Google Meet

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Google Meet
Google Meet icon (2020).svg
Developer(s)Google
Initial release2017
Stable release
2020.10.04.338080646.Release
PlatformAndroid, iOS, Web
TypeCommunication software
LicenseFreemium
Websitemeet.google.com

Google Meet (formerly known as Hangouts Meet) is a video-communication service developed by Google.[1] It is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Chat.[2]

History[edit]

Logo of Google Meet used from March 2017 to October 2020

After being invite-only and quietly releasing an iOS app[3] in February 2017, Google formally launched Meet in March 2017.[4] The service was unveiled as a video conferencing app for up to 30 participants, described as an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts. It has launched with a web app, an Android app, a Symbian app, and an iOS app.

While Google Meet introduced the above features to upgrade the original Hangouts application, some standard Hangouts features were deprecated, including viewing attendees and chat simultaneously. The number of video feeds allowed at one time was also reduced to 8 (while up to 4 feeds can be shown in a "tiles" layout), prioritizing those attendees who most recently used their microphone. Additionally features such as the chat box were changed to overlay the video feeds, rather than resizing the latter to fit.[citation needed] Hangouts is scheduled to cease operation in the first half of 2021.

During the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, the use of Meet grew by a factor of 30 between January and April 2020, with 100 million users a day accessing Meet, compared to 200 million daily uses for Zoom as of the last week of April 2020.[5][6][7] Google suspended its usual 60 minute limit for unpaid accounts.

Features[edit]

Features of Google Meet include:

  • Two-way and multi-way audio and video calls with a resolution up to 720p
  • An accompanying chat
  • Call encryption between all users[8]
  • Noise cancelling audio filter
  • Low-light mode for video
  • Ability to join meetings through a web browser or through Android or iOS apps
  • Integration with Google Calendar and Google Contacts for one-click meeting calls
  • Screen-sharing to present documents, spreadsheets, presentations, or (if using a browser) other browser tabs[8]
  • Ability to call into meetings using a dial-in number in the US
  • Hosts being able to deny entry and remove users during a call.[9]

Google Meet uses proprietary protocols for video, audio and data transcoding. However, Google has partnered with the company Pexip to provide interoperability between Google Meet and SIP/H.323-based conferencing equipment and software.[10]

Google Workspace accounts[edit]

Features for users who use Google Workspace accounts include:

  • Up to 100 members per call for Google Workspace Starter users, up to 150 for Google Workspace Business users, and up to 250 for Google Workspace Enterprise users[8][11][12][13]
  • Ability to call into meetings with a dial-in number from selected countries[8]
  • Password-protected dial-in numbers for Google Workspace Enterprise edition users
  • Real-time closed captioning based on speech recognition
  • Background blurring

In March 2020, Google temporarily extended advanced features present in the enterprise edition to anyone using Google Workspace or G Suite for Education[14] editions.

Gmail accounts[edit]

In March 2020, Google rolled out Meet to personal (free) Google accounts.[15]

Free Meet calls can only have a single host and up to 100 participants, compared to the 250-caller limit for Google Workspace users[16][9] and the 25-participant limit for Hangouts.[17] Unlike business calls with Meet, consumer calls are not recorded and stored, and Google states that consumer data from Meet will not be used for advertisement targeting.[18] While call data is reportedly not being used for advertising purposes, based on an analysis of Meet's privacy policy, Google reserves the right to collect data on call duration, who is participating, and participants' IP addresses.[19]

Users need a Google account to initiate calls[20][21] and like Google Workspace users, anyone with a Google account is able to start a Meet call from within Gmail.[22][23]

After March 2021, free meetings will be limited to 60 minutes each.[21]

Hardware[edit]

In May 2020, Asus unveiled videoconferencing hardware designed for use with Google Meet in conference room settings, which includes a "Meet Compute System" mini PC, and a dedicated camera and microphone.[24]

On September 15, 2020, Google unveiled Meet Series One, in partnership with Lenovo, which includes a Meet Compute System with Edge TPU, "Smart Camera", "Smart Audio Bar" with noise reduction, and a choice of remote control or touchscreen that supports the Google Assistant.[25]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Johnston, Scott (March 9, 2017). "Meet the new Hangouts". Google. Archived from the original on March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  2. ^ de Looper, Christian. "Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October". DigitalTrends.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  3. ^ Perez, Sarah (February 28, 2017). "Google quietly launches Meet, an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts". TechCrunch. AOL. Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  4. ^ Johnston, Scott (March 6, 2017). "Meet the new Hangouts". Google. Archived from the original on March 9, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  5. ^ Boland, Hannah. "Google launches free version of Meet in bid to topple Zoom". The Telegraph. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  6. ^ Lardinois, Frederic. "Google is making Meet free for everyone". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  7. ^ Lerman, Rachel. "Big Tech is coming for Zoom: Google makes video chatting service Meet free". The Washington Post. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  8. ^ a b c d "Compare G Suite products - Meet". gsuite.google.com. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  9. ^ a b Boland, Hannah (April 29, 2020). "Google launches free version of Meet in bid to topple Zoom" – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  10. ^ "Google Hangouts to Anything Video Conferencing Blog". VideoCentric. June 18, 2018. Archived from the original on September 5, 2019. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  11. ^ "Compare Meet with classic Hangouts - G Suite Admin Help". support.google.com. Google Inc. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  12. ^ Lardinois, Frederic. "Google Meet launches improved Zoom-like tiled layout, low-light mode and more". TechCrunch. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  13. ^ Schroeder, Stan. "Google Meet takes on Zoom by going completely free for everyone". Mashable.
  14. ^ https://edu.google.com/products/gsuite-for-education/?modal_active=none
  15. ^ "Free video conferencing tools". Google Cloud Blog.
  16. ^ Dave, Paresh. "Google makes Meet video conferencing free to all users, challenging Zoom". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  17. ^ Schroeder, Stan. "Google Meet takes on Zoom by going completely free for everyone". Mashable. Mashable, Inc. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  18. ^ "Google makes Meet video conferencing free to all users, challenging Zoom". April 30, 2020 – via www.reuters.com.
  19. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim. "Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx are collecting more customer data than they appear to be". The Verge. VoxMedia. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  20. ^ "Google is making Meet free for everyone".
  21. ^ a b "Google Meet premium video conferencing—free for everyone". 2020-04-29. Retrieved 2020-04-29.
  22. ^ Peters, Jay. "Google will add Zoom-like gallery view to Meet and will let Meet users take calls from Gmail". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  23. ^ Finnegan, Matthew. "Google's Meet video app gets Gmail integration". Computer World. IDG. Retrieved 5 May 2020.
  24. ^ Peters, Jay (2020-05-18). "Asus reveals new Google Meet videoconferencing hardware for offices". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-09-15.
  25. ^ Peters, Jay (2020-09-15). "Google announces its own Meet hardware bundle, but it's only for conference rooms". The Verge. Retrieved 2020-09-15.