Google adding more Zoom-esque features to its Meet app

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Earlier this month we covered a story in which Google was banning its employees from using the now popular videoconferencing app Zoom, with several security issues found on the platform since it has become more widely used during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The result simply meant that employees had to turn to the tools that Google had in-house, which includes Hangouts and Meet. Now the latter is getting some Zoom-esque features which should make it more popular among Google employees and users alike.

To that end, Reuters reports that the a handful of features are rolling out on Meet, with it aimed at the enterprise and education space in particular, along with capitalising on any potential reluctance to use a platform like Zoom.

Google VP of G Suite, Javier Soltero, has told Reuters that the new features include the ability to add a Zoom-style gallery view to group video calls, with up to 16 people at once appearing in the gallery.

That’s quite a bit off of what Zoom can muster though, with the app catering for up to 49 profiles in gallery view, but that does put quite a bit of strain on your PC or notebook.

The other key feature addition involves Gmail, with the mail client getting the ability to start or join a Meet call. The options would sit below the different folders and tools on the left hand side of the Gmail app, so it means that users will need to be using the fully fledged version of the client in order to get access.

Some other quality of life features are the ability to enhance video quality when in a dimly lit environment, as well as blocking out background noise, with both features set to be added later this month.

Either way it’s clear that Google has seen the success of Zoom, and now wants to improve its own offering to compete too.

Robin-Leigh Chetty

Robin-Leigh Chetty

When he's not reviewing the latest smartphones, Robin-Leigh is writing about everything tech-related from IoT and smart cities, to 5G and cloud computing. He's also a keen photographer and dabbles in console games.