Tag Archives: Meet

New safety and collaboration features in Google Meet

With the new school year underway, teachers are learning how to best manage their classes and continue to stay connected with their students. Here are new Meet features to help.

Digital whiteboard with Jamboard

Now you can use Jamboard to make your Meet lessons more interactive—start by preparing your digital whiteboard in advance of your lesson. When it’s time to start a class session, whiteboards are view-only to the class by default but can be made collaborative so all students can edit and build on one another’s ideas. Both teachers and students can present a whiteboard, but the teacher can restrict this using the “who is allowed to present” setting. If presentations are restricted, then students will still be able to view and collaborate on the teacher’s whiteboard.

Meet + Jamboard.png

Jamboard integration helps students collaborate and build on one another’s ideas. 

Breakout rooms

Breakout rooms allow educators to split students into simultaneous small group discussions. They are now available to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, as many schools have started distance or hybrid learning, and will be launching to additional Google Workspace editions later this year. Over the next few months, we'll add new features like a timer and an "ask for help" option for participants to get the teacher's attention. With breakout rooms, teachers will be able to mirror their in-classroom teaching methods in Meet.

Breakoutrooms.gif

Allow increased engagement with breakout rooms and split students up for simultaneous group work. 

Attendance reports

Taking attendance can be time consuming, especially with remote classes. Teachers can save time with attendance reports, now rolling out over the next few weeks to G Suite Enterprise for Education customers.The report includes each participant’s name, email and the length of time the participant was on call, including initial join and exit time. Meeting organizers can securely receive these reports after meetings with more than five participants. Later this year we’re adding admin controls to enable or disable attendance reports for the domain and host controls to give teachers the choice to turn this feature on/off for each meeting.

Attendance Google Sheet [future use].png

Attendance tracking reports will automatically be sent to meeting organizers, sharing participant names, emails and length of time in meeting.

Q&A

The new Q&A feature, which G Suite Enterprise for Education customers will see in the coming days, allows students to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the lesson or discussion. Students can post their questions to a queue and other students can upvote questions so the teacher knows which to answer first. For better control, teachers can hide any questions and can enable or disable question submission at any time.

Q&A.png

Q&A helps students share and prioritize questions without interrupting lessons. 


Polling

And lastly, polling, now rolling out for G Suite Enterprise for Education customers. Polling allows teachers to periodically check in to make sure students understand the classwork and aren't falling behind. Instant feedback also allows teachers to adjust curriculum when students require extra development on certain subjects. Polls can also make classes fun with icebreakers to revive class engagement, start discussions or debate a topic. Checkout some tips on how to use Q&A and Polls here

Poll.gif

Polling allows teachers to get instant feedback from students

ICYMI: Recent launches to Meet for educators 

We recently made it easier for moderators to manage who can join their meetings with a simple toggle called Quick access. Educators also have new meeting controls to manage who can share their screen and who can send chat messages within the meeting to make the distance learning environment as safe as possible.

1342-GDU-Meet seetings-01.png

Education moderators can now easily control who can join, chat, or present during a meeting.

You can now blur your background in meetings (coming soon to Chrome OS), which offers class participants more privacy and limits potential distractions like an unmade bed or a friendly pet. And since many classes can’t be all together in person right now, we’ve made it easier to feel like you’re together with a larger tile view of up to 49 participants at once. 

If you have additional requests, please share your feedback within Meet as this helps us prioritize and accelerate the feature roadmap to best support educational needs. We’re here to empower teachers and schools to accomplish what they do best. Stay tuned to the G Suite Updates blog for all the latest updates coming to Meet.

Stay connected with Google Meet

For many of us, it’s difficult to see each other in person these days. Video is now playing a crucial role in helping us connect—whether it’s across time zones or just across the street. For me, it’s provided a space to collaborate with my team, and a way for friends and family from around the world to see my newborn daughter Sophia smile for the first time. It doesn’t matter what kind of meeting you are having: We believe that people should be able to use the best possible services to connect, anytime and anywhere. 

That’s why we made Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone back in April. 

When we re-engineered the service we built for secure business meetings and made it available to all, we also made calls unlimited (well, the limit is really 24 hours, but I’ve yet to hit the limit) through September 30, so that people could enjoy the same benefits as our business users with their existing Google Account. From book clubs, band practices and dance parties–millions of you have turned to Meet to connect safely over video.  

As we look ahead to a holiday season with less travel and important milestones like family reunions, PTA meetings and weddings hosted over video, we want to continue helping those who rely on Meet to stay in touch over the coming months. As a sign of our commitment, today we’re continuing unlimited Meet calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021 for Gmail accounts. 

We’ve also added a ton of experiences to Meet to make connecting more fun and more productive, too. You can now see your family on the big screen when you cast your calls to your TV, or join hands-free on your Nest Hub Max. Jump on the call without worrying about the holiday wrapping paper mess behind you with background blur, or take trivia night to the next level by seeing  49 of your competitors (and yourself) at the same time. You can even keep score using our collaborative digital whiteboard.

Trivia night on Meet

Bring the digital whiteboarding experience to your next call.

We hope these updates will help you do more at home, at work and everywhere you choose. If you haven’t tried Meet yet, you can access it right from Gmail, get the app or head to meet.google.com from your browser to start a call. 

How choosing flexible tools fuels collaboration

During a recent early morning jog, I had a minor epiphany about a project. I slowed down, pulled out my phone, tapped the microphone and left myself a voice reminder in the margins of my document. Later in the day—after dishes, diapers and sweeping the radius around the highchair—I used that note to build out a better presentation. From the folding table in my 7-year-old’s bedroom, I shared the update with my team just before our working session. 

As a UX researcher at Google for the past six years, working on teams across four time zones in the U.S. and Europe has given me a front row seat for the increasingly fluid ways that customers and colleagues work remotely. Despite all that experience, I'm impressed at how rapidly we’ve adapted to change this year. Here are a few things I’ve learned about flexible ways of working and why it's likely to become even more important for many organizations in the future. 

The trend toward choice

First, it’s important to understand just how much remote work increased before the pandemic. Regularly working from home grew 173 percent between 2005 and 2018. Today, 40 percent more U.S. employers offer flexible options than five years ago. In the wake of COVID-19, that number increased even faster.

Having choices about when and where to work was seen as increasingly important to attract and retain talent even before it became essential to keep businesses running. More employee autonomy may even mean higher job satisfaction and performance, another reason why flexible working is likely to outlast COVID.

Demand for app diversity has also grown dramatically, giving professionals an “à la carte” mix of apps to choose from. Companies now use an average of 88 apps, a 21 percent increase from three years ago. If anything, the new challenge may be managing these choices effectively. It's something we think about a lot, and it's a big part of the way we've designed G Suite.

How flexibility helps my team

Today, tools like G Suite make remote teamwork accessible with video calling and content collaboration.

But what flexibility do these trends and tools actually enable? Here’s a typical collaborative workflow on my team: A few days before a meeting, I circulate a doc or slides. Everyone starts to review, raising questions, adding comments to specific snippets of content and tagging teammates who can add relevant context.

Tagging saves time in a few ways. First, it keeps the meeting smaller. Instead of meeting with 20-something people, we collect input before the discussion—getting everyone’s  latest thinking in one place without cluttering calendars (and saving everyone from yet another video call).  

Second, the asynchronous conversation before the meeting gives us a streamlined agenda for our live discussion. Instead of a lengthy meeting to reach consensus on every detail, we prep for 20 minutes and spend 30 minutes talking through a shorter list of topics to clarify. 

Smaller meetings have the added benefit of allowing for more dynamic discussion—a big deal because conversation dynamics are a significant factor in how well groups solve problems and make decisions.

As we get down to business, I send my doc out to everyone on the call chat thread. That way, no one has to hunt for the document and we can dive in quicker. Instead of presenting my whole screen, I show a single Chrome tab. This gives me the flexibility to show the content that helps us get on the same page, while taking messy notes in another document.

This review process emerged organically and allows the whole team to contribute regardless of where they sit. It shows respect for time and attention. It uses our flexible tools for virtual conversation to streamline conversations and speed up decision-making. Attention matters more working from home. Time crunched, my well-intentioned efforts to stay present are tested hourly. I don’t want to be the harried parent at work that you can’t rely on, but I don’t want to reply to emails during toddler bath time either. Teams, and the tools they choose, can help protect attention when you need to focus on work or on home.  

The future is the choices we make today

The pandemic put meetings and remote collaboration under a microscope and gave us an inspiring and instructive silver lining to learn from. Working from home has raised awareness of persistent problems like information overload, reminding us that we can make choices that enable flexible ways of working, protect our attention and streamline collaboration. 

As we look into the future, we can all make deliberate choices that bridge the virtual distance, no matter where your team members are working from.


Make your Google Meet and Duo calls better—and bigger

2020 may go down as the year of the video call. It’s become an indispensable tool, one we all use more than we likely would have imagined. But meeting fatigue is probably hitting you hard in the afternoon. Using the right devices can make a big difference in making video calls more enjoyable and engaging. Here are a few new ways to use Google Meet and Duo across a series of new devices to create a better meeting experience. 

Take your video calls to the big screen

With Google Meet on Cast, you can turn any room in your house into your own personal conference room, taking advantage of your TV or a Smart Display. Whether you want to step away from the notifications on your laptop or phone to be more present in a meeting or you’re on mute in a larger meeting and want to concentrate on your task at hand, casting to your TV can help you be more productive and stay focused. 

Meet and Cast can also pair up to simplify distance learning. Students can view their classmates and lesson plans on the big screen while working from their laptops, and teachers can get a broader view of their students on a call. 

To get started, you‘ll need to have a Google account, update to the latest version of Chrome and ensure that your Chromecast device has the latest firmware installed. Google Cast functionality is available for all Meet users, and casting works on Chromecast, TVs with built-in Chromecasts and Nest displays.

Duo Cast

The big screen isn’t just for work meetings, though: We also want to make video calling your friends and family better, too. In an effort to bring the video calling experience to more parts of your home, Google Duo is rolling out a Beta on Android TV in the coming weeks. With Google Duo, you can initiate one-on-one and group calls from your TV, and if your TV doesn't have a camera built-in, you can simply plug in a USB camera. 

Meet Hub Max Cast

Beyond TVs, Duo and Meet also work seamlessly with Nest Hub Max. You can simply say “Hey Google, join my next meeting” or “Hey Google, start a group call” and jump right into the video hands free, staying productive from a separate device on your desk.


Build the ultimate home office

Meet Home Office

With the Acer Chromebase and ASUS Remote Meet Kit from Google Meet hardware, you can elevate your work-from-home space into a dedicated home office. Google Meet hardware syncs automatically with Google Calendar so you can join meetings with a single touch, and is built on Chrome OS which brings over-the-air updates, peripheral support and advanced management capabilities. This frees up your laptop for more immersive meetings. 

Video calls aren’t going anywhere. But with new developments from Meet + Cast, Duo, Android TV, Nest Hub Max and Google Meet hardware, they can be a little more enjoyable. 


Get more out of Google Meet with these tips

With a lot more of our lives happening on video, you might have discovered more ways for things to go wrong during a call. Shaky camera, bad lighting—remember that time you could only understand every third word someone was saying?

With Google Meet, there are lots of ways to make video meetings and calls with loved ones more enjoyable and productive (and maybe even a little more fun). Here are a few tips and features that can help you avoid some common mistakes, and get even more out of Meet.

See and be seen with tiled layout for larger calls

Getting your colleagues together for a team video call? Or maybe you’ve organized a virtual trivia night with family or friends. It’s easy to see everyone’s face at the same time, as Meet enables you to see 16 participants simultaneously alongside any content that’s being presented. Changing the view when using Meet on the web is easy: click the three dots in the lower-right of the screen; in the Change layoutbox, select Tiled. (We’re planning to add more improvements here, including letting you see up to 49 participants at once and adding self-view to your tiled layout.)
Tile presentation on Meet

Easily see other participants while someone is presenting.

Think about lighting and check your background

Did you know that when using Google Meet on your phone, your video is now automatically enhanced to adapt to low-light conditions? That way you can take a video call from anywhere, even with suboptimal lighting, without worrying that others on the call won’t be able to see you. To improve the way others see you even more, be sure to:

  • Face the brightest light in the room (and be sure not to have bright light behind you).

  • If you have a light source you can point in a specific direction, try aiming it at the wall behind the camera. And turn on overhead lights if you have them.

  • Try to keep your camera at or slightly above eye level, so others don’t feel like they’re looking up at you. And make sure your laptop is on a steady surface. 

  • Consider your background. Choose one that isn’t distracting—and matches your personality and mood. (In the coming months, we’ll make it easy to blur your background or replace it with an image of your choice).

Join a meeting from Gmail

You don’t need to navigate away from your Gmail inbox to join or start a meeting. Just click “Start a meeting” or “Join a meeting” directly from the sidebar in Gmail. Once there, you can invite more people to join. (For help, read this article.)
Join a meeting from Gmail

Start or join a Google Meet video meeting from Gmail.

Have a quiet chat

Sometimes you might have a question during a video call but don’t want to interrupt the speaker. Or you might just want to share a document, meeting notes or a link with meeting participants. You can send messages or links to other video call participants with Google Meet’s chat feature. Just click the chat icon in the upper right corner of the meeting screen (if you’re working from your computerthe icon will be near the middle of your screen if you’re using your phone), enter your message, and click the “send” icon at the bottom right of the chat window.

Poor network connection? We hear you

Improve audio quality in Meet

Even with Meet’s new noise cancellation feature, a poor network connection or outdated hardware can make it hard to hear what others are saying. For G Suite customers, Meet lets you use your phone for audio while still using your computer’s camera and web browser to share and see video and presentations in the meeting. This can be done by dialing into the call directly or by having Meet call your phone directly. If you’re in a meeting, click More options (three dots on the lower right of your screen), then Use a phone for audio. Click Call me, enter your phone number, click Call me again, and then press 1 on your phone when prompted.


Other ways to improve the quality of your audio—and your meeting—include: 

  • Using a wired Internet connection in case your WiFi is congested.

  • Using a wired headset (or, at the very least, earbuds) to capture higher quality audio and reduce external noise.

  • Muting yourself when you’re not speaking, especially in a larger meeting.

  • Taking your call in a room with carpets, drapery and soft furnishings to help reduce reverberation.

Show only what you want

When presenting with Meet, you can choose to show your entire screen, a specific window, or a Chrome tab. When you’re in a video meeting, click Present now in the bottom right corner, and choose one of the three options. When you share a Chrome tab, you share that tab’s audio by default. It’s a great way to share a high-quality video without audio lag or graininess. (Learn more in the Meet Help Center.)
Present a tab in Meet

Present high-quality video and audio by sharing a Chrome tab.

For more tips on using Google Meet, visit the Meet training and help center

Make sure your video meetings are accessible for everyone

In 2017, Professor Robert Kelly was conducting a video interview with the BBC from his home office when he was famously, and adorably, interrupted.

BBC dad

Today, many of us working remotely due to COVID-19 can relate. Virtual meetings have become even more vital to how we connect, communicate and get work done, which is one of the reasons we made Google Meet available for free to everyone back in May. And while video conferencing is now part of our daily lives, it comes with its challenges, too. Aside from the occasional adorable interruptions, there’s also more potential for accidental exclusion. And when that happens, we risk missing out on valuable perspectives, creativity and successful outcomes

Fortunately, there are ways to make remote meetings better and more inclusive for all. 

Plan ahead

The more planning you do, the better remote meetings can be. Share your agenda, process and materials ahead of time so everyone has a chance to gather their thoughts and show up ready to contribute meaningfully. 

Everyone processes information differently; for instance, for some neurodivergent people, vague information can be stressful and difficult to respond to. And for introverted people, the same can lead to less participation.  

Check that the platforms your team uses for real-time chat, presentations, feedback or whiteboarding work with different assistive technologies that people with disabilities may use. You can search online, on the company’s help center, or contact them directly. (Here’s some accessibility info for GoogleMeet and Google Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms.

If you’re tied to using a specific platform, like a brainstorming tool without captions, tell everyone about its limitations ahead of time and work together to find a workaround. 

You can also send participants an anonymous feedback survey with Google Forms asking how to improve the experience. 

Set ground rules, norms and time limits

From the start, establish a clear process for the meeting. This can include when there should be discussion, when someone has the floor for an extended period, how to take turns and what signals the moderator will use to (politely!) cut in to keep things moving along.

It’s also essential to normalize parenting and caregiving. Make sure your colleagues know caregiving responsibilities can be attended to and prioritized, and discuss that it’s OK (and sometimes even fun!) for kids, pets and other family members to interrupt calls. And remember, anyone can be a caretaker regardless of age, gender or living situation, so include everyone in this discussion. 

 If meetings are longer than an hour (and were intended to be), offer breaks. Listening fatigue due to cognitive load can occur for deaf and hard-of-hearing participants, but breaks are likely welcome to anyone spending the majority of their day looking at a screen.

Take advantage of remote meeting technology

Before you join meetings, be close enough to the mic and camera so participants can easily see faces to clearly read lips, tone and body language. Using real-time closed captions (CC) is also a good idea (here’s how to turn on English CC when presenting in Google Meet and Google Slides), as is adding a phone dial-in option, which G Suite customers can easily do in Google Meet

And if you’re sharing any Docs or Slides, make sure the content is easily visible for everyone. (For more details about making sure meetings and the content you share during them are accessible, check out this blog post about creating inclusivity while we work from home.) 

Leave time for empathy

There’s a lot going on in the world, from a global pandemic to the quest for racial equity. It’s important to recognize that people may be in difficult situations and feeling a multitude of emotions. 

If you are leading a video call, plan to take some time at the beginning to acknowledge how people may be feeling, offer your support and understanding. Even though meetings have a specific agenda, it’s also important to  create a safe, no-pressure space for people to share—if they want to—and to connect to one another. 

Hopefully these tips will help make your video meetings more welcoming for everyone you work and meet with. 

Meet features help engage students and moderate classes

This year, as educators conducted class remotely, the equivalent of over 1,300 years of learning took place each day on Google Meet. With more than 140 million educators and students now using G Suite for Education worldwide to create, collaborate and communicate, many more schools and educators are using Meet to stay connected. We’re excited to share some Meet features that will be launching later this year to help educators improve moderation and engagement in remote or hybrid learning environments.

Increasing control of your meetings

As always, our first priority is keeping meetings safe and secure. New moderation features for G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users will give educators more control over how to run their virtual classes. All these features will be rolling out later this year.

First off, we’re making it easier to manage meeting attendees. When someone asks to join a meeting (or “knocks”), they won’t be able to knock again after being ejected from a meeting, and a knock will no longer show up after a moderator rejects it twice. Plus, we’re updating the knocking interface to make knocks less intrusive for educators. Moderators will also be able to end the meeting for all participants, ensuring no students linger after the teacher has left. And we’ll soon block anonymous attendees from joining any Education meetings by default, though schools will be able to opt-in to allow anonymous participants.

To help students and educators feel more comfortable while on video from their homes, we will enable them to blur out their surroundings or replace their background, with presets or uploaded images (with admin controls to disable this functionality).

Background Replace_crop.jpg

Mock is subject to change: Replace your background with an image

Later this year, we’ll release additional moderation features to give educators full control of their meetings, such as the ability to mute all participants at the same time, disable in-meeting chat for participants, and restrict who can present. We’ll also provide a setting that requires that the moderator join before the meeting can begin. You'll hear more from us on these new features in the coming months.

Creating engaging virtual classes

As many educators learned this year, it can be hard to meaningfully engage students when classes are conducted remotely. The following Meet features, launching later this year, will give educators more tools to boost interactivity with their students.

For all G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users, we’re releasing a hand raising feature to make meetings flow more smoothly and an integrated collaborative whiteboard to help teachers and students share their ideas more naturally. In addition, a larger tiled view will allow you to display up to 49 participants at once. We’re also launching closed captions in additional languages to make lessons more accessible.

Hand raising.jpg

Mock is subject to change: Raise your hand in a class meeting to signal you want to share

Meet + Jamboard.png

Mock is subject to change: Whiteboard from anywhere with Jamboard integration in Meet

For G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, we’re also releasing several premium features: attendance tracking to provide a record of which students joined the class, breakout rooms so educators can split classes into smaller groups, Q&A to provide a way for students to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the class discussion or lesson, and polling to engage students to share their voice. If your school is interested in using these enterprise video capabilities in Meet, you can contact a G Suite Enterprise for Education specialist today.

We're committed to building helpful tools that allow educators and students to keep teaching and learning - no matter where they are. To learn how to share feedback on where we can continue to improve, head over to our Meet Help Center. And stay tuned over the next few months as these features roll out.

Meet features help engage students and moderate classes

This year, as educators conducted class remotely, the equivalent of over 1,300 years of learning took place each day on Google Meet. With more than 140 million educators and students now using G Suite for Education worldwide to create, collaborate and communicate, many more schools and educators are using Meet to stay connected. We’re excited to share some Meet features that will be launching later this year to help educators improve moderation and engagement in remote or hybrid learning environments.

Increasing control of your meetings

As always, our first priority is keeping meetings safe and secure. New moderation features for G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users will give educators more control over how to run their virtual classes. All these features will be rolling out later this year.

First off, we’re making it easier to manage meeting attendees. When someone asks to join a meeting (or “knocks”), they won’t be able to knock again after being ejected from a meeting, and a knock will no longer show up after a moderator rejects it twice. Plus, we’re updating the knocking interface to make knocks less intrusive for educators. Moderators will also be able to end the meeting for all participants, ensuring no students linger after the teacher has left. And we’ll soon block anonymous attendees from joining any Education meetings by default, though schools will be able to opt-in to allow anonymous participants.

To help students and educators feel more comfortable while on video from their homes, we will enable them to blur out their surroundings or replace their background, with presets or uploaded images (with admin controls to disable this functionality).

Background Replace_crop.jpg

Mock is subject to change: Replace your background with an image

Later this year, we’ll release additional moderation features to give educators full control of their meetings, such as the ability to mute all participants at the same time, disable in-meeting chat for participants, and restrict who can present. We’ll also provide a setting that requires that the moderator join before the meeting can begin. You'll hear more from us on these new features in the coming months.

Creating engaging virtual classes

As many educators learned this year, it can be hard to meaningfully engage students when classes are conducted remotely. The following Meet features, launching later this year, will give educators more tools to boost interactivity with their students.

For all G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users, we’re releasing a hand raising feature to make meetings flow more smoothly and an integrated collaborative whiteboard to help teachers and students share their ideas more naturally. In addition, a larger tiled view will allow you to display up to 49 participants at once. We’re also launching closed captions in additional languages to make lessons more accessible.

Hand raising.jpg

Mock is subject to change: Raise your hand in a class meeting to signal you want to share

Meet + Jamboard.png

Mock is subject to change: Whiteboard from anywhere with Jamboard integration in Meet

For G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, we’re also releasing several premium features: attendance tracking to provide a record of which students joined the class, breakout rooms so educators can split classes into smaller groups, Q&A to provide a way for students to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the class discussion or lesson, and polling to engage students to share their voice. If your school is interested in using these enterprise video capabilities in Meet, you can contact a G Suite Enterprise for Education specialist today.

We're committed to building helpful tools that allow educators and students to keep teaching and learning - no matter where they are. To learn how to share feedback on where we can continue to improve, head over to our Meet Help Center. And stay tuned over the next few months as these features roll out.

Meet features help engage students and moderate classes

This year, as educators conducted class remotely, the equivalent of over 1,300 years of learning took place each day on Google Meet. With more than 140 million educators and students now using G Suite for Education worldwide to create, collaborate and communicate, many more schools and educators are using Meet to stay connected. We’re excited to share some Meet features that will be launching later this year to help educators improve moderation and engagement in remote or hybrid learning environments.

Increasing control of your meetings

As always, our first priority is keeping meetings safe and secure. New moderation features for G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users will give educators more control over how to run their virtual classes. All these features will be rolling out later this year.

First off, we’re making it easier to manage meeting attendees. When someone asks to join a meeting (or “knocks”), they won’t be able to knock again after being ejected from a meeting, and a knock will no longer show up after a moderator rejects it twice. Plus, we’re updating the knocking interface to make knocks less intrusive for educators. Moderators will also be able to end the meeting for all participants, ensuring no students linger after the teacher has left. And we’ll soon block anonymous attendees from joining any Education meetings by default, though schools will be able to opt-in to allow anonymous participants.

To help students and educators feel more comfortable while on video from their homes, we will enable them to blur out their surroundings or replace their background, with presets or uploaded images (with admin controls to disable this functionality).

Background Replace_crop.jpg

Mock is subject to change: Replace your background with an image

Later this year, we’ll release additional moderation features to give educators full control of their meetings, such as the ability to mute all participants at the same time, disable in-meeting chat for participants, and restrict who can present. We’ll also provide a setting that requires that the moderator join before the meeting can begin. You'll hear more from us on these new features in the coming months.

Creating engaging virtual classes

As many educators learned this year, it can be hard to meaningfully engage students when classes are conducted remotely. The following Meet features, launching later this year, will give educators more tools to boost interactivity with their students.

For all G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users, we’re releasing a hand raising feature to make meetings flow more smoothly and an integrated collaborative whiteboard to help teachers and students share their ideas more naturally. In addition, a larger tiled view will allow you to display up to 49 participants at once. We’re also launching closed captions in additional languages to make lessons more accessible.

Hand raising.jpg

Mock is subject to change: Raise your hand in a class meeting to signal you want to share

Meet + Jamboard.png

Mock is subject to change: Whiteboard from anywhere with Jamboard integration in Meet

For G Suite Enterprise for Education customers, we’re also releasing several premium features: attendance tracking to provide a record of which students joined the class, breakout rooms so educators can split classes into smaller groups, Q&A to provide a way for students to ask questions without disrupting the flow of the class discussion or lesson, and polling to engage students to share their voice. If your school is interested in using these enterprise video capabilities in Meet, you can contact a G Suite Enterprise for Education specialist today.

We're committed to building helpful tools that allow educators and students to keep teaching and learning - no matter where they are. To learn how to share feedback on where we can continue to improve, head over to our Meet Help Center. And stay tuned over the next few months as these features roll out.

“Hey Google, make a group call” now on Nest Hub Max

One of the most popular ways people use Nest Hub Max is for video calling. Up until now, that meant one-on-one sessions with friends and family. Rolling out today in the U.S., you can make group video calls with Duo and Google Meet on your Hub Max. With just a simple voice command, Google Assistant can now help connect you with multiple people at once.

“Hey Google, make a group call”

With group video calling on Nest Hub Max, you can now bring the whole family together, spontaneously check in with your siblings or host a weekly happy hour with friends for up to 32 people. To get started, you can create groups in the Duo mobile app, and from there just ask your Hub Max, “Hey Google, make a group call,” and tap on the Duo group you want to connect with. And with auto-framing, you can freely move around your kitchen or living room during your Duo video call, while staying in view. In addition to Nest Hub Max, Duo group video calling is available on LG XBOOM AI ThinQ WK9 Smart DisplayJBL Link View and Lenovo’s 8 inch and 10 inch Smart Displays

“Hey Google, join my next meeting”

You can also try, “Hey Google, start a meeting” to connect with up to 100 people on Google Meet for fitness classes, book clubs, community gatherings or whatever else you’ve got planned. If you want to call into a meeting, say "Hey Google, join a meeting" then tap the "enter a meeting code" option and type it in to join. Or try asking, “Hey Google, join my next meeting” to instantly connect to the next call on your personal Google Calendar. Meet group video calling is launching first on Nest Hub Max.

We’re also rolling out beta support for G Suite accounts, so you can host work meetings on your personal Nest Hub Max. G Suite admins who would like to apply on behalf of their domains to join the beta program can sign up at g.co/gsuiteassistantbeta

And if you’re looking to put your personal VIPs on “speed dial,” household contacts are starting to roll out today on Google Assistant-enabled smart speakers and Smart Displays in the U.S. Once set up, you (or other people in your household) can dial your cousin Cassandra by saying "Hey Google, call Cassandra” or by tapping on Cassandra’s name on your Smart Display's household contacts list.

Google Assistant and Nest have always made it easy to connect with friends and family⁠—and now, the more the merrier.