After being invite-only and quietly releasing an iOS app in February 2017, Google formally launched Meet in March 2017. The service was unveiled as a video conferencing app for up to 30 participants, described as an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts. It was available through applications for desktop, Android, and iOS.
In March 2020, Google rolled out Meet to personal (free) Google accounts.
In March 2020, Google temporarily extended advanced features present in the enterprise edition to anyone using Google Workspace or G Suite for Education editions. In January 2022, these features were removed for educators and workspace users unless they subscribed.
In accordance with the WebRTC standard, Google Meet uses VP8 and VP9 video codecs for video stream compression and Opus audio codec for voice stream compression. In April 2020, Google announced plans to support the AV1 video codec. In February 2021, Google announced a new very low-bitrate codec for speech compression called "Lyra", that can operate with network speeds as low as 3kbps that avoids robotic voice audio. Google trained machine learning models on thousands of hours of data in order to create the method used by Lyra on compression and transmittion of voice signals.
In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google announced Meet was to be made available to all users, not just Google Workspace users, in which it previously was. The use of Meet grew by a factor of 30 between January and April 2020, with 100 million users a day accessing Meet, compared to 200 million daily users for Zoom as of the last week of April 2020.
In May 2020, Asus unveiled videoconferencing hardware designed for use with Google Meet in conference room settings, which includes a "Meet Compute System" mini PC, and a dedicated camera and microphone.
In August 2020, it was reported that Google was planning to eventually merge Google Duo with the business-oriented Google Meet. In December 2021 this objective had been dropped, but Duo continued to be available and updated. In June 2022, Google reversed course and announced that Duo would, in fact, be merged into Meet. The merger began in August, with the Duo mobile app being renamed Meet. The Google Duo web app now also redirects to the Google Meet web app. The original Meet app is intended to be phased out over the next months.
On September 15, 2020, Google unveiled Meet Series One, in partnership with Lenovo, which includes a Meet Compute System with Edge TPU, "Smart Camera", "Smart Audio Bar" with noise reduction, and a choice of remote control or touchscreen that supports the Google Assistant.
While Google Meet introduced the above features to upgrade the original Hangouts application, some standard Hangouts features were deprecated, including viewing attendees and chat simultaneously. The number of video feeds allowed at one time was also reduced to 8 (while up to 4 feeds can be shown in the "tiles" layout), prioritizing those attendees who most recently used their microphone. Additionally, features such as the chatbox were changed to overlay the video feeds, rather than resizing the latter to fit. In November 2022, Hangouts was officially converted and no longer available. Google suspended its usual 60-minute limit for unpaid accounts.
Google Meet is a video communication service developed by Google. It is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Chat. It replaced the consumer-facing Google Duo in late 2022, with the Duo mobile app being renamed Meet and the original Meet app set to be phased out.