Google Meet, the video conferencing service by Google, is getting a major feature upgrade. The company says it wants to make sure people have the much-requested features amid the coronavirus pandemic. So, it is adding the "top-requested" features to Google Meet. The new features include AI-enhanced low-light mode, tab-focused presentation mode, and noise cancellation. Google also announced that it is expanding the "tiled layout for larger calls." The Google Meet upgrades are now rolling out globally.
Google Meet layout improvements
For starters, Google is expanding the titled layout on Meet's Web client to allow users to see up to 16 participants simultaneously. Previously, the tiled layout allowed users to see only four people at a time. The company also indicated that this layout may soon be upgraded to allow more participants to join the video meeting.
"More updates are coming for larger meetings, better presentation layouts, and support across more devices," Google said in a blog post. It is unclear whether the layout-update will be rolled out on the app version of Meet.
In a separate post, Google shared that Meet automatically creates a layout when participants join a group meeting. However, users can switch layouts by tapping on the three vertical dots at the lower-right corner of the Meet screen. From there, users need to select Change layout and then select any one layout option.
Better low-light performance in Google Meet
Google is also using its AI technology to enhance the video and audio quality on Meet. The company in the blog post added that its AI will automatically adjust the video to make users more visible to other participants "in sub-optimal lighting conditions." This "Low-light mode" is currently being rolled out to mobile users, and will be available to Web users "in the future." Similarly, to limit interruptions during a video meeting, Meet can now also "filter out background distractions," through AI noise cancellation feature. The feature will be rolled 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," Google said.
Google Meet is also looking at ways to make presentations during a group meeting easier and neater. Users can now “present a Chrome tab” directly instead of having to show the entire window or the screen. This feature is particularly useful while sharing a video or an audio file during a meeting. Google stated that the "present a Chrome tab" feature is being rolled out today. It is unclear whether it will be rolled out on the app or the Web client of Meet.
With the latest updates, Google will aim to give tough competition to apps such as Zoom Cloud Meetings that has gained massive popularity amid the coronavirus pandemic. Many countries have announced nationwide lockdowns, due to which employees around the world are using video conferencing apps to ensure social distancing.
Last week, Google vice president Javier Soltero said that Google Meet was adding nearly 2 million new users per day and had more than 100 million education users across 150 countries. Interestingly, Soltero had indicated that Google Meet will be adding the aforementioned features soon.