Google has introduced a refresh of its Meet consumer interface for desktop and laptop computer customers, to start rolling out subsequent month.
The updates to the videoconferencing app’s internet interface embody enhancements to video feeds, the way you view and current conferences, and the navigation bar. Dave Citron, director of product administration for Google Meet, mentioned these enhancements purpose to “deepen the assembly expertise, no matter how and the place folks take part.”
Addressing assembly fatigue
In a weblog put up, Citron mentioned that by giving customers extra management over how they view themselves in conferences, Google hopes to cut back “assembly fatigue.” Customers can select to have their video feed in a regular tile within the grid or as a floating image, which might be resized, repositioned, or minimized fully. Google mentioned it can even be including a setting that allows assembly contributors to show off self-feed throughout all Google Meet calls.
Whereas accessible totally free to people, Meet is a part of the Google Workspace workplace suite. Subscribers will get extra instruments within the refresh, together with an autozoom operate, which zooms in and positions the consumer squarely in entrance.
Angela Ashenden, principal analyst for office transformation at CCS Perception, mentioned that this refresh represents an vital characteristic replace for Google, because it addresses among the inflexibility within the Meet expertise, which noticed it falling behind a few of its opponents.
“The power to pin multiple video feed the place there are a number of audio system, in addition to clear highlighting of the lively speaker and the elimination of the pop-up controls which overlaid the underside row of video feeds or the shared content material, for instance, all assist to make the assembly expertise extra user-friendly and fewer intrusive,” she mentioned.
With analysis from CCS Perception exhibiting that the common individual spends 1.7 hours a day on video calls, options that assist to cut back the fatigue felt by staff is a should for distributors that wish to stay aggressive. Ashenden mentioned that permitting Google Meet customers each to unpin shared content material to create extra room for viewing video panels and to take away self-view from the display assist to cut back among the friction related to video calls.
Responding to buyer suggestions
Further UI adjustments embody automated dwell captions in 5 languages, engagement controls for educators and college students, and new cellular capabilities designed to maintain crew members linked irrespective of the place they’re. Google mentioned most of the new enhancements to Meet had been “largely impressed” by buyer and consumer suggestions.
The underside navigation bar can be getting a refresh. Dial-in codes, attachments, name lists, chat, and different capabilities will likely be consolidated alongside the underside, creating extra display area for extra contributors.
Final yr, Google launched low-light mode for Meet on cellular. The characteristic makes use of AI to robotically alter a participant’s video to make them extra seen in a darkish surroundings or cut back glare if customers have an excessive amount of gentle coming in by a sunny window. This gentle adjustment characteristic will likely be coming to the online interface within the coming weeks. Customers may even have entry to “enjoyable” video backgrounds: a classroom, a celebration, and a forest, with extra coming quickly.
Ashenden mentioned that these new options present that Google is responding positively to clients’ suggestions and is pondering creatively about how one can enhance the Meet expertise. Nonetheless, she believes there are nonetheless areas the place it wants enhancements. “For instance, in how you make sure that the presenter can current content material whereas nonetheless being lively within the assembly expertise, and in addition the friction and overlap between its chat and Q&A functionality,” she mentioned.
“These are usually not essentially areas the place its competitors has solved the issue, as these are widespread challenges with assembly instruments,” she famous. “[But] if it’s going to meet up with the likes of Zoom and Microsoft Groups, it’s vital for Google to be innovating and elevating the bar in a way more definitive method.”