Video calling has been booming since the onset of the pandemic, and one bugbear we've all struggled with is choppy calls that leave colleagues or classmates staring at your frozen visage, and missing out on all of the delightfully clever and witty things you have to say; but Google Meet is rolling out an update that will help keep you connected in spite of your spotty internet's attempts to do otherwise.
The improvement is part of a huge slew of updates rolling out over the coming months to make remote working and learning less of headache. If you suffer from low bandwidth, you won't have to stress, with Google promising that it's "improving Meet to work better if you have low bandwidth" so that meetings and classes can stay running smoothly, even in areas with weak internet connections.
The blog post teases a number of features that will make meetings and classes easier to manage, and a lot more interesting to participate in, which is helpful a year into working from home in what could generously be called loungewear, when cabin fever is setting in, and the novelty of cat filters has faded.
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If you own a Chromebook, Google Meet's performance has already been improved on the devices, with "audio, video and reliability optimizations, better performance while multitasking" and then some. If you don't own one, you can peruse what's on offer in our roundup of best Chromebooks.
Other upcoming changes include the ability to end meetings for everyone on the call (including breakout rooms) which is handy if you're a teacher and want to make sure everyone leaves the calls when the class ends. A mute all option is rolling out over the next few weeks, which will be invaluable in getting attendees' attention.
If you're a meeting participant or student, Google Meet is jazzing things up later this year with emoji reactions, which will let you pick skin tones, although admins and teachers will have control over when the emoji reactions can be used.
These quality of life improvements will help Google Meet stand apart from rival video calling apps like Zoom, and Microsoft Teams; and more importantly will help out users with patchy internet connections!