Google will add Zoom-like gallery view to Meet and will let Meet users take calls from Gmail

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Google plans to add a Zoom-like gallery view to its business- and education-focused Meet videoconferencing service and let users start calls and join meetings right from Gmail, Google’s GM and VP of G Suite Javier Soltero told Reuters in an interview. The additions come amid huge growth for Meet as families, students, and workers use the service while at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The upcoming gallery view will let users display up to 16 meeting participants in one frame, according to Reuters. That functionality is coming later this month, said Soltero. Zoom’s gallery view, by contrast, lets you see the thumbnails of up to 49 people in one screen, if you have a powerful enough CPU to display them all.

Here’s an image of what Meet’s new integration with Gmail should look like, according to Google — it looks as if you’ll be able to start or join a meeting from Gmail’s sidebar:

Image: Google

“With more and more people working and learning from home, we want to make it easier for you to connect and keep things moving forward,” Google said in a statement to The Verge. “With Meet in Gmail, you can easily start or join a meeting in seconds. Our goal is to help you follow the flow of the day, seamlessly switching between email and video meetings — whichever form of communication you need.” The feature will begin rolling out for G Suite customers today on the web and to mobile at a later date, Google tells The Verge.

Google is also adding the ability for Meet to improve video quality when you have dim lighting conditions and to filter out background noise while you’re on a call, according to Reuters. Those features will also be added later this month, Reuters reports.

Google said last week that Meet was adding more than 2 million users per day. Meet has added more daily users than any other Google service since January, according to Reuters. A recent peak in Meet growth added 60 percent more users than the day before, Soltero told Reuters.

Last Thursday, Google extended free access to some advanced Meet features until September 30th — previously, that free access was scheduled to end on July 1st.

Update April 16th, 8:26PM ET: Added image of the Meet integration in Gmail and made updates based on the image.

Comments

I am curious if the gmail integration will get them in trouble as leveraging gmail for meet seems like it can be problematic.

GSuite Customers have known about this change for a long time now. Meet and Chat are replacing Hangouts Classic (aka gchat) on Gmail for Gsuite users in June.

This is great news. Used Meet for the first time recently, and while it was smooth and worked well, I was really bothered by the inability to see myself at the same size as the other participants (currently Meet either shows your video in a tiny postage-stamp-size window off to the side of the other participants, or you have to click and maximize your own view at the expense of seeing the other meeting participants).

The tiny view makes it impossible to ensure what I wanted to share remained in view, so hopefully the new gallery view will solve that.

No need to wait for google: Google Meet Grid View

You could just use this extension (created by teachers) instead of waiting for Google: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/google-meet-grid-view/bjkegbgpfgpikgkfidhcihhiflbjgfic

Maybe the 5,000,000 downloads convinced Google that their views in Google Meet suck.

I’ve been using grid view for meet for a month but uninstalled it yesterday because since I installed it chrome started to freeze quite often during my meetings. I discussed it with my colleagues and they also noticed the problem. I know that google will screw it up at first release but maybe after few updates it will work better than this plugin.

There are several extensions that already do this. The best one is probably a script via tampermonkey which has no limit on the amount of users you can grid. I’ve done a grid of 70+

I used meet for the first time last night and was shocked at how awful the experience was; the video was grainy and choppy, and peoples’ video was frozen unless they were talking. I have gig-fiber, so I can’t imagine it being a bandwidth issue (at least on my end) …

They need to fix the video, period. Even with current layout modes, the video feed goes dark for those using a camera if someone else starts talking. I have switch the layout in order to get their video to show their feed again. Have to do it over and over, it’s annoying. So I end up just giving up and staring at a black screen.

Not to mention to quality of the video is just awful, worst I’ve seen out of major video chat apps.

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