As Google continues the great merger between its Duo and Meet video communications apps, the company today announced that it's introducing new Apple SharePlay-like live-sharing features to Meet, making it easier for call-participants to engage with content together in real time.
It's worth noting that Google already introduced some live-sharing features (e.g. watching YouTube videos together) to Duo back in February, and now it's bringing them to Meet as the part of the merger.
The live-sharing feature will let users watch YouTube videos together, for example, and listen to songs on Spotify or play games such as Heads Up!, UNO! Mobile or Kahoot!.
These new features will be available under a new Activities tab — which also hosts Q&A and polls options — and is accessible through the three-dot menu. From there, users can start a shared activity -- for instance, if they want to listen to a Spotify track together, they would tap on the Spotify icon and Meet redirects them to the Spotify app where they can join a group session. Notably, the group session feature is only available for Spotify Premium customers, with support for two to five participants.
Last week, Google took the next step of merging both video calling apps by updating the icon for Duo and renaming it Google Meet. As for Google Meet, it will now be called "Google Meet (original)," with a green icon — yes, it's all very confusing. The tech giant has been adding other new features to Meet, too, such as instant and schedule meeting options, in-meeting chat and virtual backgrounds.
While these latest updates work well for Meet calls across different platforms, consumers embedded in Apple's ecosystem will already be familiar with this type of social content consumption through SharePlay, which works across a broader array of apps such as Apple TV+, TikTok, Disney+, Hulu, HBO Max, NBA, Twitch, TikTok, MasterClass, ESPN+, Paramount+, Pluto TV, Apple Fitness+, and Apple Music.