Google Duo vs Hangouts: which option to use and when

Google Duo or Hangouts? This is the question that many users of Google applications ask themselves when they want to make calls or video conferences. In the last few months, Google has been making a lot of changes and more and more applications are sharing more features. Also, recently, Hangouts Meet has been replaced by Google Meet and Chat , so these applications are being integrated. However, there are differences between Google Duo and Hangouts Meet (Google Meet) . In this post we will explain which is the best option for each situation and what are the main differences.

What is Hangouts Meet? (Google Meet)

Hangouts Meet (now Google Meet ) is a Google application for video conferencing, designed primarily to improve collaboration between teams , whether at work or in education. It is for this reason that one of the main characteristics that differentiates Duo is the possibility of making video calls with many participants. Hangouts Meet (Google Meet) works and rationale is similar to competing applications such as Zoom or Skype .

Main differences of Hangouts Meet (Google Meet)

The main features of Hangouts vs Duo are the following:

1. Price

Hangouts Meet (Google Meet) is included in Google’s collaborative cloud space, Google Workspace . It is for this reason that in order to use the application you must have a Workspace payment plan . The prices range between € 5.20 / user / month and € 15.60 / user / month . However, you do not pay only for the Google Meet application, but these plans include all the Google collaborative space: Gmail with business account, Calendar, Drive, Docs, more storage space and security controls.

2. Participants

In this application you can make video calls with more participants. Depending on the plan you have, you can do them with a limit of between 100 and 250 participants.

3. Security and control

Hangouts (Google Meet) is designed for professional environments where more security is required , such as companies or educational centers . It is for this reason that it is a better option when you need to have more control over video conferencing.

4. Text messages

In this case, Hangouts (Google Meet) , yes lets you send text messages. It has a chat on the left side where participants can write or share content. However, the chat is only active during the video call, so all messages are lost when the call ends.

5. Share screen

This application is fully prepared to collaborate as a team, so it has advanced options to be able to work better. One of them is the ability to share screen with users.

6. Record screen

Finally, if you have a Business Standard, Business Plus or Enterprise plan , you can record your screen to be able to share video calls with your team.

What is Google Duo?

Google Duo is an application dedicated only to calls and video calls but, in this case, personal . It has features similar to those of competing services, such as Facetime or the options to make voice and / or video calls from WhatsApp and Faacebook. Therefore, although we will explain it in more detail now, Google Duo is aimed at unique users who want to call or make a video call with other users, in a personal way. It is a more suitable option for home use than for professional use.

Main differences of Google Duo

The main features of Google Duo vs Hangouts Meet are the following:

1. Price

This Google application is completely free , so it is included in many Android devices and its use on the web is also free. In this way, if all we want is to make video calls in a non-professional environment and with a single user (or few, since it also accepts small group video calls) this is a good option. Note that, being a free service, you cannot benefit from other advanced features of Google Workspace , such as Drive, more storage space, and advanced security settings.

2. Participants

As we have already mentioned, Google Duo is especially aimed at people who want to make calls or video calls with another person. However, it also includes the option of doing them in groups, but with a limit of 12 participants.

3. Security and control

Google Duo has standard Google security settings. Although these are good, they are probably not the most suitable for companies and educational centers , which need to have greater control of who enters, what kind of functionalities users have activated during the video call, anti-hacking control of video calls … If you need all these features, you’d better use Hangouts (Google Meet).

4. Text messages

Another of the main differences of Google Duo vs Hangouts is that it does not have the ability to send text messages.

5. Share screen

Google Duo is specifically created to make video calls with another user. Therefore, it does not have collaboration functionalities such as sharing the user’s screen.

6. Record screen

In line with the previous point, it also does not have any option to record the screen.

Google Duo or Hangouts? When to choose each one

After having analyzed the functionalities of each application, you will be wondering when to use each one. Here is our recommendation:

Google Duo: choose this application if you want to make calls or video calls for home use , with a single person or a small group . If what you want is to be able to make these calls without having to hire any service , since they are for private use, your best option will be Google Duo .

Hangouts Meet (Google Meet): On the other hand, if you need to make video calls on a regular basis and without having to worry about the limit of participants , you better use Hangouts (Google Meet) . In addition, this is also the best option for companies and educational centers, since the application offers possibilities designed for these environments. Also note that in these situations it is much better to use secure applications that offer greater control.


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