Google Meet is a Google tool for making video calls with up to 100 participants. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, it was available only to GSuite subscribers but was released free to all users until September 30. The tool is being widely used to hold online classes and business meetings because of social isolation and has gone from 5 million downloads in March to 50 million installations at the Play Store as of Monday 18th May 2020.

Meet allows all users to view the screen for participants, record the meeting for later attendance and there is no time limit for video calls. The tool is available for computers with Windows or macOS operating systems, and Android and iPhone (iOS) phones. Here are some tips to make the most of the tools available in Google Meet.

Get ready before you enter the meeting

Before entering a Google Meet conference room, the user can view their image to adjust the video’s positioning and check if the lighting is good. In this window, you can disable the camera and microphone, which is the most recommended before entering the call, as it prevents the user from appearing untidy or speaking alone. To deactivate the video and microphone, simply switch the equipment symbols that appear in the window. When you deactivate them, the microphone and camera button will turn red.

Test the quality of your video

Meet allows users to change the quality of the video. Most of the time, cameras are automatically set to the lowest 360p quality to prevent Meet from consuming too much Internet. However, to have a clear image of your camera, the user can change the quality to 720p by selecting the three points at the bottom of the call, go to “settings” and choose the video options.

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Use shortcuts

To optimize time on calls, users can use shortcuts to the most basic functions of Google Meet. To enable or disable the camera, on a Mac, use the shortcut ⌘/Ctrl+e. Already to enable or disable the microphone, the shortcut is ⌘/Ctrl+d. The list with all Meet shortcuts is available from the shift+? command during a meeting.

Share only one Chrome tab

In online meetings, it is very common to present the screen with ideas, documents, and slides. Meet has three sharing options: present the whole screen, present a window, and present a Chrome tab. The most recommended are the options that present only the window selected by the user because it prevents other participants from seeing everything the user is doing on the computer.

To share only a Chrome tab, simply select the “Show now” option, tick the show mode, and choose the Chrome tab you want to share with the other participants.

Disable audio during someone else’s speech

To avoid interference or echoes during another participant’s speech, disable your microphone. Ideally, all users should leave the microphone off during the call and only enable it when they want to talk. To do this, simply select the microphone icon displayed on the screen. With the microphone turned off, the symbol will turn red and crossed out, indicating that the user’s audio is not available in the meeting.

Change the display layout

The standard view of meetings in Google Meet allows you to see the person who is speaking and, on the sidebar, those who spoke recently. However, you can change the layout to view all participants in blocks, see only who is speaking, or keep the side view. To do this, simply select the three points during the call and select “Change layout”. Then Meet will display the options available to the user.

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Record the calls

If some users are unable to enter the meeting at the agreed time, you can record the call to attend later. The feature is widely used in live classes so that no student loses the content presented. To record a Google Meet meeting, simply select the three points at the bottom of the call and choose “record meeting”.

The app will ask for consent, which must be confirmed to start the recording. In the end, following the same path, the video will be available on the Google Drive of the user who created the room. Depending on the size of the recording, the video will take a few hours to become available.

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