What is Google Meet and how to use it: quick guide

Due to the spread of the coronavirus, video conferencing programmes have grown in popularity tremendously this year, and Google Meet is one of the finest alternatives. This service replaces earlier Google products like as Duo and Hangouts Meet, although it operates somewhat differently and offers additional capabilities for experienced users.

So if you are looking for a video conferencing application to complement your work from home, you have come to the right place. And, here we will tell you what Google Meet is and how to use it.
What is Google Meet?

Google Meet (formerly Google Hangouts Meet) is a business-focused video conferencing tool developed by Google. Along with Google Chat, it replaces Hangouts video chats and adds a number of business-friendly features that are ideal for businesses large and small, as well as a great option for schools, especially in these hectic times. those of us who have had to reinvent ourselves due to the pandemic.

After spending the better part of a year completely overshadowed by Zoom, Google Meet unlocked many paid features for free users during the stay-at-home period due to the coronavirus outbreak, and it has gained massive popularity. It still doesn’t have as large a user base as some of its direct competitors, but it keeps growing and adding more and more features.

How to use Google Meet

The good news for those switching from WebEx or Zoom to Google Meet is that the app is very easy to use. Like most G Suite apps, this service is designed to keep things simple, and you can literally learn how to use it in less than an hour. Next we will show you in detail how to start using this app.

How to start or join a Google Meet meeting

The first thing you need to learn how to do is start a meeting, and luckily, Google Meet is very easy. These are all the ways to start a meeting from different devices:

From your browser: go to the Google Meet website, click on New meeting, then follow the steps to set one up.
From Gmail: Click Start a meeting in the menu on the left. This option is only available from the browser.
From your smartphone: download and open the Google Meet app, then tap New meeting.
When you start a meeting, you will automatically generate a link for other participants to join. All you need to do is send them the link and they can join immediately, plus links will be sent to anyone who is invited to an event or meeting that has been scheduled in Google Calendar or Gmail. The host may need to accept meeting participants.

In each of the steps listed above, there is an option to join the meeting next to the option to start the meeting. You can enter the meeting code there, or just click on the link sent by the meeting host. It’s that easy!

Customize your settings

Once you’ve created or joined your meeting, it’s time to learn how to use Google Meet’s personalization features and settings . The features that are available will depend on whether or not you have a G Suite account, but there are also many things you can do with a free account. One of the most important settings for video conferencing is how you display the participants.

By default, Google Meet is set to Automatic, so it will automatically choose the best layout based on how many participants there are and how many people are speaking. However, there are three more options if you want to take control:

Mosaic – Show up to 16 participants in small tiles, or fewer participants in a sidebar if someone is presenting.
Spotlight – The active speaker or presentation fills the window.
Sidebar – In the centre, the presentation or active speaker is located, with smaller tiles on the sides for other participants.Other customization options

Aside from the choices listed above, you may also pin a participant so that they show in the middle of your screen at all times. Meeting creators, on the other hand, can also mute participants, which works independently of automatic silencers.
For privacy reasons, no one except the participant can unmute their own microphone if it is automatically muted.
Incoming call participants can mute or unmute by entering * 6 on the dial pad.
One of the coolest features of Google Meet is live captions. Just hit the Turn Captions button at the bottom of the screen and Google will generate captions for whoever is speaking. Please note that it is currently only available in English and that captions are not saved if the meeting is recorded.
How to chat and screen share on Google Meet

Video meetings are a great way to communicate with colleagues, but at some point you will need to show something present. Like most video conferencing softwares, Google Meet is fairly easy to learn for presentations and you have some additional options thanks to its integration with Google Chrome. To share your screen, all you need to do is click on the Present now button, located at the bottom of the screen.

You can then choose to share your full screen, a single window, or a single Chrome tab. If you want to show videos or animations, Google recommends sharing only one Chrome tab for the best performance. You can also switch to a different Chrome tab by clicking the Change font option at the bottom of the page, or stop sharing by clicking Stop Presentation.

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