Tech

Google Meet to Get Customizable Backgrounds, Nest Integration, and Plenty More

By Novak Bozovic / June 26, 2020

The Coronavirus outbreak has caused a significant shift in how today's business is done. For many, this means working from home while adhering to the rules of social distancing back in the office. This also includes changes to different software types we use daily, with video meting apps being improved the fastest. With this said, Google Meet has announced a series of new features that are already available, as well as some planned to be released soon.

Among the new features, video calling via the Nest Hub Max has been made even easier. By creating groups in the Duo mobile app, you can now make group calls with up to 32 people. The voice command you need to use is – "Hey Google, make a group call." Of course, Google Meet users are also supported, with up to 100 people in a single session. Depending on if you host or participate in a meeting, you can go with "Hey Google, start a meeting" or "Hey Google, join my next meeting."

Please note that the above-mentioned features are available only in the USA right now. Also, they are available to G Suite customers who join Google’s beta program. Aside from the Nest Hub Max, Duo-supported group calling in also available on LG's XBOOM WK9 Smart Display, JBL's Link View, and Lenovo’s Smart Displays.

Google Meet Gestures

Image Courtesy of Google.

Google has also announced that custom and blurred backgrounds are coming to Google Meet. This is a hugely popular feature of Zoom, Google Meet's biggest competitor, making it unsurprising to see Google exploring this possibility. However, there's no official release date yet, and custom/blurred backgrounds will be available "in the coming months."

Then, Google Meet is refined to work better with very crowded meetings. This video chat software supports up to 250 participants or a live stream with 100,000 in-domain viewers. You can see up to 16 participants at once (right now), along with the content that's being shared. However, an update that should arrive soon will let you see up to 49 participants at once. There's also a whole slate of features poised to come to Google Meet, such as hand-raising (to increase participation), meeting attendance, polling, Q&A, additional moderator controls, and plenty more. All of these are roadmap enhancements.

Google Meet Multiple Users Support

Image Courtesy of Google.

Finally, Google Meet is also getting prepared for the next normal in the office. More precisely, new features of Google Meet hardware will make it easier to join meetings by tapping only once on a touchscreen. Besides, voice control (currently in beta) will be rolled out for ASUS and Logitech meeting room kits, allowing individuals to join and end meetings using simple voice commands.

We want to remind you that Google Meet is included in all G Suite subscriptions and anyone with an email address. There’s also the business version of Meet included in the G Suite Essentials, where you don’t have to migrate or replace your current email or calendar tools – and this option is free-of-charge until September 30, 2020.



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