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Google to Fold Duo Into Meet to Create Single Video-Calling App

One video-calling app is enough.

Google Meet video chat app logo on an Android phone
Photo of Google Meet logo on a phone with green background. Duo and Meet are combining into one app. 
James Martin/CNET

Google is folding Duo, a mobile video-calling app, into Meet, its videoconferencing app, creating a single service that will work across all devices, the company said on Wednesday.

Duo, released in 2016, is an Android and iOS app that offers end-to-end encrypted video calling on low-bandwidth networks. On the Google Play Store, the app has more than 5 billion downloads and more than 9 million reviews. 

Meet, which replaced Hangouts in 2020, is a videoconferencing app that handles remote gatherings with hundreds of participants. With the shift to remote work, Meet has grown in popularity, at one point adding 2 million new users each day

The company didn't say when the apps will merge but indicated it will take place in the coming weeks. Google didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. 

For Duo users, the name of the app they launch will change to Meet. Conversation history, contacts and messages won't be affected and a new app download won't be required. Duo users will see some Meet enhancements, including 100-participant meeting sizes, virtual backgrounds, meeting scheduler, in-meet chat and real-time closed captions. Users will also get greater Gmail, Google Calendar, Assistant and Messages integrations. 

Google routinely alters products or phases them out. Apps that don't attract followings quickly are often axed. A website, Killed by Google, tracks projects the company has ended. Its catalog has 267 entries.

Meet already has a number of third-party integrations, working across Slack, Spotify, Discord, Alexa and more.