Zoom changed a lot of things, even though Skype had an 8-year head start it miserably failed in competing with Zoom! And on the other side, there’s Google with their business only exclusive service! But now with Zoom’s popularity, they’re changing, and they’re changing quickly.
While Microsoft is busy improving their Microsoft Teams app, Google is rolling out more and more Meet features now and then. Yesterday they revealed a bunch of new features that’ll be coming to Meet, and here’s a detailed look at all of’em:
(All the features are mostly targeted towards schools, and education but pretty much all of them are helpful in other situations too)
Firstly: Stricter moderation features:
When someone unwanted tries to join a certain meeting they generally end up in the green room until the moderator approves them to enter the meeting, but previously even if they get rejected they could keep on requesting to enter. Well, now Google’s fixing that, and one who gets rejected once their joining request will no longer show up, and finally after getting rejected twice they won’t be able to request to enter either.
The meeting host/moderator now will be able to end the meeting for all, this is to ensure no one unnecessarily stays after the meeting has ended. Also, the host can decide to not let anyone join the meeting before they themselves join, and during the meeting the host can choose to allow someone to share their screen, mute them and disable the in-app chat.
And finally, those annoying “anonymous” guys won’t be able to enter a meeting if the host/moderator decides to do so.
Secondly: Custom backgrounds feature
We’ve all been there where our room is extremely messy and then we try to squeeze into that little corner which is half decent and not as terrible to use as the backdrop. Well, now Google is taking care of it. You’ll now be able to set the background as blurred or set it to any pic of your choice (though this option can be disabled by the moderator/host).
So, no more messy backgrounds!
Thirdly: New interaction features
There will be a “new” hand-raising feature that’s coming to Meet along with a collaborative white broad that can be used to bore the hell out of students better interact with all the members and share ideas. Also, a larger tile view of up to 49 members is on the way too. Although how useful that 49 person view will be is certainly a question in my mind. Also, closed captions will be available in more languages.
Now onto some premium features: Attendance tracking, Q&A, Polling and Breakout Rooms.
Moderators can track and maintain attendance of the participants who joined the meeting, so skipping a class can get a bit difficult 🙃. There’s also a dedicated Q&A feature for more fluid interaction, now the specifics of this feature will be known later when it’s released.
The polling feature is also coming to Meet, all the participants will be able to – You guessed it! Vote about something. It’s really simple. There’s nothing more to it. And finally, there will be breakout rooms where the moderator can group the participants into smaller groups.
All these features will only be available to only the G Suite Enterprise for Education customers.
Till now there is no timeline for when these features will be released to the public. However, Google did mention that they’ll arrive sometime later this year.