Google Meet video chats should now be more useful if you need to get work done, or just don’t want them monopolizing your screen. Google is rolling multiple Workspace updates that include offering Meet video chats directly in Docs, Sheets and Slides. You can start a virtual meeting and carry it over to the document you’re working on to help you collaborate without flipping between tabs. You can also present that content if it’s ready to go. This should be available in the “coming weeks,” Google said.
You will have the freedom to switch tabs if you want, though. Google is also introducing much-needed picture-in-picture support (at middle) to Meet sometime in April. You’ll need to use Chrome, but the feature will let you see up to four video tiles in a separate window while you jump between other tabs and apps. This will be helpful if you need to show different tabs during a presentation, but let’s be honest — it will also help you keep a video chat running when you can’t (or don’t want to) devote your full attention.
Other upcoming Meet improvements include in-meeting emoji reactions (due in April) and the option to add your own video tile from the interactive Companion Mode and your laptop camera (arriving later this year). Meet hardware is starting to offer automatic noise cancellation, too. The collaborative Spaces environment, meanwhile, will finally offer inline threading to keep your conversations tidy.
The improvements are acknowledgments that remote and hybrid work are here to stay despite return-to-office plans at many companies. At the same time, they appear to be genuinely helpful features that might encourage you to use Workspace… and, of course, skip rivals like Microsoft Teams.
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