As people are increasingly depending on video-conferencing tools to connect with colleagues while working from home these days, global internet giant Google's service, Google Meet, could be an easy-to-use alternative to Zoom video meeting service. Earlier restricted to GSuite and educators, the Google Meet service has now being made available to anyone with a Gmail account. However, it is reaching people in batches, and not everyone would have it enabled in their Gmail account.With many countries imposing lockdowns and other restrictions to prevent the spread of the coronavirus since March, many professionals have had to work from home and connect with their team members using video-conference services like Zoom.
Like the Zoom client, the Google Meet is a free-to-use video-conferencing service for up to 100 participants. However, unlike in case of Zoom, where free service can be availed of for only up to 40 minutes, Google Meet has no such time limit.
There are multiple ways to use Google Meet for video conferences. Here is how to use Google Meet to connect with colleagues, friends and family:
Unlike most other video conferencing services, Google Meet is not a standalone tool but an integrated service that is now part of Gmail. Therefore, you need to have a Gmail account to use Google Meet. The service is visible on the left column on Gmail interface, right above the hangouts contact list and below the mail folders. If the Google Meet is not there, it will automatically appear in days to come. You do not need to do anything to enable Google Meet on your Gmail account. Meanwhile, you can visit meet.google.com to access Google Meet services. It is important to note that Google Meet requires Gmail account to start a meeting or join a meeting.
How to start a video conference on Google Meet using Gmail
Step 1: Log into your Gmail account
Step 2: To start a video session, click on “Start a meeting” just below the “Meet” subhead. To join a meeting, click on “Join a meeting” button and enter the meeting code.
Step 3: Accept Google Meet's request for permission to use the system’s video camera and microphone.
Step 4: On the next screen, you get a meeting URL that you can share with participants to enter the meeting.
5: Before you enter the meeting, Google Meet gives you an option to be a participant or a presenter.
Join the meeting by clicking on “Join Now” button, or share your screen with other participants by clicking on “Present” button.
Step 5: The Google Meet app shows a pop-up notification to the creator of the meeting whenever a new guest joins in.
Google Meet is a light-weight video conferencing service, which does not have as comprehensive a list of features as Zoom. For instance, there is no way to record a meeting, or change your background. However, it has its own set of features that work flawlessly. These include different on-screen layouts, audio and video controls, captions service, and chat.
Using Google Meet on smartphones
Google Meet is available as an app on iOS and Android platforms, too. Its utility remains the same, and there is no change in the list of supported features. The app also allows to create a meeting or join one using a meeting code.
How to schedule a meeting on Google Meet
With schedule option missing on Google Meet for Gmail and smartphone app, there is no direct way to schedule a meeting on Google Meet. However, there is a workaround. Along with Gmail integration, the Google Meet is also integrated with Google Calendar. Now, while creating an event, the calendar gives you the option to make it a Google Meet video conference. It also allows you to pick contacts from Google contacts list for the meeting. To schedule a meeting on Google Meet, you can create an event on Google Calendar and make it a Google Meet video conference event. Once done, the participants added through contacts get a mail notification. Others can join through code, which you get from the event window.