What is Google Meet and How to Use It?
What is Google Meet? Google Meet is a service for conducting secure video conferences. Previously known as Google Hangouts Meet, it was used by businesses for conducting business negotiations. In 2020, the service became free and available to all users. Let’s take a closer look at how to use Google Meet and explore its features and main functions.
How Does Google Meet Work
The Google Meet service (formerly known as Hangouts Meet) is a free tool for conducting video conferences. Initially it was designed for business purposes, such as organizing corporate and work meetings in an online format, but now any user can create a Google Meet meeting lasting up to 1 hour and with up to 100 participants.
Video conferences in Google Meet are conducted through a secure connection. Any user with a registered Google account can create a meeting or join a conference. The service is easy to use, with an intuitive interface, unlimited number of meetings, and the ability to synchronize scheduled meetings with Google Calendar to avoid forgetting them.
Where to download Google Meet
You don’t need to download Google Meet on your computer – it runs through the browser and does not require the installation of special software. To use it on a mobile phone or tablet, you need to download the application. It is available for free on the AppStore and Google Play.
After downloading the application, you will need to confirm permission to access the microphone, camera, and to send notifications.
Then all you need to do is log in to your Google account, and you can start using the features of Google Meet conferences.
How to sign in Google Meet
From a computer
You don’t need to download Google Meet on your computer. To start using the service, just log in to your Gmail account via any browser. On the left side of the screen, right under the mailbox sections, you will see the Meet section, from which you can quickly access Google Meet on your PC.
You can also access Google Meet on your computer by logging in through the “Google Apps” menu in the top right corner of the screen.
In the mobile version
After installing the Google Meet app on the phone and granting necessary permissions for device access, the user is automatically taken to the “Manage Accounts” section. There, the system suggests logging in with the Google account that is already logged in on the phone or adding another account.
How to use Google Meet
Creating a meeting and conference call
Creating a meeting in Google Meet is very easy. To do this, you need to:
- Log in to your Gmail account (if you don’t have one, you can register for free).
- Choose Meet from the list of Google apps.
- On the page that opens, click the “New Meeting” button.
Then, you can choose the most suitable option from the proposed options: create a meeting and get a link to invite participants; start an instant meeting or schedule an upcoming conference call in Google Calendar.
When selecting the “Create a meeting” option, the link to the video conference is automatically generated, and all that’s left is to send it to all participants and notify them of the date and time of the call.
To connect participants, the creator of the conference will need to grant them access. The initiator of the call has the option to accept or decline the request from the user to join the meeting. This way, the system ensures the security of communication, so that third parties cannot use the link.
If you start an instant meeting, the conference window opens immediately, and added participants receive an invitation to “Join the meeting right now.” Users can be invited via email, or in the mobile version, you can send the link via any convenient messenger.
You can copy the link to the meeting at any time. If you forgot where you saved it, you can always open the “Meeting Information” tab and see the link to the conference.
How to join a meeting
To join a meeting in Google Meet, you can use the link that the organizer sends via email or messenger. An email will arrive with an active “Join” button – all you have to do is click it and wait for the organizer’s permission to join the conference.
If you receive an invitation in a personal message on a social network or messenger, there will also be an active link to connect to Google Meet.
How to record meetings
Recording Google Meet conferences with automatic saving on Google Drive is only available for organizations on the paid Google Workspace plan. To connect to it, all participants must have a corporate email with a common domain, whose address looks like employee_name@company_name.com. The subscription price is $8 per active participant per month, with a free trial period of 30 days.
There is another way to save a meeting held in Google Meet. This can be done using screen recording programs, such as the Awesome Screenshot & Screen Recorder extension for Google Chrome. After downloading and installing it in the browser, a button appears that allows you to select the necessary settings and start recording.
During online conferences, there is often a need to show presentations or other visual materials to other participants. In Google Meet, screen sharing is possible, and this function is available to all users of the free version of the service.
In conference mode, there is a “Start presentation” button in the lower right corner of the screen. Clicking on it, the user can choose a window or screen (i.e., a particular program or folder open on the computer) or choose access to the entire screen (for example, to be able to switch between a presentation and a browser).
In the mobile app, only full-screen broadcasting is possible, so the system recommends turning off notifications or switching to the “Do not disturb” mode before starting the broadcast.
Microphone and camera settings
During the conference, participants may need to temporarily turn off their microphone or camera. In general, it is better if the microphone is only on for the person speaking at the moment to avoid background noise.
To turn off the microphone or camera, you need to click on their image in the center of the screen. When the user sees light icons, the camera and microphone are working. If you click on the icon, the image becomes red and crossed out, which means that the sound or image transmission is disabled.
In the free version, the number of participants is limited: up to 100 people can join the conference. When you subscribe to the paid plan, the maximum number of participants increases. Users of the Google Workspace Essentials package can connect up to 150 users simultaneously. On the Google Workspace Enterprise plan, up to 250 people can participate in a conference.
Google Meet is a service previously known as Hangouts Meet until April 2020, and it is a Google product that allows users to create and conduct online video conferences. The communication is made through a secure connection, ensuring the confidentiality of personal data.
Connecting to Google Meet is free, and any user with a Google account can create or join a meeting. Connection is possible from a computer (through a browser) or from a phone (by downloading and installing the app).
Free users can conduct conferences for up to 1 hour with a maximum of 100 participants. To access additional features and increase the limits, users need to subscribe to a paid plan.
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