This story was originally published and last updated .
We've all been in a video conference where background noise coming from someone's microphone ruined the entire conversation. Although this is easily solved by going on mute, the problem persists if the participant needs to speak. Thankfully, Google announced a noise cancellation feature for Meet, preventing the attendees from hearing unwanted background, back in April. After the company already rolled out the feature to most G Suite Enterprise users, it plans on bringing the feature to more G Suite organizations in more markets.
In light of Zoom’s newfound hegemony over the video conferencing space, Google overhauled its Hangouts Meet offering, giving it a new name along with some original and even a fewborrowed features. The Zoom-style grid participants view that made its way to Google Meet in April will now also be available during ongoing presentations.
Google's messaging strategy continues to perplex us all, but perhaps there's some light at the end of the tunnel? Everyone working on communication tools at Google was recently brought into a single unified team, which will hopefully lead to more consolidated efforts in the future (we can but hope). And another step on the road to finally doing away with the old Hangouts has been announced. G Suite users are now able to see their classic Hangouts conversations in Google Chat so everything is in one place.
Google promised that we'd all be getting access to its Meet video conferencing service sometime in May, and today is that day. Google Meet's free video calling service is now live and available on the web for everyone.
The artist formerly known as Hangouts Meet has seen a number of welcome improvements in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, but until now only G Suite users have been able to use it free of charge. Google has just announced in a blog post that this restriction is being lifted, however, and anyone with a Gmail account will be able to use Google Meet for absolutely nothing.
Google has already given us a new, tiled, Zoom-inspired layout in Meet that makes it a little easier to view everyone in a packed call, but that was only the start for the company's G Suite video conferencing service. It's also rolled out three other highly requested features: An AI-enhanced low-light mode, tab-focused presentation mode, and a noise cancellation feature. Together, these changes might make Meet your first choice over other options the next time you need to do a work meeting from home.
Yesterday it was revealed that Google was planning on merging several of its corporate-facing products into yet another messaging service to take on the likes of Slack, and today one of those pieces is getting updated with a new feature. Hangouts Meet just picked up the ability to use different sources for audio and video.
Since Google decided to split Hangouts into separate apps for chat and calls with a renewed focus on business users, the video conferencing app Meet has coexisted with good old Hangouts video. As of May 21st, that will no longer be the case and Meet will take over all face-to-face communications when a meeting is scheduled in Google Calendar.