Google is rolling out an updated user interface (UI) for web users with new features for enhanced remote meetings. Google notes that the new tools will help users experience an immersive, secure, and people-centric approach to meetings. Due to the pandemic, people around the world have adopted a hybrid work culture that requires users to log in from remote locations and in person for virtual meetings.
“Starting next month, desktop and laptop users will see a new, richer user interface with an array of easy-to-access features that make meetings more productive and inclusive,” Google said in a statement. blog post.
Visibility: Starting with a user’s experience, Google is changing the way they see themselves in meetings to reduce meeting fatigue. You can choose your video to display as a thumbnail, grid, or floating image. This can be resized or repositioned. Users can also minimize their feed and hide it entirely from their own feed. Google will also allow users to turn off their feed for all Google Meet calls.
Multiple pinning: Google will also allow pinning multiple users if they present during meetings. It will also allow users to pin multiple video streams in the coming months to allow users to combine people and content. When not pinned, the presentation thumbnail will be the same size as other attendee thumbnails. This will allow users to see more people on the call and better gauge the reactions.
Improved controls: With the new UI, Google also brings all of its controls together in one place, this will make the bottom bar always visible so that users never have to miss captions or guess if they’re muted. Additionally, Google keeps the call button away from the camera or microphone to prevent accidental hang-ups.
Light adjustment: Google Meet automatically detects when a user seems underexposed and improves brightness to improve visibility. AI will make a user more visible if the environment is too dark or too bright.
Video background replacement: Until now, Google Meet has allowed users to blur their backgrounds or add custom backgrounds to their feeds. Now it adds videos to replace the backgrounds which will help users maintain privacy. There will be three themes, including a classroom, a party, and a forest, with more features rolling out in the future.
Automatic zoom: This is another AI feature that will help you zoom in and position yourself directly in front of your camera, and help others see you more clearly. Google notes that when a user is moving, Autozoom readjusts the speaker focus. This feature will be available for paid users. Google Meet is also launching a data saver this month that will limit data usage on mobile networks to allow users to save on data costs, especially in Brazil, Mexico and Indonesia, where costs data can be high.