Google has made another smart addition, “Meet by Google Hangouts,” to its G Suite assortment of business apps which includes Gmail, Drive, Hangouts, Calendar, and Docs.
With the addition of the new web and mobile app, Google now offers an HD video conferencing option for businesses allowing 30 participants at a time as compared to the maximum of 10 partakers that “Hangouts” allows.
The product page (https://gsuite.google.com/products/meet) mentioned in the app’s description page on the App Store is not yet live and is showing error code 404.
However, the URL https://meet.google.com/ is live and running to an extent. It appears to be more or less like the landing page of Hangouts, though, without the phone call or the text chat options. But it does allow you to join a meeting by entering a meeting code and see the meetings you have already scheduled. As of now, there does not seem to be an option for placing a call from the site.
Seemingly, for now, the website can only be accessed from Google’s Chrome Browser. It denies access through Internet Explorer or Safari asking users to download Chrome.
There is limited information available on the app as Google is yet to announce its launch officially. However, some of its features available as of now are listed below.
Thirty participants at a time – While “Hangouts” is limited to just ten people, “Meet” claims to support up to thirty participants at a time in high-definition video meetings, apparently, making it useful for businesses where meetings requiring more than ten members is a
Meeting on the go – The app makes it easy for participants to join a meeting, even while on the move, with features such as links allowing you to participate in a video meeting with just a click, dial-in numbers for traveling participants, and integrated Gmail and Calendar for G Suite users.
User-friendly main screen – The user’s list of scheduled meetings can be viewed on the main screen of the app with details like date, time, location, participants, and subject, to name a few. It also has a green “Join” button which allows you to join a meeting by opening up the video meeting user interface.
Handy video meeting interface – In large meetings, the main screen appears on the top showing who is addressing the conference with a list of participants’ screens, names and emails below.
Options of muting a call or switching off video mode are also available.
Reportedly, “Meet” also comes with an iOS app which has been taken down by Google for the time being. Also, there is no mention of an Android app yet.
While Google has been up there with Hangouts as far as the consumer side of video chat and conferencing are concerned, it had to come up with something to appeal to the business and corporate audience and it seems to have done just that with “Meet.”
According to some sources, the app is integrated with G Suite allowing people to join meetings from Gmail and Google Calendar as well. Additionally, it is reported to support users from multiple organizations making it possible to include business partners, vendors, and the likes in video meetings.
For more information on “Meet by Google,” we will have to wait for Google to make it official – which will, perhaps, be at Google’s major business conference to be held next week in San Francisco. The Google Cloud Next website has listed a number of sessions in the upcoming meet which seem to focus on team communication, including one called “The future of team communications,” which talks about attendees learning about “the latest additions to G Suite in the area of team communications.”