Google Meet Gets New Look, New Features

Posted on April 21, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Android, Chrome OS, Cloud, Google, iOS, iPadOS, Mobile with 5 Comments

One year ago, Google made Meet free to everyone to address the needs of the global pandemic. Now, it’s introducing new features and a new look and feel.

“Meet has helped millions of people connect around the world,” Google’s Dave Citron said. “While it’s been hard for all of us to remain apart this past year, I’ve been proud to work on a product that’s let so many of us come together.”

Here’s what’s coming soon to Meet.

New look and feel. Starting next month, Google Meet will provide a refreshed new look with an improved ability to pin and unpin content. And then in the coming months, you will be able to pin multiple tiles to customize what you focus on. “You can highlight a presentation and the speaker, or multiple speakers at the same time,” Citron notes. “Participants’ names will always be visible, so you can quickly see who’s who, and better engage with everyone on the call.” You’re also going to be able to hide your own video feed so you don’t have to look at yourself during meetings.

Data Saver. This new feature limits data usage on mobile networks to help save data costs, which Google says is especially important in countries where data costs can be high, like India, Indonesia, and Brazil.

Backlighting correction. Because having a light source behind you can overexpose your video, Meet will automatically enhance the brightness to improve visibility in the coming weeks.

Autozoom. This new feature will help others see you more clearly by automatically zooming in and positioning you in the middle of the camera view. Autozoom will be available to paid Google Workspace subscribers in the coming months.

Video backgrounds. In the coming weeks, Meet will let users replace their backgrounds with videos in addition to still images. There will be three options to choose from at first: A classroom, a party, and a forest. And more are coming soon.

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