Google's merging of video chat app begins: now there are two Google Meet apps
Some say, it takes a fulltime job to keep track of Google's communication applications. The company has created, rebranded, merged and terminated so many communication apps, that it seems impossible to keep up with everything otherwise.
This week, the long-awaited merging of Google's video chat applications began. At its core, Google is unifying video chat so that Google customers will use one application for all things video chatting eventually.
The execution, however, is anything but straightforward. Google maintains two different video chat apps now for the most part. There is Google Meet, which was created in 2017 as Google Hangouts Meet, but started to become popular when the pandemic hit in 2020. Then there is Google Duo, a companion app to Google Allo, which Google released in 2016. Allo was Google's response to losing the WhatsApp bidding war against Facebook. Instead of releasing a single app, Google decided to split functionality. Allo was to be the WhatsApp competitor, while Duo was launched as a video chat application along side it.
Meet the new Google Meet, the former Google Duo
Google decided at one time to unify its communications applications and services. For video chat, the company decided to keep the Google Meet branding, but not the Google Meet application. Instead, Google decided to rebrand Google Duo to Google Meet, and introduce the best of Google Meet's functionality into the new Google Meet application.
Google customers who have both apps installed will soon have two Google Meet apps installed on their devices, at least for a time. Google Duo's rebranding to Google Meet takes a couple of months before it lands on all customer devices. During that time, there is Google Meet: the updated Duo app, and Google Meet (original): the updated Meet app.
Google published a support page in an attempt to help customers understand which application they have installed on their devices and are using.
The main differentiating factor is the name. Google Meet is the newly rebranded Google Duo app, and Google Meet (original), is the classic Google Meet application.
Some users may get one application updated but not the other at the same time. On a test device. Google Meet was updated to Google Meet (original), but Google Duo was not updated to Google Meet.
The original Google Meet application is still available at the time. By September 2022, Google plans to hide it so that it can't be found anymore when users search for it in application stores. The company has not yet announced how it plans to get the 100 million or so Google Meet installations removed from user devices.
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