Teardown: Google Duo might get Meet’s Companion Mode soon

In June last year, Google previewed a new second-screen experience for Google Meet called Companion Mode. Google then shared more details about the mode in September, revealing that it would let participants use their laptops or smart home devices as a second screen for a video call. The feature finally started rolling out to users earlier this year in January with support for the Google Nest Hub Max, and Google is now prepping to bring the Companion Mode to its other video calling app — Google Duo.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.

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A teardown of the latest version of the Google Duo app for Android (version 162.0.434856097.duo.android_20220306.14_p2.s) has revealed new strings pointing towards the upcoming feature. The strings suggest that the video calling app might get the Companion Mode with a future update. Check out the section below to see all the new strings related to the Companion Mode.

string name="companion_indicator_text">Companion mode</string>\n<string name="conf_companion_badge_education">The Companion mode badge means people are using Companion mode. You can see them in the people list.</string>\n<string name="conf_companion_content_description">Companion</string>\n<string name="conf_companion_participant_joined_notification">{NUMBER_OF_OTHER_PARTICIPANTS, plural, =0 {{PARTICIPANT_NAME} is using Companion mode} =1 {{PARTICIPANT_NAME} and {NUMBER_OF_OTHER_PARTICIPANTS} more are using Companion mode} other {{PARTICIPANT_NAME} and {NUMBER_OF_OTHER_PARTICIPANTS} more are using Companion mode} }</string>\n<string name="conf_companion_participant_left_notification">{NUMBER_OF_OTHER_PARTICIPANTS, plural, =0 {{PARTICIPANT_NAME} stopped using Companion mode} =1 {{PARTICIPANT_NAME} and {NUMBER_OF_OTHER_PARTICIPANTS} more stopped using Companion mode} other {{PARTICIPANT_NAME} and {NUMBER_OF_OTHER_PARTICIPANTS} more stopped using Companion mode} }</string>\n<string name="conf_companion_usage_got_it">Got it</string>\n<string name="conf_companion_user_display_name">{DISPLAY_NAME} (Companion)</string>\n<string name="conf_find_companion_users">"To find who's using Companion mode, go to the people list"</string>\n<string name="conf_people_using_companion">People are using Companion mode</string>\n<string name="host_and_companion_indicator_text">Meeting host • Companion mode</string>

If you’re not familiar with Google Meet’s Companion Mode, here’s a quick refresher. Companion Mode in Google Meet lets you join a meeting using a second device for a better multitasking experience. Using Companion Mode, you can join a meeting with audio and video on one device, like the Google Nest Hub Max, and use your primary device for other meeting features, like chat, questions, polls, screen sharing, and more.

It’s worth noting that Companion Mode isn’t the only Google Meet feature that is coming to Google Duo. In a recent teardown, we spotted a few strings suggesting that Google was also working to bring Meet’s Breakout Rooms to Google Duo, along with the ability to broadcast and record meetings.

About author

Pranob Mehrotra
Pranob Mehrotra

A Literature and Linguistics graduate with a keen interest in everything Android. When not writing about tech, Pranob spends most of his time either playing League of Legends or lurking on Reddit.