Remote work has become increasingly necessary for public safety and wellbeing—which makes staying connected, even while we’re apart, more important than ever. Each day, a rapidly growing number of people connect on Google Meet, and we want to make sure you all have the features you need to share and be productive.
In case you don’t already know, through September 30, 2020 G Suite customers can use advanced Google Hangouts Meet features. Normally these features are reserved for G Suite Enterprise users, but different times call for different measures and staying virtually connected with family and friends is one of the many ways we’re overcoming the challenges of COVID-19. There are new Google Meet features included in this so keep reading to learn how to enable these features!
If you’re reading and thinking “wait, what’s the difference between Meet and Hangouts?” you’re not alone. They’re incredibly similar products in some regards but for the sake of this article, these are the important differences you should note:
- Hangouts is the consumer version that is always free to use
- Meet is the paid version for G Suite customers
- Meet also supports MUCH LARGER calls with way more participants than Hangouts
Before we begin, two of these new Google Meet features don’t even require you do anything except ensure that your Chrome browser is up to date.
- Low-light mode: Meet can now use AI to automatically adjust your video to make you more visible to other participants in sub-optimal lighting conditions. This feature is currently rolling out to mobile users, and will be available to web users in the future.
- Noise cancellation: To help limit interruptions to your meeting, Meet can now intelligently filter out background distractions—like your dog barking or keystrokes as you take meeting notes. Noise cancellation will begin rolling out in the coming weeks to G Suite Enterprise and G Suite Enterprise for Education customers starting with web users and later to mobile users. Now if you read our Hangouts etiquette tips, you still need to use the mute button if there are louder noises in your background, but this feature will help in times that you forget.
Present a Chrome tab
Users now have the option to present a Chrome tab instead of just presenting their window or entire screen. If you need to share high-quality video with audio content in meetings, select this option for the best experience for remote viewers. The “present a Chrome tab” feature is rolling out to general availability and is available to you now.
To enable this Google Meet feature, simply follow these steps:
1. Join a video meeting.
2. In the bottom-right corner, click “Present now.”
3. You will see the options to present your entire screen, a window, or a Chrome tab. Click “A Chrome tab.”
4. Select which Chrome tab you would like to present. Presenting a Chrome tab shares that tab’s audio by default. If someone else is presenting however, confirm that you would like to present instead.
Tiled layout for larger calls
Last, but not least, a new feature that is rolling out is tiled layout for larger calls: The expanded tiled layout now lets web users simultaneously see up to 16 participants at once. Previously, tiled layouts only enabled you to see four people at a time. More updates are coming for larger meetings, better presentation layouts, and support across more devices.
To enable this Google Meet feature, follow these steps:
1. Join a video meeting on a computer.
2. In the lower-right corner of the Meet screen, click More then “Change layout.”
3. In the Change layout popup, select the layout that you want to use on your computer. For tiled layout, select Tiled.
Here’s a pro-tip: You can click a participant’s image in order to pin them to the screen. This way you will always see that participant no matter what.
Woo-hoo! With those new features enabled in Google Meet, you can start elevating your virtual meetings and increasing collaboration. Check out more Google Hangouts and Google Meet tips here.