In this era where technology has advanced to new heights and the additional effect of the global pandemic brought onto us by the Covid-19 virus, video conferencing applications like Google Meet has allowed us to tackle remote work and learning process, which was once a distant and novel idea, becoming the new normal.
Due to the pandemic, one of the biggest challenges faced by businesses and educational systems all around the world is connecting employees and business relationships.
For companies, it was bringing together their workforce teams together for project work, and for educational systems, it was about maintaining a collaborative classroom environment for teachers and students.
As technology and the internet as advanced companies, educational systems, and governmental agencies are now more reliant on digital connections to maintain their business relationships across the globe.
Video conferencing software helps these businesses and educational institutions to enable a digitalized workforce to create a working or learning environment no matter the place they are in.
Connecting people online is a notion that seemed impossible to work but is now used by millions of people across the globe not only for work purposes but also to connect with their loved ones.
There are many video conferencing software available based on your needs and requirements. Out of these Google Meet is one of the commonly heard names. It is powered by the king of all search engines which is Google.
Let’s learn more about what Google Meet is and how it can be used as a video conferencing tool.
How Google Meet came to be?
The video conferencing tool introduced to us by Google is referred to as “Google Meet”. This application was initially a part of another application named “Hangouts”. Hangouts contained both video conferencing tools and chat features.
But due to the present scenario and because of the increased demands in video conferencing tools all over the world, Google converted the Hangout app into two different apps. The video conferencing app is “Google Meet” and the chatting tool is “Google Chat”.
Google Meet is a video conferencing platform that is primarily designed for employees from companies to virtually meet using real-time interaction when they are not in the same area.
Although Google Meet and Google Chats come from Hangouts, they have quite different features that encourage people to connect with each other in different ways. Now, let’s find out the differences between the two applications.
Differences between Google Meet and Google Chat
Both of these apps are integrated into the list of Google apps along with Google Docs, Google Sheets, Google Drive, etc.
These applications are also available in App stores and Play stores on your respective Apple and Android phones so that you can work on the go wherever you are.
Google has provided these collaborative applications in such a way that they can function cost-effectively according to a person’s needs with varying features. Now let’s see what makes Google Meet different from Google chat.
Google Chat is a messenger app that is intelligent and secure. It is an app that is usually used and recommended for immediate communications for teams working together.
Through Google chat, you can directly message your team members personally or send a group chat to all of your team members at the same time. This chat application offers virtual chat rooms and threaded conversations.
Since this application has a light interface that is fast to use, you can easily discuss tasks and share work with multiple groups at the same time about different work projects.
To find out how it works, you can visit this site https://mail.google.com/chat/u/0/ and use the chat system with your friends and family members.
Please note that you might be able to invite only a limited number of members. To increase the number of members, you will be required to purchase the paid version of G-Suite.
As mentioned earlier, Google Meet is a video-conferencing application that can accommodate up to 30 participants in its basic free version.
This is also one of the main reasons why it is more popular than other video conferencing applications for regular users outside of business firms.
Google Meet is described as an experience that allows one to join meetings effortlessly. It is described as such because of its light and fast interface that can hold meetings with members up to 250 members on average.
Initially, this feature was available only to G-Suite users. However, Google has now made it available to everyone with varying functionality from the basic free versions to paid versions with more functionalities.
To find out more about the working of Google Meet, you can click on this link: https://meet.google.com/ to enter a meeting or to create a meeting with your loved ones with some restrictions such as inviting a limited number of people for a meeting.
If you need to call more members, you can subscribe for a paid version of Google Suite.
Another feature of Google Meet is that it runs on any browser, whether you’re using a desktop computer or laptop, so you need not install a separate application on your computer to join in meetings.
How does “Google Meet” work?
When you start a meeting, all you need to do is simply share a link. You need not create an account, download, or install any special features if you already have a Google account.
It is recommended to use “Google Chrome” as your web browser when signing in to your Google account to join a meet, as it is faster and easier to join without any interruptions.
You can also download the Google Meet application from any App Store or Play store for your Apple or Android phones respectively so that you will be able to join any meeting while you are on the go.
You can also enter any meeting from your Google Calendar if you are a team member of a group with a linked calendar or through an email link.
Here are the steps on how to create a “Google Meet” or to join a meeting:
- Visit the site: https://meet.google.com/ from your PC or open the Google Meet application from your phone.
- Click on the “New meeting” button.
- Choose what type of meeting you want to choose. For example, you can click on the option “ + Start an instant meeting” to create a meeting right then and there.
Or instead of step 2 given above, you can follow step 2 below in case you are invited to a meeting.
2. Enter a code or a link to the available meeting or Click on “Join a meeting” directly from the link provided through your email.
Features of Google Meet
Google Meet functions similar to other video conferencing applications. It allows screen sharing features to the members of a meeting along with other functions (just like the application Zoom).
It also provides the option for screen sharing of another Chrome tab with its audio which is quite useful when presenting videos.
In order to enjoy the full versions of Google apps like Meet, Chat, Docs, etc., it is recommended to purchase the G-Suite application.
What is G-Suite integration?
G-Suite or Google Workspace which is formerly known as Google Apps is a cloud-based service that is usually provided to a company with a huge number of employees or to a school that is looking for creating interactive online classes.
G-Suite provides you with domain names and applications like Gmail, Calendar, Meet, etc. For higher-paid versions like “G-Suite Enterprise”, they provide us with dedicated dial-in phone numbers.
G-Suite Price ranges
The basic version of G-Suite is provided to anyone with a Google account with minimum features like allowing a maximum of 30 participants in each meeting created.
If you require more features, the following is a list of different membership tiers provided by Google for the requirement of varying facilities:
- G-Suite Business starter: costs $6 / £4.14 a month for a single user. This allows you features such as allowing 100 participants per meeting, provides you with extra 30 GB of cloud storage space.
- G-Suite Business standard: costs $12 / £8.28 a month per user. This allows you features such as allowing 150 participants per meeting along with recording features, it also provides you with an extra 2 TB of cloud storage space.
- G-Suite Business Plus: costs $18 / £13.80 a month per user. This allows you features such as allowing 250 participants per meeting along with recording features and marking attendance of the attendees, it also provides you with an extra 5 TB of cloud storage space.
- G-Suite Enterprise is another paid version where it allows you to customize based on your requirements for your company or school. Therefore, since it is customized according to your needs, the pricing may differ according to different requirements. In this case, you are required to contact the Google sales department to plan your G-Suite accordingly.
Google is a world-renowned company that offers every imaginable option to make your online life easier.
The usefulness of such services truly strikes in situations like a global pandemic, where life continued on the strong foundation of such apps, be it work, school, or family time.
With video conferencing applications like Google Meet, the world is at your doorstep and all you need to do is to sign in and press join!