|Initial release||March 9, 2017|
.Release/ May 26, 2021
|Platform||Android, iOS, Web|
Google Meet (formerly known as Hangouts Meet) is a video-communication service developed by Google. It is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Chat.
After being invite-only and quietly releasing an iOS app in February 2017, Google formally launched Meet in March 2017. The service was unveiled as a video conferencing app for up to 30 participants, described as an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts. It has launched with a web app, an Android app, and an iOS app.
While Google Meet introduced the above features to upgrade the original Hangouts application, some standard Hangouts features were deprecated, including viewing attendees and chat simultaneously. The number of video feeds allowed at one time was also reduced to 8 (while up to 4 feeds can be shown in the "tiles" layout), prioritizing those attendees who most recently used their microphone. Additionally, features such as the chatbox were changed to overlay the video feeds, rather than resizing the latter to fit. Hangouts is scheduled to cease operation in the first half of 2021.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of Meet grew by a factor of 30 between January and April 2020, with 100 million users a day accessing Meet, compared to 200 million daily uses for Zoom as of the last week of April 2020. Google suspended its usual 60-minute limit for unpaid accounts.
Features of Google Meet include:
Google Meet uses proprietary protocols for video, audio and data transcoding. However, Google has partnered with the company Pexip to provide interoperability between Google Meet and SIP/H.323-based conferencing equipment and software.
Features for users who use Google Workspace accounts include:
In March 2020, Google temporarily extended advanced features present in the enterprise edition to anyone using Google Workspace or G Suite for Education editions.
Real-time translations of the automatically generated closed captions are planned to arrive some time in 2021.
In March 2020, Google rolled out Meet to personal (free) Google accounts.
Users need a Google account to initiate calls and like Google Workspace users, anyone with a Google account is able to start a Meet call from within Gmail.
In May 2020, Asus unveiled videoconferencing hardware designed for use with Google Meet in conference room settings, which includes a "Meet Compute System" mini PC, and a dedicated camera and microphone.
On September 15, 2020, Google unveiled Meet Series One, in partnership with Lenovo, which includes a Meet Compute System with Edge TPU, "Smart Camera", "Smart Audio Bar" with noise reduction, and a choice of remote control or touchscreen that supports the Google Assistant.
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