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what each Google video calling service offers and what is best for

26 mayo, 2021

Google launched its first messaging application (Google Talk) in 2005. But since then, the company’s presence in this area (and, later, also in video calls) has become difficult to follow.

Thus, we have witnessed the name change to Google Chat, abandonment of Google Chat, appearance of Google+ Hangouts and Google+ Messenger, launch of Allo and Duo, death of Allo, appearance of Hangouts Chat and Hangouts Meet, change of name of these, appearance Google Messages … in short, a chaos that translates into the confused user not being clear about what each one offers.

So Let’s focus on the Google applications available today and equipped with video calling functions: Google Hangouts, Google Meet (known as Google Hangouts Meet until a couple of weeks ago) and Google Duo. And let’s analyze what exactly each of them offers.

Participant limit

Video call time limit

Text messaging

Google Hangouts

10

Not

Yes

Google Meet (paid)

100-250

Not

Not

Google Meet (free)

100

Yes, from October (60 mins)

Not

Google Duo

12

Not

Not

Google Hangouts

Hangouts

It was born in 2013 as a result of the merger of Google Talk, Google+ Messenger and Google+ Hangouts. It’s the courier service currently integrated into Gmail. The company seems to have been thinking about getting rid of Hangouts for some time (closing it in favor of Meet and Chat), but it does not end up being encouraged to do so.

  • Availability: Free (through Gmail, as its own web service and as a mobile app).

  • Video conference participant limit: 10 (25, if it is linked to a professional account).

  • Text messages: Available only in the web version, not in mobile apps.

  • Limit of participants in text chats: 150.

  • Allows you to invite users to a conversation: Yes, directly, through a link, or through a Calendar event.

  • Allows screen sharing:Yes.

  • Allows you to record video conferences: Not.

The usefulness of Google Hangouts is a bit blurred before the latest Meet and Duo changes. Basically, it is still the most useful option for a quick video call … at least as long as it is the only service of the 3 integrated into Gmail.

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Google Meet

Meet

Earlier this month, Google announced that it would remove the ‘Hangouts’ brand from its applications for G Suite (paid) users. In this way, Google Hangouts Meet and Google Hangouts Chat, both launched in 2017, would be renamed Google Meet and Google Chat, simply.

The first one is the one that offers video calling functions, which will soon also be able to be started from GMail (while G Chat tries to be an alternative to Slack and other similar programs).

  • Availability: In principle, paid in its full version, for users of any of the G Suite pricing plans (as a web service and as a mobile app). But Google just announced that there will be a free version limited only by the maximum duration of the call (60 minutes) … although exceptionally it will also eliminate this limitation between May 4 and September 30 of this year.

  • Video conference participant limit: 100 in the Basic plan, 150 in the Business plan and 250 in the Enterprise plan.

  • Text messages: Yes, during the video conference. It does not offer it the rest of the time.

  • Limit of participants in text chats: N / A.

  • Allows you to invite users to a conversation: Yes, directly, through a link, or through a Calendar event.

  • Allows screen sharing: Yes (but the user who shares it is no longer seen).

  • Allows you to record video conferences: Yes.

In short, Google Meet stands as the great Google application for video calls, especially in the professional field.

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Google Duo

Duo

Google Duo allows us to make calls and video calls to our contacts in our phonebook (either Google’s or our smartphone’s). It is an application similar to FaceTime, primarily intended for person-to-person calls (although it supports group calls), although now Google seems determined to present it as an alternative to Zoom.

A very useful and distinctive feature of this app is ‘Knock Knock’, which allows us to see live video of our interlocutor before answering his call.

  • Availability: Free (as a web service and as a mobile app).

  • Video conference participant limit: 12 (same limit as for group audio calls).

  • Text messages: Not.

  • Limit of participants in text chats: N / A.

  • Allows you to invite users to a conversation: Yes, directly from the application.

  • Allows screen sharing: Not.

  • Allows you to record video conferences: Not.

In short, Google Duo offers a more thought-out alternative for person-to-person calls (and for small groups of personal contacts) from the mobile.