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The Google Meet Apps duo is formally right here, and it is complicated

Google is official is launching a merger of its two video chat apps, Google Meet and Google Duo. Google introduced the merger in June, with plans to retain the Google Meet model whereas merging one of the best of each codebases into the Google Duo app. In line with Google’s PR e mail (no hyperlinks, sorry), folks will begin seeing the Duo app and web site branding transfer to Google Meet this week. Google’s varied rebrands are all being rolled out, in order that they’ll arrive at totally different instances for various folks, however Google says the total rebrand must be out for everybody in September.

So Google Duo is altering to Google Meet, and the present Google Meet app is sticking round for some time. Which means they exist now two app known as “Google Meet”. Google has assist article describing this extraordinarily complicated scenario, calling each Meet apps “Google Meet (Unique): Up to date Meet App” and “Google Meet: Up to date Duo App”. “Google Meet (authentic)” will in the future be put out to pasture; it is simply hanging round whereas Google rebuilds the conferences function into Google Duo. Did everybody observe it?

Meet and Duo video providers had been created as a response to Google providers rather more secure communication competitors. Google Meet was technically created in 2017 as a bunch enterprise video chat app known as “Google Hangouts Meet”, nevertheless it actually turned an enormous venture after Zoom development exploded in 2020 throughout The covid-19 pandemic. Google Meet was nonetheless locked behind a paywall throughout the early months of the work-from-home period, and whereas it will definitely turned as simple to make use of as Zoom, it was after Zoom turned a family identify.

Google Duo was launched in 2016 together with Google Allo “companion app” as a response to the expansion Whatsapp. Google and Fb obtained right into a a $22 billion bidding warfare for WhatsApp two years earlier. Google misplaced and spent the following two years making a WhatsApp clone known as Google Allo. As an alternative of integrating video chat into the app, Google separated the video options right into a separate app known as Google Duo. WhatsApp did not have video chat at the moment, so you could possibly use Google Duo video chat with Fb’s WhatsApp or Allo from Google if you’ll.

Allo and Duo had been initially focused at India, which led Duo to construct a one-to-one video chat system that used low bandwidth and labored effectively on unstable connections. This highly effective video chat system would be the basis of the brand new mixed app, with Google constructing the Meet hyperlink performance into the Duo app and rebranding it. The set up base might be an element right here as effectively. As a default Android app, Google Duo has greater than 5 billion downloads within the Play Retailer, whereas Meet solely has 100 million. Google’s means permits for a smoother transition for these 5 billion installs, whereas 100 million must make the swap manually. Google says it is going to disguise the outdated authentic Google Meet app from app retailer searches in September. Lastly, it must implement a pop-up message for present customers of the outdated Google Meet app telling them to improve.

This transfer is occurring as a result of Google”united” its messaging groups in 2020, with one particular person, Google Workspace VP and CEO Javier Soltero, taking the reins of “all of Google’s collaborative communications merchandise.” That ought to imply Google Hangouts, Google Meet, Google Chat, Google Messages, Google Duo and Google Voice, and Google has even added an Android app for telephones. Final month it was introduced that Soltero leaving Google, in order that’s simply two years of labor to unify the messages. Nobody is aware of who, if anybody, is taking up as the brand new “Head of Messaging.” Solter’s plan continues to be coming to fruition, although—in addition to this Meet and Duo merger, Hangouts will lastly finish in a number of months. This new, extra cohesive lineup leaves one Google video app and three Google chat apps.

This story initially appeared on Ars Technica.

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