Video conferencing tools has grown in prominence over the last year, and Google Meet is one of the better solutions available. The tool replaces prior products such as Duo and Hangouts Meet, however it functions slightly differently and has sophisticated capabilities. So, how to use Google Meet and what are its unique features? Continue reading for a complete primer, as well as some Chrome Extension ideas to make the experience even nicer!
What is Google Meet?
Google Meet (formerly known as Google Hangouts Meet) is a video conferencing platform for businesses developed by Google. It substitutes Google Hangouts video conversations and adds a variety of features for enterprise application, along with Google Chat.
Those enterprise features are useful for both small and large enterprises, however Google Meet is also a popular choice for schools. Meet is a logical fit for most classroom needs because many school districts in the United States have already invested in Chromebooks and Google Workspace (previously G Suite) apps.
Is Google Meet Free?
Learning how to use Google Meet enables everyone to enjoy Google Meet for free, however there are certain restrictions. Meetings are restricted to one hour for free users, with a maximum of 100 attendees. 1:1 sessions have also been extended to a maximum of 24 hours, which is fantastic news for families looking for an option to Skype.
Those limits are significantly increased for Google Workspace Essentials users. With 150 people in the room, the meeting can last up to 24 hours. It also has a variety of business-friendly features, such as the ability to save meeting recordings to Google Drive, as well as local and international call-ins and 24/7 customer service.
Users of Google Workspace Enterprise get even more, with a meeting limit of 250 people and a 24-hour meeting limit. Other notable additions include intelligent noise cancellation and a slew of security measures.
How to use Google Meet
The excellent thing is that Meet is really simple to use whether you’re coming from WebEx or Zoom. It’s built for ease, just like the rest of the Google Workspace tools, and you can learn how to use Google Meet in under an hour. From establishing or joining a meeting to sharing your screen or other materials, we’ve laid down the most important things to consider hereunder.
The very first step you’ll need to grasp is how to start a meeting, which is thankfully really simple with Google Meet. All you’ll need is a Google account and access to the internet.
All the methods to start a meeting using various systems are here:
- Smartphone: Download and launch the Google Meet app on your smartphone, then select New Meeting.
- Browser: Go to https://meet.google.com/ and click New Meeting, then follow the on-screen instructions to create a meeting.
- Gmail: From the left-hand menu, select Start a Meeting. (Only for browsers)
You will immediately generate a link for other attendees to join when you start a meeting. Now, your next step to learn how to use Google Meet entails to simply send them the link and they’ll be able to join straight away. Anyone who has been invited to a meeting event that has been arranged in Google Calendar or Gmail will also receive links. Keep an eye out for alerts as participants may need to be accepted to the meeting by the host.
It’s even easier to join a meeting than it is to start one. There is a Join Meeting option next to the Start Meeting option in each of the locations listed above. You can either type in the meeting code or just click the link provided by the meeting host. It really is that simple!
It’s essential to understand how to use Google Meet settings and customization features after you’ve established or joined your meeting. Which capabilities are available depends on whether you have a paid Google Workspace account, but you can accomplish a lot with a free account as well.
One of the most essential video conference settings is how the participants are shown. It is set to Auto by default, and it will determine the optimum layout based on the number of participants and how many people are conversing.
If you wish to take full control, you have three more options:
- Tiled: Displays up to 16 people in little tiles, or fewer people in a sidebar if someone is giving a presentation.
- Spotlight: The presentation or active speaker takes up the entire window.
- Sidebar: In the middle is the presentation or active speaker, with tiny tiles on the sides for other participants.
Aside from that, you can pin a participant to display in the center of your screen at all times. Participants can also be muted by meeting organizers, which works independently of self-mutes. No one but the participant can unmute their own mic if it has been self-muted for privacy reasons.
Live captioning is one of Google Meet’s finest features. Simply press the Turn on captions button at the bottom of the screen, and Google will automatically create closed captions for whoever is speaking. It’s also incorporated in the free plan, so everyone can take advantage of it. Note that this is presently only accessible in English and that if the meeting is taped, the captions are not preserved.
How to Present and Chat in Google Meet
Video meetings are a fantastic method to communicate with teammates, but you’ll need to deliver something at some point. It’s quite simple to learn how to use Google Meet for presentation, as it is with most video conferencing software, and it has a few more choices thanks to its integration with Chrome.
All you have to do is hit the Present Now button at the bottom of the screen to share your screen. You can then share your complete screen, a single window, or a single Chrome tab with others. For the greatest performance, Google advises sharing only a Chrome tab if you wish to show video or animation.
Google Meet Chrome Extensions
Google Meet does have a range of helpful built-in features, but downloading a few Chrome Extensions will help you get even more done. This certainly only works on Google Chrome, but if you’re using Meet on a Chromebook, laptop, or desktop, you’re definitely already doing so.
Google Meet Enhancement Suite is one of our favorites, as it brings a slew of new features to the platform. Push to talk, auto-muting, rapid depart shortcuts, and more features are included in the free version. A premium “Pro” version is available with additional capabilities such as picture-in-picture and an all-mute button. Learning how to use Google Meet will, undoubtedly, let you relish the aforementioned features through extensions.