Earlier this month, Google killed off the Duo app by merging it with Google Meet, painting the camera icon in four colors of the company’s famous logo to differentiate it from the original green Meet app. Now, Duo has returned from the dead, or at least his blue and white icon has.
According to 9to5Google, the Silicon Valley giant released an update (Version 173) that would help Android users search for “Duo” on their phone and put it back on their home screen. However, this Duo icon acts as a shortcut to open the new Google Meet app, not the old Duo.
Google said it brought back the Duo icon to make the transition to Meet much easier. But of course, users have expressed their fury over the change to the Google Meet listing on the Play Store. One commenter wrote that Duo was easier to use because it made video calls easier, while Meet added steps that made video calls extremely difficult. “I make the ‘call’, then I have to send an invite that sends a link to Duo! The other party clicks the link, then has to click ‘call’ to ‘call me back,’” Jim Shea wrote.
Google gave regular users an explanation about the transition from Duo to Meet with a banner and splash screen that they need to remove when viewing. Even then, confusion erupted because Google didn’t make the transition very clear for people frantically searching for Duo in the first place.
It’s easy to see why people are upset about the merger. Google Duo was more popular than Google Meet, at least in terms of how many times it was downloaded from the Play Store. Duo has been installed on Android devices 5 billion times and Meet has only garnered 500 million downloads.
Google has had a long history of confusing messaging and video calling strategies, and the Duo to Meet debacle is the latest example of that. Bring back the Duo icon maybe make the whole process easier, or it could make things even more confusing. At this rate, who knows?