Today, Google announced a huge upgrade to Google Meet, which contains a lot of long-awaited features as well as plenty you didn’t realize you needed. The main additions are likely in-meeting reactions to provide immediate updates to the Meet companion mode, emoji-based feedback, the ability to use Meet right inside of Docs, Sheets, and Slides, as well as a new picture-in-picture mode to help you ignore a meeting, and the ability to stream a meeting to YouTube.
Another feature of today’s statement is security. Google will begin rolling out client-side encryption in Meet, which is still in beta, in May. Users now have complete control over their encryption keys and the identity provider they choose to access them. Google will also offer end-to-end encryption for all meetings later this year. All Meet data is currently encrypted in transit.
In a press conference ahead of today’s announcement, Dave Citron, Google’s director of product management for Google Meet and Voice, said, “It’s become increasingly evident that human connection is vital since 2020.” “We see the need for solutions that assist individuals in forming relationships that can bridge the gap between physical areas and somewhere else.” He pointed out that many of today’s changes are centered on “collaboration equity,” or the ability to contribute to meetings regardless of location, position, experience level, language choice, or device preference.
Companion mode, which was introduced earlier this year and allows users to join a video meeting on a second screen, is an example of this, Now, even if they are in a conference room with other attendees, Google is updating this with individualized video tiles for each participant in a hybrid meeting. “With this upgrade, folks who work in physical space will have the same experience as those who work remotely,” Citron stated. These upgrades will be available “later this year,” as with so many Google features these days. This means you’ll have to wait until next month to use emojis in meetings to “help teams celebrate victories, give support, and spread the love,” as a Google spokeswoman put it.
Automatic noise cancelling on Google Meet-enabled Logitech, Acer, and Asus hardware is now rolling out to all users using Meet-enabled Logitech, Acer, and Asus gear. Later this year, the option to stream to YouTube, which most firms will most likely employ for webinars and other outward-facing meetings, will be available. Google also announced a few enhancements to Spaces today, but since you’re presumably using Slack, you can learn more about them here.