One of the services has been heavily used during the coronavirus outbreak as more people work from home, and schools teach remotely, is Google Meet. Google has announced an update to the service that allows Google Meet to see 16 participants at once using a tiled layout. Google says that being able to see more people at the same time can help improve the dynamics of larger group meetings and classes.
Being able to see 16 faces on the screen at once allows the user to see reactions to what's being discussed or more easily track multiple speakers, according to Google. The update can also help meetings conducted remotely feel more like in-person meetings and encourage participation. Google has designed the layout to adjust to show the active speaker.
For those participating in a meeting that has more than 16 people, an option to open the list of participants to see who else is in the meeting has been added. Google took the opportunity to remind that all G Suite customers can host meetings with up to 250 participants at no additional cost through September 30, 2020. That feature is currently only available on Meet on the web.
Google also says that more updates are coming that will support larger meetings, better presentation layouts, and support across more devices. There are no new admin controls added for the feature, and end-users can activate the tiled layout in the meeting by following the instructions in the Help Center. Google plans to have the rollout completed by April 24 for rapid release domains and by May 1 for Scheduled Release domains. The feature will be available to all G Suite customers. Other interesting Google news that has turned up recently include the search giant's plans to design its own smartphone chips.