Google is adding a Zoom-like layout to its Meet video conferencing tool, and integrating it with Gmail so that users can make calls with several participants. Google has seen an incredible adoption of Meet since thousands of users around the world complained that rival Zoom is insecure and prone to hackers’ use.
This coming upgrade to Meet is only the first of several new features that will be added to the video calling technology. Javier Soltero, vice president at Google, said the upgrades are coming ahead of their schedule because the global coronavirus lockdown is making many schools take to online learning and many businesses to hold live conferences on the internet.
In fact, only schools, businesses, and governments will be able to utilize the new upgrades for now and it will remain free for use till September. Apart from these upgrades, other coming features include video enhancement in poor lighting as well as filtering of background noise such as doors slamming and keyboard clicks. Google also plans to introduce a screen-sharing feature to Meet in the coming months, and this feature will be very handy for academic and business purposes.
“With more and more people working and learning from home, we want to make it easier for you to connect and keep things moving forward,” Google stated. “With Meet in Gmail, you can easily start or join a meeting in seconds. Our goal is to help you follow the flow of the day, seamlessly switching between email and video meetings — whichever form of communication you need.”
Last week, Google leadership revealed that up to two million new users per day sign up to use Meet since January when the COVID-19 pandemic escalated. Over 100 million people – including schools and students in 150 countries also use the tool for academic purposes on a daily basis. Many of the new Meet users crossed over from Zoom and other video services like those launched by Cisco Systems Inc.
Soltero confirmed this by saying “I’ve seen time and time again customers and prospects coming from other solutions that have not been able to keep up or had concerns in security and reliability.” He would not give an exact figure of Meet’s users, but he said millions of people are adopting the tool since it excels where others are lacking.