Over recent weeks, remote working has gone from a desirable mode of work to something that is essential and highly recommended by public health bodies across Europe. Video conferencing is now the new normal, and we’ve already highlighted some of our own advice around getting this right. This week, however, we look at 4 new features being rolled out in Google Meet as all of the main video conferencing solutions compete for dominance. Check it out, subscribe to our mailing list and most importantly: stay at home!
Google Meet is Google’s enterprise video conferencing solution. We regularly use this nifty set of tools at Damson Cloud, and we’ve highlighted some of our favourite features and ongoing developments with the product in a previous blog. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to keep us housebound, there has never been a better time to familiarise yourself with Google Meet – and as we’ve previously discussed, this is just as valuable for catching up with family as it is for business meetings, project briefings or team catch-ups.
That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of rivals to Google Meet, with competitors such as Microsoft and Zoom continuing to roll out their own sets of features in a bid to compete with our favourite. Google have responded with their own set of updates, recently announcing the roll-out of four new features – all of which are engineered to improve collaboration and productivity, according to the search engine giant. This comes alongside previous announcements which extended advanced Meet features to all Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) customers. While the virus situation takes its toll, one thing is true – it’s never been better to be a Google customer.
Google Meet: 4 New Features
We’ve picked out the four new features and discussed them in some detail. These developments have created a robust and well-rounded video conferencing solution in Google Meet – something that we attribute to Google’s ramping up of engineering support to ensure that scaling is done responsibly. The new features employ the likes of Google AI to boost video quality and overall UX. These include:
- New layout: Google Meet users have been treated to a new layout, with a new, accessible and expanded tiled design. Users can see up to 16 video conference participants at once – a remarkable improvement given the previous layout’s allowance of only 4 viewable participants. This one is quite exciting, and more developments are on the way, with updates currently in the pipeline for larger meetings, further-improved presentation layouts and usability across even more devices.
- Present a Chrome tab: The ‘present a Chrome tab’ feature sounds really awesome, and essentially allows users to present a Chrome tab as opposed to previously having to present their window or entire screen. This is highly effective for presenting high-quality video with audio content in meetings, and guarantees the best possible experience for remote viewers. We can’t wait to use this feature in our own video conferences over the coming weeks.
- Low-light mode: In a previous blog, we highlighted some video conferencing tips, and getting your lighting right was a big one. This isn’t always easy, and Google has responded to that challenge by introducing low-light mode, with its AI now automatically adjusting your stream to make you more visible in less-than-preferrable writing conditions. Whilst this neat feature is currently only available to mobile users, we can expect this to be fully rolled out in the near future.
- Noise cancellation: We’ve also talked about some of our pet peeves, and those include pesky interruptions to video conferences and calls. Google has again responded to this challenge, introducing an intelligent feature which filters out background noises. This feature will first be rolled out with Google Workspace Enterprise and Google Workspace Enterprise for Education customers before being rolled out to desktop and mobile users.
These new Google Meet features are fairly advanced. However, we can expect industry competitors (including Microsoft Teams and Zoom) to respond with their own new features. The battle of the video conferencing solutions rages on, and with more and more workers working from home, the competition between these platforms is set to intensify. At Damson, we hope that this will lead to significant improvements on what is already out there (Zoom’s security limitations have been well-documented, for example). This battle can only lead to good things for the end user, with each of these products steadily improving their offering.
Indeed, those security concerns in rival solutions are highly significant, with hackers increasingly targeting web users’ increased dependence on digital tools. This is something that Google themselves have been keen to point out, recently outlining their view that “nothing takes precedence over user privacy and safety”. Google continued, stating that:
“Meet’s anti-abuse features are turned on by default, video meetings are encrypted in transit by default and our compliance certifications can help support regulatory requirements. We are constantly finding ways to enhance security and privacy for all users, such as adding new moderator controls to help educators more effectively manage their meetings and protect their students.”
Damson Cloud’s very-own Fintan Murphy has taken us through the 4 new features offered by Google Meet, and we highly recommend checking out the full video to get our detailed view on the most popular video conferencing solution on the market.
More About Damson Cloud
We’ve focussed a lot on tools and solutions that can fundamentally change the way we work: it’s what we do. As this week’s blog comes to an end, we’d like to highlight a campaign we are currently running in collaboration with Google, offering Google Meet for FREE for 6 months. Check it out and thank us later!
As a longstanding member of the Google Cloud Partner program, Damson Cloud specialise in bringing people and ideas together through new ways of working. We champion change management and digital transformation using some of the internet’s most trusted solutions, including Google Workspace, Happeo and Jamboard. To find out more about our services, check out our library of tutorial videos or our blog.