For a huge company like Google, it still surprises us that their communications products are still a mess even after all these years. While they did sort of simplify the messaging parts by getting rid of Allo, when it comes to the video calling apps, they still have two. Duo and Meet are basically both performing the same task but now it seems that it will be survival of the fittest for those two. Google will reportedly get rid of the former as they start focusing on the latter.
Google sort of started getting their act together when they placed all their communication services under the leadership of G Suite Head Javier Soltero. He said a couple of months ago that it doesn’t make sense that Duo and Meet can still exist under the same banner. As we have been seeing that Google is becoming more aggressive in pushing Meet to be able to compete and try to beat video conferencing app Zoom.
Google has obviously been focusing on Meet as they have even put a special Meet tab in the Gmail app. They have also made it free for everyone at least until they reach peak usage probably. Because also of the observation with Zoom that regular consumers don’t mind using enterprise video calling apps for their personal calls, we might soon see a merger of Duo and Meet and it has even been codenamed as “Duet”.
While it has probably not achieved the popularity they were hoping for, Duo had a pretty good user base, mostly because of the features that they added. After they sunsetted Allo, Duo received group calling, a web client, sending audio and video messages that had a Story-like feel, integration with Messages and the Google Phone dialer, among other things. Those in the know say that the Duo team was caught by surprise and some have been tasked with Meet development while some have already left the team.
Don’t expect Duo to go away in the next few months. 9 to 5 Google says their sources are saying that this transition will take up to two years. Let’s just hope they don’t launch another messaging or video calling app in the next couple of years.