Google Duo and Google Meet, into one platform.

Going forward, there will only be Google Meet. Well, sort of.  Google has already added core Meet features to the Duo app and renamed it the “Meet” app. But the old Google Meet app isn’t going away for now.

It’s being rebranded as “Google Meet (original)” and will remain available in app stores until it’s officially deprecated later. Google said duo.google.com will redirect to meet.google.com/calling over the next few months, too.

Rollout timeline

  • July 2022: Google pushed out a Duo update that added features from Google Meet.
  • August 2022: Google rolled out an update on iOS and Android that changed the Duo logo to the Meet icon.
  • September 2022: Anyone who downloads the new Meet app will receive the new Meet/Duo combo app.
  • Later in 2022: Duo.google.com will redirect to meet.google.com/calling.

How does the new Meet app work? 

The combined app will let you conduct both group and one-on-one calls as well as hold meetings. It uses Gmail addresses and phone numbers to allow you to chat with contacts.

Google is hoping the “Google Meet” brand will become your go-to calling solution – free of any issues that may affect other chat tools available. Many people praised the original Duo app, which launched in 2016, because it would let you call someone directly – including their phone number – without having to send links or have you tap the Meet button in a Google Calendar invite. It was a lot like FaceTime, actually.

Now, all those features you knew and loved are available in the new Meet app, along with old Meet features you may have enjoyed. Nothing is getting cut – except the old Meet (original) app, of course, which will be retired. 

What should you do if you’re a Duo user?

If you were an existing Google Duo user or a user of the original Google Meet app, your history, contacts, and messages won’t disappear in the change. Google promised to “carefully” integrate the platforms.

In fact, if you already have Duo installed, you won’t have to do anything. It’ll just become the new Meet app. Easy peasy.

What should you do if you’re a Meet user?

If you’re a user of the old Meet (original) app, you won’t have to do anything.

It’ll just lack all the new Duo features.

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This is a better way to browse the web. Google may eventually end support for the app, too. Google said it will inform original Meet users when they “should migrate to the new app experience”, but it isn’t specific on when that will happen.

How does this affect Google Chat?

It doesn’t right now.

Keep in mind, in March 2022, Google announced it would shut down Hangouts in favor of Google Chat. It became Google’s default chat application, meaning users were redirected to Chat when they tried to visit Hangouts in Gmail on the web or tried to use the old Hangouts mobile apps. Google also ended third-party support for Google Talk / GChat last month.

Still confused?

Sorry.

This shift is the just latest step in Google’s constantly evolving messaging strategy, which generally gets more head-scratching the more you read about it.

Check out Google Meet’s support hub if you need more help.

Writing by Maggie Tillman.