In a bid to rival Zoom, video conferencing apps like Google Meet and Microsoft Teams have rushed to implement new features and make their offerings accessible to a wider userbase. Google Meet went from being restricted to just business users to now being integrated right into Gmail. It’s free to use for all and recently added features such as a 16-person tile view, noise cancellation, and more.
Google Meet has taken cues from its rivals and is ready to add more user-requested features, including hand raise, blurred and custom backgrounds, and polling among other things. The company has detailed its plans for Google Meet in an official blog post. Here’s every new feature coming to Google Meet later in 2020:
One of the features that makes using Zoom fun are the custom backgrounds. You can choose to be in the barren lands of Tatooine or inside the Matrix. Google Meet will soon enable you to blur your background (to help hide the clutter) or swap it out for something completely different. The platform will offer a handful of presets but you will be able to upload your images as well.
Again, a handy feature for meetings and classrooms. You no longer need to shout in the middle of a lecture to get your query answered. Just press the ‘Raise hand’ button and it will instantly notify everyone that you want to add something to the discussion.
Q&A / Polls
If raising your hand feels too much in the middle of a discussion, you can look towards Meet’s upcoming Q&A feature. It will enable the admin to collect questions, which can then be answered towards the end of the segment. You will also be able to create and engage in real-time polls to get everyone’s input in large meetings. It’s currently unknown if the admin will be able to see everyone’s answer or not.
More Moderation Controls
Hosts will soon be able to see who all attended the meeting – an attendance feature is coming your way. There will be a breakout room feature to divide a large section into smaller teams, hold meetings, and then reconvene to discuss the idea as a whole. The hosts will soon be presented with options to mute and end calls for all participants, disable in-app chat, and the ability to present their screen.
The company did not reveal which feature is coming when but all the aforementioned features are said to roll out before the end of 2020.