Google today announced a major update to Google Meet that includes some long-requested features and many that you didn’t even know existed. There’s a long list here, but the most important additions are likely to be Meeting Comments, which offers a Meet companion mode, emoji-based feedback, the ability to use Meet directly in Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and a new scene. . -On-camera mode to easily mute the meeting and the ability to broadcast the meeting on YouTube.
Safety is another highlight of today’s announcement. Starting in May, Google will be implementing client-side encryption in Meet, which is currently in beta testing. It gives users full control over the encryption keys and the identity provider used to access those keys. Later this year, Google will also introduce end-to-end encryption for all meetings. Currently, all data in Meet is encrypted in transit.
“Since 2020, it has become increasingly clear that human connections are important,” he says. Dave Citron, director of product management for Google Meet and Voice, at a press conference ahead of today’s announcement. “We know we need solutions that help people make connections that bridge the gap between physical places and other places.”
He added that many of these updates today focus on “shared power,” meaning the ability to participate in meetings regardless of location, role, experience level, language, and device preference. An example of this is a companion mode that launched earlier this year that allows users to join hangouts on a second screen. Google is now updating this with a personalized video tile for every hybrid meeting attendee, even if they are in a conference room with other attendees. “This update will help ensure that people in the physical space will have the same experience as those who work remotely,” Citron explains.
Google is announcing a lot of features these days, with updates coming “later this year”. It also means you’ll have to wait until next month to help your co-workers “celebrate, give support and share love” in one meeting via emoji, as a Google spokesperson said.
Picture-in-Picture mode will also arrive next month, and automatic noise reduction on Google Meet hardware is now available for all Logitech, Acer, and Asus hardware users along with Meet features.
YouTube streaming capabilities, which most companies will likely use for webinars and similar outdoor gatherings, will arrive later this year.
Google also announced a few updates for Spaces today, but you probably use Slack so you can read more about it here.