Google reportedly dropped plans to turn Duo into a true FaceTime competitor

Google Meet Google Duo Logo Lifestyle Cropped
Google Meet Google Duo Logo Lifestyle Cropped (Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google could no longer be consolidating Meet and Duo into a unified service both for consumers and enterprise users.
  • The search giant has reportedly shifted its focus to Meet's enterprise capabilities.
  • Meanwhile, its interest in a consumer-oriented video calling service has apparently dwindled.

Google has reportedly canceled its supposed plan to combine its Meet and Duo services to create a single platform that can handle videoconferencing for both consumers and enterprise users.

According to 9to5Google, the search giant's effort to create a dedicated video calling app for consumers has petered out after supposedly building a unified team to develop "Duet," which first popped up in August of last year as Google was reportedly planning to replace Duo with Meet. Duet — a portmanteau of Duo and Meet — is the codename of the rumored merger of Google's videoconferecing services.

The integrated team apparently spent the better of last year working together under the impression that Meet and Duo would form a single app. However, toward the end of 2020, Google's videoconferencing service leadership had a change of mind and instead decided to shift the team's focus to the enterprise application of Meet. This means abandoning the platform's consumer focus entirely, leaving owners of the best Android phones with no FaceTime counterpart.

9to5Google claims the initial plan was to add Duo's feature for calling users through phone number in addition to email or link to Meet. End-to-end encryption was reportedly another feature that Google previously planned for Meet.

When asked about its plans for Meet and Duo in the future, Google told 9to5 that there was "no change in our plans to continue investing in our consumer users." The Mountain View-based company even listed some of the updates it rolled out to Duo this year, including expanded tablet and foldable device support, support for Samsung TVs, new screen sharing controls, HD screen sharing, new video effects, Material You redesign, and more.

That said, Google has noticeably spent a great portion of 2021 developing more features for Meet than Duo, with a focus on its business utilities. Some of the notable features added to Meet over the past few months include new immersive backgrounds, increased participant limit, and live translated captions. The list goes on and on.

Although Google promised that it has a "rich roadmap next year for both consumers and business users," it did not reveal whether that's for Meet or Duo.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.