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.
What is Google Meet?
Google Meet is a video conferencing platform developed by Google as a replacement for Google Hangouts. It offers video calling and a bunch of other features that make virtual meetings easy and accessible. It is more like a mesh between Google Duo and Hangout. Initially, it was only available for Google Workspace users, but during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the company decided to release it for everyone. Since then, it has grown substantially.
Here is a video that highlights how to join a meeting on Google Meet:
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 with 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.
Comparison of the Google Meet Pros and Cons
If you are not satisfied with the listed items. Here are some more.
|User-friendly interface||Limited features in the free version|
|Seamless integration with G Suite||May not be as feature-rich as competitors|
|Available on multiple platforms||Internet connectivity required|
|Strong security features and encryption||Vulnerable to privacy concerns|
|Integration with Google Workspace apps||Limited third-party app integrations|
|Scales well for large meetings and webinars||Participant count limit in free version|
|Easy recording and storage options||Storage limitations in the free version|
|Offers free and paid plans for different needs||Premium features may require a subscription|
|24/7 customer support for paid users||Bad support for free plan users|
5 Easy and Worthwhile Tips for Google Meet
Google is a name that is familiar to anyone who has ever accessed the internet. In fact, the Google Search Engine is one of the most visited websites on the planet, with almost 83 billion clicks per month. The company also has a video conferencing platform, namely Google Meet, that has amassed a following of 300 million monthly users, which is more than double that of Microsoft Teams.
As a powerful platform, Google Meet comes with a slew of features to make users’ lives much easier. Here we are discussing some of the tips and tricks that can help you with your Google Meet and make it much more fun!
1. Personalize your calls
Google Meet allows the user to customize their video call however they want. You can change the background to anything you want. You can blur it or even add a virtual background for extra professionalism. Likewise, you are also able to dictate your screen layout and can focus on either the main speaker or watch the grid.
2. Perform a device check
Before joining an important meeting, presentation, or even interview, you can perform a quick mic check to ensure everything is working perfectly and there is no hangup when it comes to a crucial time. Google Meet offers tools for checking your camera and microphone feeds pre-meeting. In fact, it is one of the best checks we have ever seen on an app.
3. Call recording
Yes, you can even record your calls for future use. If you are in a meeting, you can record it for later reference. Furthermore, you can even access the recordings of others to keep up with any changes in case you miss a meeting.
4. Use of captions
Google Meet also has captions. You can transcribe your speech, or anyone’s for that matter, live during the call with the help of the Live Caption feature. Although, fair warning, the transcription is not perfect and is prone to making errors, nevertheless, it is a lifesaver. You can also transcribe automatically in languages other than English, such as French, German, Portuguese, or even Spanish.
5. Schedule your Meets
And lastly, you have the option of scheduling your calls. Once you schedule a call and send an invitation, you don’t have to worry, as it will allow the person with the link to join the meeting on time.
How does Google Meet compare with other Video Conferencing Apps?
Although Google Meet is a very good app, others can offer the same or even better quality. Here, we are comparing Google Meet with some of the best video conferencing apps on the market.
|Features||Google Meet||Microsoft Teams||Zoom|
|Platform Supported||Windows, Android, iOS, and web||Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and web||Windows, Android, iOS, macOS, and web|
|Developer||Microsoft||Zoom Video Communications|
|App Integration||Google Workspace||Microsoft 365 and third-party support||Third party support|
|Number of Participants||100||300||100|
|Meeting Duration (per session)||60 Minutes||Unlimited for paid users||Varies with subscription|
|Security||End-to-end Encryption||End-to-end Encryption||End-to-end Encryption|
|Chat||Available||Available||Available with file sharing|