In an effort to court more users, Google is upgrading its Meet video conferencing tool with a new 16-participant grid and Gmail integration.
As more and more people rely on video conferencing tools to work and socialize these days, platforms like Microsoft Teams, Webex, Zoom or Google Meet have been booming. Google recently announced that Meet is adding around 2 million new users per day, while Zoom’s daily usage has jumped from 10 to 200 million users seemingly overnight.
To further cater to Meet users, Google now lets business and education customers on Gmail.com take calls directly through Meet. The move comes days after Google emailed its employees, telling them that Zoom would cease to function on their company machines, amid security concerns.
Meet’s integration with email is only the first in a list of new features being launched early due to the increased demand from users.
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Google vice president Javier Soltero recently told Reuters that the tool would be getting some other new features later in the month. One of these is the new layout design that will allow up to 16 call participants to appear in a grid during a Meet call. This was previously four. The new design – very reminiscent of Zoom, which allows the display of 49 participants at a time – is meant to appeal to users who might be looking for a Zoom alternative at this time.
Zoom’s popularity has brought several safety and security issues to the surface, so there are potentially millions of people out there looking to make the transition to a different video conferencing tool.
In addition to the above, Google says it will be improving Meet’s video quality in low lighting, as well as improving the filtering out of background noises.
In the meantime, Google is currently not charging customers for upgrades to get to use Meet, at least until early September.
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