Google Meet will get Companion Mode for more engaging conferences
Since Google opened up its enterprise-grade video conferencing solution called Google Meet to the general public in April last year, it has constantly improved its feature set to compete with rivals Zoom and Microsoft Teams, among others. Continuing that trend, Google announced a new Companion Mode for Meet that would help conferences seem more engaging through added tools and functionality. Here are more details.
Companion Mode was introduced at Google I/O conference
Companion Mode was first unveiled last month at Google's conference for developers called Google I/O. The new Companion Mode is primarily designed for enterprises and teams who work in a hybrid setup where some employees operate remotely and others report to the workplace. Google said the new mode will help "seamlessly connect those in the (meeting) room with their remote teammates."
Meeting participants can use polls, raise hands, share presentations
9to5Google reported that the mode will add a second-screen experience so participants in a meeting will be able to share presentations, send messages, participate in Q&As or polls, and even raise their hand just like they would if they were sharing the physical meeting room with their colleagues. Some of the aforementioned features will be accessible via Google's Nest Hub Max devices too.
Colleagues in same meeting room can use separate video tiles
Google explained that Companion Mode will give "everyone advanced features to participate while leveraging the best of in-room audio and video conferencing capabilities." The company said that Companion Mode will let colleagues in the same meeting room access separate video tiles when they use their personal devices. Come September, Companion mode will be available on the web. It will come to mobile devices soon.
Administrators can control participants mute/unmute, who can join meetings
Besides the new feature, Google Meet will let you specify on RSVP whether you'll join the conference virtually or in person. Borrowing features from rivals, Google Meet will finally allow hosts to disable in-meeting chat and presenting, set policies for who can join meetings, and gain complete control over participants' audio mute/unmute functionality. Additionally, the company introduced new features for Google Workspace and Gmail.
Google also unveiled Workspace Individual subscription for one-person businesses
Starting June 14, Gmail users have been able to access the full Google Workspace experience by turning on Google Chat. A new "Google Workspace Individual" subscription aimed at one-person businesses was also unveiled with capabilities including smart appointment booking, longer video calls, and personalized newsletter marketing. The subscription debuts "soon" with an introductory price of $7.99 per month.