Google Meet is a video communication service developed by Google.[6] It is one of two apps that constitute the replacement for Google Hangouts, the other being Google Chat.[7] It replaced the consumer-facing Google Duo on November 1, 2022, with the Duo mobile app being renamed Meet and the original Meet app set to be phased out.[8]

Google Meet
Developer(s)Google
Initial releaseMarch 9, 2017; 7 years ago (2017-03-09)
Stable release(s)
Android, original2024.05.12.633034761 / May 16, 2024; 1 day ago (2024-05-16) [1]
iOS, original114.1.0 / May 1, 2023; 12 months ago (2023-05-01)[2]
Android, Duo243.0.629220843 / May 16, 2024; 1 day ago (2024-05-16) [3]
Android TV, Duo243.0.629220843 / May 5, 2024; 12 days ago (2024-05-05)[4]
iOS, Duo242.0 / May 6, 2024; 11 days ago (2024-05-06)[5]
PlatformAndroid, Android TV, ChromeOS, Fuchsia, iOS, iPadOS, Web
PredecessorGoogle Duo (Google Hangouts)
TypeCommunication software
LicenseFreemium
Websitemeet.google.com

In the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google announced Meet was to be made available to all users, not just Google Workspace users, in which it previously was. The use of Meet grew by a factor of 30 between January and April 2020, with 100 million users a day accessing Meet, compared to 200 million daily users for Zoom as of the last week of April 2020.[9][10][11]

History edit

 
Logo of Google Meet used from March 2017 to October 2020

After being invite-only and quietly releasing an iOS app[12] in February 2017, Google formally launched Meet in March 2017.[13] The service was unveiled as a video conferencing app for up to 30 participants, described as an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts. It was available through applications for desktop, Android, and iOS.[14]

While Google Meet introduced the above features to upgrade the original Hangouts application, some standard Hangouts features were deprecated, including viewing attendees and chat simultaneously. The number of video feeds allowed at one time was also reduced to 8 (while up to 4 feeds can be shown in the "tiles" layout), prioritizing those attendees who most recently used their microphone. Additionally, features such as the chatbox were changed to overlay the video feeds, rather than resizing the latter to fit.[citation needed] On November 1, 2022, Hangouts was officially converted and no longer available.[15] Google suspended its usual 60-minute limit for unpaid accounts.[citation needed]

In August 2020, it was reported that Google was planning to eventually merge Google Duo with the business-oriented Google Meet.[16] In December 2021, this objective had been dropped, but Duo continued to be available and updated.[17][18] In June 2022, Google reversed course and announced that Duo would, in fact, be merged into Meet.[19] The merger began in August, with the Duo mobile app being renamed Meet. The Google Duo web app now also redirects to the Google Meet web app.[8] The original Meet app is intended to be phased out over the next months.[20]

Features edit

Features of Google Meet include:

  • Two-way and multi-way audio-video calls
  • Video resolution up to 720p or 1080p, depending on the license
  • An accompanying chat[21]
  • Call encryption between all users[22]
  • Noise-canceling audio filter (depending on the license)[23]
  • Low-light video filter[24]
  • Call features: shared whiteboard, reactions, polls, voting, Q&A (depending on the license)
  • Google document sharing (documents, spreadsheets, presentations)[22]
  • Screen-sharing, browser tab sharing
  • Team activities – shared YouTube[25] and Spotify watching, playing mini games like UNO! Mobile, Kahoot! and Heads Up![26]
  • Integration with Google ecosystem, including Google Calendar and Google Contacts for one-click meeting calls
  • A live preview of the caller before the recipient picks up, which Google says is to "make calls feel more like an invitation rather than an interruption".[27]
  • Ability to call into meetings using a dial-in number (US numbers always; international numbers when included in Workspace license)
  • Hosts being able to deny a user's entry to, remove a user from, and control microphone and video access in a call.[28]
  • Video filters, effects, backgrounds and augmented reality masks.[29]
  • Ability to join meetings through a web browser or through Android or iOS apps

Google Workspace accounts edit

Features for users who use Google Workspace accounts include:

  • Up to 100 members per call for Google Workspace Starter users, up to 150 for Google Workspace Business users, and up to 250 for Google Workspace Enterprise users.[22][30][31][32]
  • Ability to call into meetings with a dial-in number from selected countries.[22]
  • Ability to record the meeting.[33]
  • Password-protected dial-in numbers for Google Workspace Enterprise edition users.
  • Real-time closed captioning based on speech recognition.
  • Background blurring and virtual backgrounds.
  • Real-time translations of the automatically generated closed captions[34]

In March 2020, Google temporarily extended advanced features present in the enterprise edition to anyone using Google Workspace or G Suite for Education[35] editions. In January 2022, these features were removed for educators and workspace users unless they subscribed.[36]

Personal accounts edit

In March 2020, Google rolled out Meet to personal (free) Google accounts.[37]

Free Meet calls can only have a single host and up to 100 participants, compared to the 250-caller limit for Google Workspace users[38][28] and the 25-participant limit for Hangouts.[39] Unlike business calls with Meet, consumer calls are not recorded and stored, and Google states that consumer data from Meet will not be used for advertisement targeting.[40] While call data is reportedly not being used for advertising purposes, based on an analysis of Meet's privacy policy, Google reserves the right to collect data on call duration, who is participating, and participants' IP addresses.[41]

Users need a Google account to initiate calls[42][43] and like Google Workspace users, anyone with a Google account is able to start a Meet call from within Gmail.[44][45]

Technologies edit

In accordance with the WebRTC standard, Google Meet uses VP8 and VP9 video codecs for video stream compression[46] and Opus audio codec for voice stream compression.[47][48] In April 2020, Google announced plans to support the AV1 video codec.[49][50][51] In February 2021, Google announced a new very low-bitrate codec for speech compression called "Lyra", that can operate with network speeds as low as 3 kbit/s that avoids robotic voice audio. Google trained machine learning models on thousands of hours of data in order to create the method used by Lyra on compression and transmittion of voice signals.[52]

Google Meet uses proprietary protocols for audio and video stream control. Interoperability between Google Meet and SIP/H.323-based conferencing equipment and software is available for Google Workspace customers through third-party services.[53]

Google Meet is optimized for low-bandwidth mobile networks through WebRTC and uses QUIC over UDP. Optimization is further achieved through the degradation of video quality through monitoring network quality.[54] For packet loss concealment Meet uses WaveNetEQ.[55]

Hardware edit

In May 2020, Asus unveiled videoconferencing hardware designed for use with Google Meet in conference room settings, which includes a "Meet Compute System" mini PC, and a dedicated camera and microphone.[56]

On September 15, 2020, Google unveiled Meet Series One, in partnership with Lenovo, which includes a Meet Compute System with Edge TPU, "Smart Camera", "Smart Audio Bar" with noise reduction, and a choice of remote control or touchscreen that supports the Google Assistant.[57]

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Google Meet (original) APKs". APKMirror.
  2. ^ "Google Meet (original) on the App Store". App Store.
  3. ^ "Google Meet (formerly Google Duo) APKs". APKMirror.
  4. ^ "Google Meet APKs". APKMirror.
  5. ^ "Google Meet on the App Store". App Store.
  6. ^ Johnston, Scott (March 9, 2017). "Meet the new Hangouts". Google. Archived from the original on March 14, 2017. Retrieved March 15, 2017.
  7. ^ de Looper, Christian (January 23, 2019). "Google will begin shutting down the classic Hangouts app in October". DigitalTrends.com. Archived from the original on August 4, 2019. Retrieved September 5, 2019.
  8. ^ a b Li, Abner (November 4, 2022). "Google Duo icon is gone for good on Android, web app gets Meet branding [U]". 9to5Google. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
  9. ^ Boland, Hannah. "Google launches free version of Meet in bid to topple Zoom". The Telegraph. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  10. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (April 29, 2020). "Google is making Meet free for everyone". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  11. ^ Lerman, Rachel. "Big Tech is coming for Zoom: Google makes video chatting service Meet free". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  12. ^ Perez, Sarah (February 28, 2017). "Google quietly launches Meet, an enterprise-friendly version of Hangouts". TechCrunch. AOL. Archived from the original on March 2, 2017. Retrieved March 2, 2017.
  13. ^ Johnston, Scott (March 6, 2017). "Meet the new Hangouts". Google. Archived from the original on March 9, 2017. Retrieved January 2, 2017.
  14. ^ KNTS, Ravi Teja (August 29, 2022). "How to Use New Google Meet App on Android and iOS". TechWiser. Retrieved November 8, 2022.
  15. ^ Forristal, Lauren (November 1, 2022). "Google puts an end to Google Hangouts once and for all". TechCrunch. Retrieved November 8, 2022.
  16. ^ Lee, Abner (August 14, 2020). "Sources: Google plans to eventually replace Duo with Meet". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved October 22, 2016.
  17. ^ Li, Abner (December 16, 2021). "Scoop: Google Duo development & planned consumer-focused merger with Meet fizzles out". 9to5Google. Archived from the original on December 16, 2021. Retrieved December 21, 2021.
  18. ^ "Google Duo". Google Play. Retrieved May 25, 2022. App updated May 23, 2022
  19. ^ Pierce, David (June 1, 2022). "Google is combining Meet and Duo into a single app for voice and video calls". The Verge. Archived from the original on June 1, 2022. Retrieved June 1, 2022.
  20. ^ Welch, Chris (August 26, 2022). "Google brought back Duo (kind of) because its Meet transition is so confusing". The Verge. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  21. ^ Johnson, Dave. "How to use the new 'Companion mode' feature in Google Meet to join meetings with a second screen". Business Insider. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  22. ^ a b c d "Compare G Suite products - Meet". gsuite.google.com. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  23. ^ "Google Meet noise cancellation is rolling out now — here's how it works". VentureBeat. June 8, 2020. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  24. ^ "Google Meet is rolling out low-light mode for web version: Here's what it does". The Indian Express. September 21, 2021. Retrieved January 17, 2023.
  25. ^ Livemint (October 10, 2022). "How to live share a YouTube video in Google Meet". mint. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  26. ^ "Duo, meet Meet: One upgraded app for video calling and meetings". Google. August 10, 2022. Retrieved November 6, 2022.
  27. ^ Uberti, Justin (August 16, 2016). "Meet Google Duo, a simple 1-to-1 video calling app for everyone". The Keyword Google Blog. Retrieved January 9, 2017.
  28. ^ a b Boland, Hannah (April 29, 2020). "Google launches free version of Meet in bid to topple Zoom". The Telegraph – via www.telegraph.co.uk.
  29. ^ Porter, Jon (July 8, 2021). "Google Meet adds Duo-style filters, AR masks, and effects". The Verge. Retrieved July 8, 2021.
  30. ^ "Compare Meet with classic Hangouts - G Suite Admin Help". support.google.com. Google Inc. Archived from the original on March 11, 2020. Retrieved February 29, 2020.
  31. ^ Lardinois, Frederic (April 22, 2020). "Google Meet launches improved Zoom-like tiled layout, low-light mode and more". TechCrunch. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  32. ^ Schroeder, Stan (April 29, 2020). "Google Meet takes on Zoom by going completely free for everyone". Mashable.
  33. ^ "Record a video meeting". Google Meet Help. Retrieved December 19, 2022.
  34. ^ "Live translated captions in Google Meet are now generally available". Google Workspace Updates. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
  35. ^ "G Suite for Education". Archived from the original on October 20, 2020. Retrieved October 16, 2020.
  36. ^ Grant, Nico (June 20, 2022). "Google Says It's Time for Longtime Small-Business Users to Pay Up". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved November 4, 2022.
  37. ^ "Free video conferencing tools". Google Cloud Blog.
  38. ^ Dave, Paresh (April 29, 2020). "Google makes Meet video conferencing free to all users, challenging Zoom". Reuters. Reuters. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  39. ^ Schroeder, Stan (April 29, 2020). "Google Meet takes on Zoom by going completely free for everyone". Mashable. Mashable, Inc. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  40. ^ "Google makes Meet video conferencing free to all users, challenging Zoom". Reuters. April 30, 2020 – via www.reuters.com.
  41. ^ Gartenberg, Chaim (May 2020). "Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and WebEx are collecting more customer data than they appear to be". The Verge. VoxMedia. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  42. ^ "Google is making Meet free for everyone". April 29, 2020. Archived from the original on May 1, 2020. Retrieved June 9, 2020.
  43. ^ "Google Meet premium video conferencing—free for everyone". April 29, 2020. Retrieved April 29, 2020.
  44. ^ Peters, Jay (April 16, 2020). "Google will add Zoom-like gallery view to Meet and will let Meet users take calls from Gmail". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  45. ^ Finnegan, Matthew (April 20, 2020). "Google's Meet video app gets Gmail integration". Computer World. IDG. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  46. ^ Garcia, Gustavo (June 5, 2022). "New look at WebRTC usage in Google Meet". Real Time Communications Bits. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  47. ^ "Codecs used by WebRTC – Web media technologies | MDN". developer.mozilla.org. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  48. ^ "Meet vs. Duo – 2 faces of Google's WebRTC". webrtcHacks. June 15, 2022. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  49. ^ "Four new Google Duo features to help you stay connected". Google. April 21, 2020. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  50. ^ Li, Abner (April 21, 2020). "Google Duo seeing 8x surge in group calls, adding built-in screenshots and AV1 codec support". 9to5Google. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  51. ^ Rahman, Mishaal (April 21, 2020). "Google Duo adds AV1 support to improve video calls, Moment screenshot captures, and saving messages". XDA Developers. Retrieved November 7, 2022.
  52. ^ "Lyra: A New Very Low-Bitrate Codec for Speech Compression". Google AI Blog. February 25, 2021. Retrieved July 4, 2022.
  53. ^ "Google Hangouts to Anything Video Conferencing Blog". VideoCentric. June 18, 2018. Archived from the original on September 5, 2019. Retrieved September 12, 2019.
  54. ^ Bohn, Dieter (May 18, 2016). "Google Duo makes mobile video calls fast and simple". The Verge. Vox Media. Retrieved October 21, 2016.
  55. ^ "Improving Audio Quality in Duo with WaveNetEQ". Google AI Blog. April 2020. Retrieved April 1, 2020.
  56. ^ Peters, Jay (May 18, 2020). "Asus reveals new Google Meet videoconferencing hardware for offices". The Verge. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  57. ^ Peters, Jay (September 15, 2020). "Google announces its own Meet hardware bundle, but it's only for conference rooms". The Verge. Retrieved September 15, 2020.