Google Meet adds Zoom-like features – fun backgrounds, view more participants and soon, raise hands to ask questions
Google Meetwill soon let users customise their backgrounds, a feature that is already present in Zoom.
- It will also let users view up to 49 participants at once, from the existing limit of 16.
- Google also announced a slew of other features that are in its roadmap, including hand raising, meeting attendance, Q&A sessions and more.
Google had made its premium Google Meet video calling service free earlier this year to compete with Zoom. Since making its premium features available to all users for free, Google has been expanding its feature-set with new updates.
In its latest update, Google Meet has increased the number participants you can view during a call. “Users will soon be able to view up to 49 participants at once on their screen, up from the current limit of 16 participants,” said the company.
Google Meet will also let users customize their backgrounds or just blur them to make their meetings look more professional. Users will be able to choose between preset or upload custom images.
In addition to this, Google Meet also has the following features in its roadmap:
- Hand raising – participants will be able to “raise their hands” whenever they have a question or something to say.
- Meeting attendance – hosts will get finer control over meetings and will be able to see who attended and who did not.
- Breakout rooms – emulating the office atmosphere, this feature will allow large meetings to be split into smaller groups, have parallel discussions and regroup once their discussions are over.
- Q&A sessions – the audience will be able to ask questions without disrupting the conversation.
- Polls – hosts will be able to engage their audience with real-time polling.
- Additional moderator controls – hosts and moderators will be able to control who is on mute, who can present their screens and more.
To help maintain social distancing and keep surface touches to the minimum, users will soon be allowed to join meetings without tapping on the screen.
Google is working on ‘Hey Google’ voice control for Google Meet hardware, like the Asus starter kit, the Logitech Tap range or Acer’s Chromebase.
Users will be able to join or end meetings with simple voice commands.
Microsoft and Google are upping the ante against Zoom
In a bid to recoup the momentum lost to Zoom, which has nearly 300 million daily active participants, both Microsoft and Google have been working on adding new features to their video conferencing apps.
Microsoft Teams has more than 75 million active users while Google Meet has over 100 million active users.
Microsoft Teams, too, like Google Meet, will soon allow viewing 49 participants at once.
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