Google Workspace announced several upgrades to Google Meet designed to make your video calls more engaging and flexible. One of them is adding video background replacements which should make things a little more vivid than static backgrounds. The first batch includes a classroom, a party and a forest, with more on the way. They will be available in the coming weeks.
Starting next month, Google will be redesigning Meet’s desktop user interface with more features to customize how video panels are displayed. You have more control over your own video feed and can keep it in the grid or make it a floating window that you can move around and resize. You can minimize and hide your video feed. Google also plans to add an option that will allow you to completely disable your own feed for all Meet conversations.
You can separate the presentation tile so that the control panel is the same size as other attendees’ feeds. That way you can see more people and get a better picture of their reactions. There is also an option to freeze multiple feeds in the next few months. In the meantime, Google has moved all of the controls to the bottom bar. This should give you more vertical screen space to see other people and the content they’re sharing.
If you start Meet conversations from a mobile device, you may be pleased to hear that a data storage mode is available this month. This is especially useful if you have a data limit or live in a region with high data costs. In the coming months, the web version of Meet can automatically improve the brightness of your videos if they appear underexposed. A similar low-light feature was already available in Meet’s mobile and desktop apps last year.
Another AI feature will be available in the coming months but is only available to paid subscribers. Autozoom will automatically center your face in the feed and keep it there even if you move.