In the current pandemic situation, the number of people working from home has increased exponentially, making Zoom a household name. There is no way the corporate giant, Google, would have stayed back in the competition. Google launched Google Meet in the year 2017 and continuously rolled out updates since then. It’s a wonderful platform for collaboration, allowing video conferences and presentations. Previously, there was Google Hangouts Meet, and now we have an advanced version, Google Meet, supporting 100, 150, or 250 participants, depending on the selected plan. Additionally, it has a free plan as well as flexible paid plans suiting all user’s needs. To learn what Google Meet is all about, let’s explore its advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of Google Meet
Google Meet uses AI (Artificial Intelligence) to automatically adapt to the lighting conditions. This way, even in low-light, users can join the video calls without worrying whether others can see them. Here are some other benefits of using Google Meet:
We are living in a time when in-person interactions are restricted for safety purposes. So, the only option that we have for getting our work done and staying in touch with our loved ones is technology. Google Meet is one such technology that promotes cooperation. It offers various features such as a digital whiteboard, attendance reports, breakout rooms, and polling. The digital whiteboard is called Google Jamboard and is used to host collaborative brainstorming sessions. These features increase the interaction among participants. This way, creative learning is promoted, providing participants a platform to become more productive.
Google is known for its user-friendly design, implying Google Meet is quite easy to use. If you want to join a meeting, you can simply click on the link shared with you. Then, you will be redirected either to the application or web browser. Likewise, if you want to host a meeting, you merely have to launch Google Meet, generate a link, and share it with the participants through a medium of your choice. Two such mediums are e-mails and messaging apps. Additionally, it provides the feature of creating events on Google Calendar, through which the invite is sent to the contacts. To sum up, the simple user interface and easy-to-use features make its barrier of entry low.
3. Screen sharing
Like any other major video conferencing technology, Google Meet offers a feature of screen sharing. To use it, you simply have to click on the ‘Present now’ option available on your screen while you are in the meeting. The software will promptly ask you whether you want to present your entire screen or a window. Similarly, if you want to end the screen sharing, you simply have to click on ‘Stop presenting’. The undeniable advantage of using screen sharing is that it boosts communication and saves a lot of time.
Securing data is becoming more and more important as we are going digital. From personal to professional use, we are becoming dependent on various types of technology. These technologies must be as secure as possible. With Google Meet, the users can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that Google’s infrastructure is expertly protected. It has one of the highest levels of standards for safeguarding the user’s interest and data privacy. Also, it takes several encryption measures, such as encrypting both data in transit for video meetings and the Meet recordings stored in Google Drive. Furthermore, the security standards of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have been adhered to in Google Meet.
As we mentioned earlier, Google Meet integrates with Google Calendar and Google Contacts to schedule events and meetings. Similarly, it integrates with other services Google provides. If you use Gmail, you should know you can access this video conferencing service from your Inbox by clicking on the Google Meet icon at the bottom. Moreover, you can access it from other services such as Google Chats, Google Slides, and Google Classroom.
Disadvantages of Google Meet
Unsurprisingly, technology has downsides. So does Google Meet; here are some of its disadvantages.
1. Sharing restricted to one screen
Screen sharing is an excellent feature Google Meet offers, but unfortunately, only allows sharing of one screen at a time. So, an alternative to this can be adding two windows to a screen before sharing the contents of the whole screen. This way, more information can be displayed, which is especially useful when making comparisons. Sadly, when you are in a middle of an important meeting, this can feel like a tedious task. On the other hand, we’ve witnessed the advantages of video conferencing software like Zoom that allows simultaneous screen sharing. This unquestionably makes Google Meet far less appealing in comparison.
2. Displays limited number of participants
In Tile View, Google Meet can only display up to 16 participants at once. This can seem impressive at first, but when you compare it to Zoom, you’d quickly realize otherwise. Zoom can concurrently display up to 49 participants, making it a more desirable option. This is particularly true for users who need to monitor more participants at once. Those groups of people will undoubtedly choose Zoom over Google Meet.
3. Limited features
It’s better to compare forms of technology with similar ones to understand their features better. Google Meet can seem like an ideal option because of its high levels of security. It is only when you pit it against Zoom that you realize the former comes with a set of constraints regarding features. Let’s provide a few examples to illustrate our point. A waiting room is a feature offered by Zoom, where participants can wait, and hosts can control when they can join. This feature has proved to be quite useful, but unfortunately, there is no concept of the waiting room in Google Meet. The second feature we will talk about is a whiteboard. No doubt, Google Meet offers one, but for that, you must use Google Jamboard. Whereas, in Zoom, the whiteboard is inbuilt. So, in many ways, Google Meet is limited feature-wise in comparison to its competitors.