Virtual communication is a crying need at present. Even when social media fulfills all the demands of online communication, still we need particular online video communication applications in specific requirements.
Applications like google meet, zoom, Microsoft team have made online conferencing, live events, distance learning super easy and variegated. Most of the organizations, IT institutes, schools, colleges are now integrating these video communicating tools to keep going on with their activities.
However, the importance has increased due to the pandemic as all the organizations, educational institutions have been closed off. At that time, people have to do all the activities online, and to stay organized with the central command, they have to use these video communication applications.
Google meet is one of the best online video communication applications that you can use for any purpose. Google meet has all the exclusive video communication features with AI integration that provide an authentic user experience.
If you are hesitating with the available options to choose a specific one, it will help you to decide why you should choose google to meet for your virtual communication purpose. Here are some reasons to make your decision.
Google meet exclusive features
The first that you should consider is Google meets exclusive features. Google meet includes everything that needs to make your virtual communication seamless and versatile. From security to customization, you can get all the included options easy to use.
Since google meet was released in 2017, it is getting attention from time and engaging people to use this platform. But recently Google has introduced some new features in google meet to bring more realistic feelings in the virtual meetings.
So, what are the exclusive features that come with google meet? Let’s have a look at them.
Google meet is free
Yes, google meet includes free plan. You can get started with the google meets free plan anytime and it requires only a google account to start. With its free plan, you can host online meetings with up to 100 participants.
but the free plan has some limitations such as you can go only 40 minutes in a meeting and you can’t record meetings with the free option.
Google meets free option is best to organize quick online meetings and conferences between friends, families, and colleagues. Despite the lack of recording options, so many small businesses and organizations get benefits from using google meet almost free.
Interface and layout
Google is always concerned about user interface and user experience and tries to keep it always comfortable for the users. If you consider the google meet interface, it includes all the meeting controls in one place on the bottom bar of the meeting window.
Google meet uses tile layout to display the host and all the participant’s previews on the screen where the host displayed on a bigger screen and the participants showed smaller screen on the left side.
If you are almost new to it, you can easily get introduced to all the available options on the screen by pointing at it. as a host, you can get all controls such as meeting details, joining info, attachments, chat, and activities all on the bottom bar.
Preview how you look and sound before a video call
Google includes an option called green room self-check to preview yourself before joining a video meeting. you can see how you will appear on the screen and also check how your audio sounds to others. The option is at the bottom left ‘Check your audio and video’.
Multiple screen layout
Google Meet automatically switches the layout in a video call to display the most active content and participants. Although the meeting works differently on different devices. For example, the tile view displays up to 8 tiles on screen if you are using android.
but on the computer, you can change the number of participants you see on your screen. The number of tiles may change depending on the size of your browser window.
However, google meet offers multiple screen layouts and you can choose anyone you like. For instance, it has various types of layout,
- Auto: The view that Meet chooses for you. By default, you’ll see 9 tiles on your screen
- Tiled: The view can show up to 49 people at the same time. By default, you’ll see 16 tiles on your screen
- Spotlight: The active speaker or shared screen fills the entire window
- Sidebar: The main image is the active speaker or shared screen. You’ll see thumbnails of additional participants on the side
You can change the layout in a meeting and the new layout preference is automatically saved.
Screen sharing is a required item in virtual communication. It allows the host to share personal screen to show things to the other person on the opposite side of the line. You can present documents, sheets, slides, and presentations to a meeting you are attending directly from the Google browser.
You can present your entire screen or a specific window in a meeting. Meeting organizers can stop participants from sharing their screens.
in google meet, the host is the person who is arranging the meeting or simply the person who joins the meeting at first. The host enters the meeting first and invites other participants via invitation code. google meet offers specific controls for the hosts that they can apply during a meeting.
As a host, you can see a blue shield in the bottom left when you open the google meeting that holds the identity of host control. you may get host control turned on by default. to access host control to see its offerings, you have to click on the blue shield.
So, what comes with host control? With host control, you are allowed to,
- Quick Access: Quick access allows anyone to automatically enter the meeting. If you turned off it, you will be notified when someone tries to join the meeting and can accept or reject their access
- Share Screen: The host has control over participants’ screen sharing option. if they keep it turned off, participants need permission to share the screen. but will be allowed to share although
- Send chat messages: This allows any participant to send chat messages. the host can turn this off to disable chatting for participants.
- Mute participants: Host can mute participants in case of the participant’s microphone delivers bad sound quality
Real time captioning is really a great feature in video conferencing applications that allow participants to clearly get what others are saying. Even though they are too fast in communication, Google uses an automated captioning function to convert their audio to text in real time.
At first, it was available only for the English language but google, as part of google’s development, has increased the languages such as French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish that can also be available in real time captioning on google meet.
Both host and participants can turn captions on to view subtitles as everyone speaks during a video call. But if you record a video meeting, captions are not recorded and don’t appear when you play the recording.
Google includes a chat messages option that users can use to send messages during video calls. You can send messages to any participants that will be visible to everyone in the call. You can only view the chat messages exchanged when you’re on the video call. Messages sent before you joined are not displayed, and all messages disappear when you leave the video call. When meetings are recorded the chat conversation log is also saved.
As a collaborative application, google meet enables file sharing through users can share documents, PDF, and other types of files that seem necessary for the meeting. you can attach files in a pre-planned meeting that you schedule on the calendar. Participants can see the attached files when joining the meeting.
Also, you can share files during video calling. Though google meet doesn’t have a specific sharing option in it for file sharing. But you can share the file links in the chat message and the participants can see it by direct clicking on the link.
On the virtual meeting with google meet, you can create polls for participants to vote on. Moderators can create polls during the meeting and participants can vote for the option they would like to. And after the meeting, the moderator is automatically emailed a report of the poll results. The report includes the names and answers of the participants.
Created poll remains available only the meeting duration. All the participants get notifications when a poll is created by the moderator. When the meeting ends, participants can’t respond to the poll anymore as it will be automatically deleted.
Recently google meet allows this feature only for android and iOS users. If you are a smartphone user and using google meet for video communication, then you can use filters while attending a video call with it. This makes video calling more fun as there are so many filters including animal characters and so on.
To use filters, create a video call in google meet and you can see the filter option on the screen. Tap on that and it will show you a bunch of funny features you can use.
To help limit distractions in your video call, and to give you noise free meeting experience, Google has rolled out an exclusive AI powered noise cancellation feature through which you can filter out background noise. Meet can remove background noises such as typing, closing a door, or the sounds of a nearby construction site.
- Audio capture from screen sharing won’t be affected by noise canceling
- Meet filters out noises that don’t sound like voices. Voices from TV or people talking at the same time won’t be filtered out
- If non-speech is an important part of your call, like playing musical instruments, turn off noise cancellation
The feature is turned off by default and so you have to make it on before any meeting. but once you have activated it, the setting is saved for future meetings.
However, the noise cancellation feature is available on desktop/laptop, Android, and iOS. But it still isn’t available in some regions such as South Africa, UAE.
Join meeting using dial in phone number
Another great google meets feature that allows users to join in a video meeting with their dial in phone number. Users can have Google Meet call your phone and can just speak and listen on their phone while in a meeting with dial in phone numbers.
If you’re not in the meeting, your computer joins when your phone connects. If there are more than 5 people in the meeting, you’ll join muted. If your computer is muted before you connect, you’ll join muted.
For example, if you’re in a video meeting and the network connection is poor, you can dial in from your phone. Use your phone for audio instead of your computer’s microphone and speaker.
To join a meeting with dial in number, you just need a phone number to take a seat and the pin code. The phone number and the PIN will be provided on the calendar schedule that you have to enter on your phone dial.
However, the dial in audio meeting feature is only available for meetings organized through a Google Workspace account. And also, the feature isn’t currently supporting all countries dialing up numbers to use this. You can search online to know if it is available in your country.
Support third party integrations
Google meet supports third party integration and you can use 200+ integrations with google meet to make video communication more versatile. According to need, third party integration sometimes comes as necessary.
You can integrate all the workspace applications and third party integrations including Microsoft 365, calendly, slack, discord, Nest, etc. it also allows third party video conferencing systems to let participants join on video meetings.
To join Meet video calls, third-party systems must be standards-based (SIP/H.323), and they can be located inside or outside your organization. If a third-party system has calendar integration that supports SIP URI (uniform resource identifiers), participants may also join Meet calls with a single touch.
Supported third-party systems include:
- Microsoft Skype for Business and Surface Hub
If you are a meeting organizer, you can record meetings on google meet. And if you are a participant, you have to be permitted by the moderator to record the meeting. Note that the google meets recording option isn’t available in the free plan.
So, you have any of the paid plans of google meet to record video meetings. Recordings include the active speaker and anything that’s presented. Recordings are saved to the organizer’s Meet Recordings folder in My Drive. An email with the recording link is sent to the meeting organizer and the person who started the recording. The link is added to the Calendar event.
Recording is a needed option in online classes as it allows teachers to record video lessons and store them on their drives. So, students who missed the class can get the lesson further, and also it allows them to see the lesson videos repeatedly to understand.
Great device compatibility
Google meet is available in web browsers, Android, and iOS devices. so, any user using such devices can enjoy google meet and use it for their purposes.
Google recently added this feature to help limit distractions or make video calls more fun. You can blur the meeting background or replace it with an image before joining on a video call and also during a video call.
Meet employs a vast array of safety measures to keep your video meetings safe. These include
- anti-hijacking controls for both web video meetings and telephony dial-ins
- Meeting code makes it harder to join meeting for the unintentional person without invitation
- vast host controls to specify participants who can join the meeting and mute participants
- All data in Meet is encrypted in transit by default between the client and Google for video meetings on a web browser
- Meet recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted at rest by default
- Meet keep its security standard for Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS), and Secure Real-time Transport Protocol (SRTP)
- 2 step verification
As you can see with google meet, you can go on virtual meetings uninterruptedly with its feasible security and configuration. You can arrange meetings with up to 200 participants with its business plus plan. Google meets workspace edition plans start from $6 per month and last at $18 per month. but it also has a workspace essential package that costs only $8 per month. remind that the google meet free plan includes up to 1 hour of video meeting and 100 participants almost. There are some other limitations in google meet. So, in the common eyes, it isn’t perfect for small businesses, educational institutions, and online events. If you want to perform large virtual conferences with it, you need to go for business plan. Having all these features makes google meet one of the best option for virtual conference meeting and distance learning.