Google has quietly launched Meet, sort of a parallel version of its messaging and videoconferencing platform Hangouts, but geared for enterprise and business folks, allowing them to engage in HD video calls, among others.
Meet Google Meet
Meet is Google's latest addition to the G Suite lineup, its range of business products. The app, however, isn't available yet on the Play Store, but going to the desktop version of Meet gives a hint on how the platform will operate. There's not much to see right now on the landing page apart from a blank field to enter meeting codes in and a timestamp. Features will presumably be added later on.
Codes are a welcome appearance since there's always the risk with people randomly joining a meeting via Hangouts. Codes make sure sessions are secure, isolated, and even confidential.
Google Meet Features
The main difference between Hangouts and Meet is the number of people capable of joining a conference. Hangouts allows 10, Meet allows up to 30. The app itself seems to be designed for on-the-go video calling, offering dial-in numbers for travelers — available only to G Suite Enterprise Edition customers. It also shows details about upcoming calls, such as time, location, subject, and more. There's also a "Join" button that'll allow users to hop in a session right from their smartphone. There are also buttons to mute calls or switch off video, as is the case with most videoconferencing tools.
For larger conferences, there'll be a main window atop where it displays the participant who's talking, followed by a longer list of participants's screens, names, and emails below.
Google has yet to officially launch Meet, although it's highly likely that the company will cough up more details about it sooner rather than later. The mobile app is only live on the Apple App Store at present, according to TechCrunch.
Will Meet Replace Hangouts?
The app's inclusion in the G Suite comes at a time when Google is refocusing its Hangouts efforts. In January, Google shut down its Google+ Hangouts API, noting that it was tipping the service toward enterprise use cases. It bought Limes Audio on the same month, which will improve the voice quality of Hangouts conversations.
There's still no confirmation whether Meet will replace Hangouts or if it will remain as the consumer-focused messaging platform by Google. Based on its past actions, however, there's a high chance that Google may shutter Hangouts altogether, and instead herald Meet as its go-to catch-all videoconferencing service. If positioned right, google may have something formidable that could steal Skype and Cisco's steam, both of which are widely used by a number of companies.
Check out meet.google.com to see the landing page. As previously mentioned, there's not a lot too look at yet, but keep on checking as more features are expected to be added later on.
The question is, what about Duo, Google's videoconferencing app for smartphones? No one knows what'll happen to it yet.
Early thoughts about Meet? Do you think it can dominate the videoconferencing arena? Feel free to sound off in the comments section below!