Google Meet is now free for anyone with a Google account, letting you make video calls with up to 100 participants without paying a penny.
Previously, Google Meet was only available to businesses with a premium G-Suite account, but last month the company announced that it would be doing away with the charges and opening it up to everyone for free. The company has now announced that the rollout is complete, and anyone with a Google account can log in and start chatting.
Calls are technically limited to one hour, but Google won't start enforcing this until the end of September. Until then, your meetings can last all day.
According to Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and its parent company Alphabet, Google Meet has also been updated with real-time subtitles and a low-light mode for better picture quality.
We've re-engineered Google Meet to make secure video meetings free for everyone, with helpful features powered by #GoogleAI like live captions and low-light mode, available now at https://t.co/LBamANQz98https://t.co/85IVc78W3nMay 12, 2020
To give the new Google Meet a try, visit https://meet.google.com, or download the app for iOS or Android. You can also set up meetings and invite people through Google Calendar – just click a time slot and follow the instructions.
The more the merrier
Apart from opening up access to the tool, Google has sought to make the most of the current situation by improving support for Meet, adding new features and making it directly accessible from Gmail.
The expanded tiled layout option now lets web users see up to 16 call participants at once, as opposed to just four. To share higher-quality video content with other callers, users can now choose to present a Chrome tab rather than just presenting their window or the entire screen.
With Facebook Messenger Meet (which will soon be integrated with WhatsApp), Skype, Google Duo and Zoom all offering free multi-way video calls too, the hardest part of video conferencing app might soon be getting everyone to agree on the same app.