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Google Meet sees 30-fold growth since January

As video chat apps like Zoom took off during the lockdown period, Google announced on April 29, 2020 that it was making Meet available for free to everyone with a Google account   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Google Meet, Google’s video-conferencing product, has surpassed 50 million downloads on Play Store as work-from-home numbers have grown during the COVID-19 pandemic period. Since January, Meet’s peak daily usage has grown by 30 times, according to Google. As of April, Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly 3 million new users every day, says a company blog post.

Meet was originally a tool for businesses and was part of Google’s G Suite enterprise solution. But as video chat apps like Zoom took off during the lockdown period, Google announced on April 29, 2020 that it was making Meet available for free to everyone with a Google account.

Google Meet allows up to 100 participants in a meeting without any time limit. The time limit will be capped to 60 minutes per meeting post September 30, 2020, says Google.

 

Google Meet comes with some features that utilise Google’s strengths, such as real-time captions using AI-powered speech recognition technology. However, this is available only in English.

Handy features

Meet also uses AI to make users more visible in low-light conditions, and for filtering surrounding noises and enhancing the audio quality during meetings. Low-light mode and noise cancellation features are being rolled out and are not available to all users, as per the company blog post.

Meet calls are encrypted by default and it generates a unique encryption key for every user and for every meeting.

Meet is browser-based and users can access the platform without downloading any additional software. On smartphones, users can also access via the iOS and Android apps.

Standard video-conferencing features such as screen sharing and invitations via links are available in Meet too. Tiled layout comes in handy for large calls as it lets web users see up to 16 participants on a single screen.

Advanced features like hosting meetings with up to 250 participants, live streaming with up to 1,00,000 viewers in a single domain, recording, and saving meetings in Google Drive are now available to all users at no additional cost till September 30, 2020, it said.

Google Meet is integrated with G Suite, so a user can join meetings directly through Gmail or Google Calendar events. Most of the features are designed to cater to enterprise and educational clients, but individual users can reap the benefits as well. For young users who may be interested in using Meet as a chat app, however, there aren’t a lot of features that build engagement. Nevertheless, the convenience and stability of the platform on large group chats are pluses.

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Printable version | May 7, 2021 11:15:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/google-meet-sees-30-fold-growth-since-january/article31631115.ece

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