Google has announced that it will introduce new features of Meet later this year, mainly for G Suite education customers. New features include added features for administrators and moderators, the ability to replace or blur backgrounds, and larger tiled views to accommodate more participants in video calls.
New features that let educators control meetings and courses will be available to G Suite for Education and G Suite Enterprise for Education users. This includes an update to the Knock on the Door feature when a user requests to join a meeting, and rejected users will not be able to request to join again. The interface is also being updated to reduce interference. The service will also start blocking anonymous users. However, education clients will be allowed to opt-in to meetings with anonymous users. Other administrative features, such as mute all participants, disable chat in meetings, restrict screen sharing to selected users, and so on, will also enter the service. The search giant added that it will provide more information about these features in the coming months.
In terms of usability improvements, Google will bring features that currently exist on competitive services such as Teams and Zoom, such as the “raise your hands” feature when making a call. It would also expand the limit on tiled layout participants in video calls to 49 from the current limit of 16 users. The tool will also allow users to blur or change the video chat background, which will be a very popular new feature. It will also include administrator control to disable this feature. In addition, Meet will integrate with Google’s whiteboard app Jamboard to help teachers and students share their ideas more naturally.
In addition to these features, advanced G Suite Enterprise for Education customers will receive additional features such as attendance tracking, breakout discussions, question-and-answer sessions, and voting. All of the features announced today will be rolled out to G Suite Education customers in the coming months, but new features such as the increased tiled layout won’t surprise more users. Overall, the new features further make Meet a viable alternative to Zoom and Teams.