As the number of Covid-19 cases decreases around the world, a number of businesses are transitioning to a hybrid work setting. In response to the changing conditions, Google has introduced a huge update to its video conferencing platform, Google Meet, with the goal of making it easier for office workers to communicate and manage their day-to-day activities.
So let’s look at each of the new upcoming Google Meet features.
Reactions during a meeting
As part of this update, Google Meet will now support in-meeting reactions. In-meeting reactions will allow Google Meet users to respond to or provide input to other participants by using certain emojis such as thumbs up, heart, laugh out loud, thumbs down, surprise, and clapping.
The screenshot of the feature supplied by the firm shows that users will be able to edit these emojis using the Settings menu that will appear immediately next to these emojis when they click the Clock symbol in the meeting controls at the bottom of a current meeting. These reactions, according to Google, will appear in a participant’s video tile or overflow beneath their name if their video tile isn’t visible, and will be available for usage soon.
Picture-in-Picture (PiP) mode
Support for picture-in-picture mode is another feature that Google is bringing to Google Meet. Google said in a blog post that it is providing picture-in-picture support to Meet running on Chrome browsers to let speakers and multitaskers see their audience while surfing other tabs and windows. Beginning in April, Google Meet users will be able to view up to four video tiles of meeting attendees in a floating window on top of other programs while sharing information or sending a message in Gmail. Tapping on the picture-in-picture button will immediately return them to the full Meet session.
Docs, Sheets, and Slides in Google Meet
In the coming weeks, Google will also add support for Docs, Sheets, and Slides in the meet. Google Meet users will be able to easily start a meeting and bring it to a document, spreadsheet, or presentation with this feature. Users will also be able to provide this info to all delegates.
Enhanced companion mode
Google has also revealed that it is working to improve the companion mode, which allows in-room conference attendees to stay engaged using their personal devices while leveraging in-room audio and video. People in conference rooms will be able to add their own personal video tiles from Companion mode and their laptop camera in the coming months, making it simpler for other attendees to see their expressions and movements, according to the company.
Google also stated that Livestream viewers would be able to engage in Q&A and polls later this year. Moreover, meeting hosts will be able to webcast meetings directly to YouTube via the Meet activities tab. This feature will be introduced later this year in Meet. Finally, in May of this year, Google will release an upgrade that will include optional client-side encryption in Google Meet.
The company also stated that “This functionality allows our customers to have direct control over the encryption keys and identity providers used to access those keys.”