Google Starts Testing the New Google Meet App

Google announced last month that its two video calling products, Duo and Meet, would be merged into a single video calling platform called “Google Meet.” A few users have reported seeing a “Duo is getting even better” card just beneath the search field after updating to the latest version. You can now choose to “Create a new meeting” and “Schedule in Google Calendar” after tapping the FAB (Floating Action Button), which drops the word “call” and says “New.” These features came from Google Meet.

If a user schedules a new Meet through the desktop website, the meeting will appear in the app’s recent “Meetings” section, along with any other scheduled events from the calendar. When it launched alongside Allo in 2016, Google Duo was the Company’s simple video calling app for smartphones or desktops that would compete with FaceTime, and Meet would follow a few months later in 2017. While Google Meet is the Company’s video conferencing platform integrated with Google Calendar and Gmail. It gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when there was a surge in demand for conferencing apps.

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Before meeting with the new app, it displays a privacy page highlighting the shift away from end-to-end encryption (E2EE). [Update: The Company says that you initiate 1:1 calls, and group video calls will continue to “use end-to-end encryption to mask data with a code that only you and the other callers have access to.” However, “Meet Meetings in the Duo app” accessible via links use “cloud-encryption measures.”]

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Google Duo Meet merger

To keep your conversations private, Meet employs cloud encryption. Instead of end-to-end encryption, cloud encryption allows you to use more features such as chat and live captions. In a call, others will see your Google Account name and pronouns, and people you previously blocked in Duo can join Meet calls.

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So far, we’ve only received one report on this rollout. It stated that the merger would be closely monitored to ensure that users are not left behind, or that quality suffers. Phase 1 is already in progress with Duo getting existing Meet features. Virtual backgrounds, in-meeting text chat, real-time closed captioning, and up to 100 (from 32) participants are all included.

The Duo app will then be renamed Google Meet and retain its current icon and branding. This change will take effect later this year.