WHAT IS GOOGLE MEET?
Google Meet is a video conferencing service from Google. It’s a great solution for both individuals and businesses to meet on audio and video calls. It was born from Google Hangouts, but boasts some unique features.
Google Meet is primarily designed as a way to host video meetings. However, you can enable the camera and microphone independently, so you can just use it for audio calls if you wish.
You can create ad hoc calls and invite your friends and family. They can join by typing your meeting code or you can send them a link that they click on.
One of the best things about Google Meet is that you don’t need to install any software on desktop. Everyone in the call (the organizer and the attendees) simply has to be using a modern web browser.
What Are the Best Features of Google Meet?
On the free plan, Google Meet supports meetings of up to one hour, though this has been extended to 24 hours until September 30, 2020.
You can create and join as many meetings as you like, so there’s nothing to stop you hosting a second meeting if you hit the hour limit.
Up to 100 participants can be in the same meeting. As a meeting organizer, you can mute other people, which you might want to do if your meetings reach that size.
Google Meet does its best to filter out any background noise that isn’t speech. It also has a live caption feature, which automatically captions what people say—it’s pretty reliable and great for accessibility.
You can also share your screen to everyone on the call. This can either be a specific window or the entire desktop, and it works on mobile too.
Finally, Google claims that “video conferences are encrypted in transit” and that “our array of safety measures are continuously updated for added protection”. Business users get enterprise-grade security, but for the average user the privacy settings are fine.
How to join a Google Meet call
You join a Google Meet session by using a code that’s created when the event organizer schedules the meeting.
On both the Meet mobile app and on a computer, simply pull up Google Meet and click or tap “Use a meeting code” (it may say “Enter a meeting code” on mobile). Once your code is in, provided the session has started, you’ll enter the call and can begin talking with your team.Screen Shot 2019 09 19 at 9.51.21 AM
The creator of the meeting can also send out a direct link, which you just have to click once to join the meeting.
Just remember that you need to allow Google Meet to access your phone or your computer’s camera and microphone when you set it up, or the program won’t function properly.
GOOGLE MEET COMPANION MODE AND HOW IT WORKS
With the rollout, users can use the Companion mode on the web when joining a meeting using Google Meet hardware or the Nest Hub Max. Companion mode enables access to features and controls such as chat, screen sharing, hand raising, polls, host controls and more.
They can join a meeting using Companion mode from the green room before the meeting begins or by using g.co/companion. Users can also simultaneously join the meeting and present with Companion mode by using g.co/present if they want to immediately share content.
“Hybrid meetings and classes are growing as some begin to return to office or school, while others remain remote. Companion mode fosters collaboration equity for all attendees regardless of where they’re joining a meeting from,” Google said.
Companion mode complements functionality on Google Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max by enabling attendees to see a presentation up close, participate in chat, initiate polls or vote, raise hands with their names associated, use host controls and enable captions and translations in their preferred languages.
All Google Meet users can connect to meetings using Companion mode on the web however, access to features such as hand raising will depend on the Google Workspace edition that they are using.
Users will be able to notice prompts on Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max devices for Companion mode when chat messages are sent or other interactive activities are initiated in a meeting.
“The tiles of participants using Companion mode will be hidden from the video grid to maximize screen space for video feeds unless they raise their digital hand. Additionally, in the meeting roster, those using Companion mode will be identified as such,” it further explained.
When users use Companion mode, it will be counted as an additional meeting participant, even in the overall meeting participant count.
External meeting guests and meeting participants without Google accounts can also use Companion mode and g.co/companion, but they will need to ask to join the meeting. Companion Mode will be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, G Suite Basic and Business customers apart from Google Workspace Individual customers, as well as users with personal Google accounts.
Features available in Companion mode vs. full audio & video
|Feature||Companion mode (second screen)||Full audio & video (primary screen or meeting-room hardware—non-Companion mode)|
|Screen sharing and viewing presentations||✔||✔|
|Activities such as chat, polls, Q&A, and host controls||✔||✔|
|Mic & meeting audio||✔|
|Joining from mobile devices||✔|
How to use Companion mode
1. Connect to a meeting using Companion mode.
|To connect to a video call in Companion mode, choose one of the following options:In a meeting invite, click Join. Then on the meeting landing page, under Other joining options, click Use Companion mode.In your browser, enter the short link g.co/companion. Then on the Meet home screen, select a scheduled meeting or enter a meeting code.To speak, listen to participants, or view the participant grid, join with full audio and video (non-Companion mode) on another screen.|
2. Share your screen in Companion mode.
|To share your screen:In the meeting green room, click Present.After connecting to the meeting using Companion mode, click Present now .Choose what to share:Your entire screenA windowA tab|
ADVANTAGES OF GOOGLE MEET COMPANION MODE
Why it’s important
Hybrid meetings and classes are growing as some begin to return to office or school, while others remain remote. Companion mode fosters collaboration equity for all attendees regardless of where they’re joining a meeting from. Companion mode complements functionality on Google Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max by enabling attendees to:
- See a presentation up close,
- Participate in chat,
- Initiate polls or vote,
- Raise hands with their names associated,
- Use host controls,
- Enable captions and translations in their preferred languages.
All Google Meet users can connect to meetings using Companion mode on the web. The availability of features, such as hand raising, depends on your Google Workspace edition. Visit the Help Center to learn more about Meet feature availability across Google Workspace editions.
You’ll notice prompts on Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max devices for Companion mode when chat messages are sent or other interactive activities are initiated in a meeting.
The tiles of participants using Companion mode will be hidden from the video grid to maximize screen space for video feeds unless they raise their digital hand. Additionally, in the meeting roster, those using Companion mode will be identified as such.
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