In today’s unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic, video-conferencing apps are now playing a crucial role in helping us stay connected with our loved one by removing regional and time barriers. Google has now announced that it will be continuing its unlimited Meet calls (up to 24 hours) in the free version through March 31, 2021, for Gmail accounts.
“That’s why we made Google Meet, our premium video conferencing product, free for everyone back in April. When we re-engineered the service we built for secure business meetings and made it available to all, we also made calls unlimited (well, the limit is really 24 hours, but I’ve yet to hit the limit) through September 30, so that people could enjoy the same benefits as our business users with their existing Google Account. From book clubs, band practices, and dance parties–millions of you have turned to Meet to connect safely over the video,” said Samir Pradhan, Group Product Manager, Google Meet.
Google has also added a ton of experiences to Meet to make connecting more fun and more productive, too. You can now see your family on the big screen when you cast your calls to your TV, or join hands-free on your Nest Hub Max. Jump on the call without worrying about the holiday wrapping paper mess behind you with background blur, or take trivia night to the next level by seeing 49 of your competitors (and yourself) at the same time. You can even keep score using our collaborative digital whiteboard.
The tech giant hopes these updates will help you do more at home, at work and everywhere you choose. If you haven’t tried Meet yet, you can access it right from Gmail, get the app or head to meet.google.com from your browser to start a call.
Earlier, Google Duo has announced that it is rolling out a Beta on Android TV in the coming weeks. With Google Duo, the tech giant revealed that you can initiate one-on-one and group calls from your TV, and if your TV doesn’t have a camera built-in, you can simply plug in a USB camera.
Besides Google Duo, Google Meet on Cast can help you turn any room in your house into your own personal conference room, taking advantage of your TV or a Smart Display. “Whether you want to step away from the notifications on your laptop or phone to be more present in a meeting or you are on mute in a larger meeting and want to concentrate on your task at hand, casting to your TV can help you be more productive and stay focused,” said TJ Varghese, Group Product Manager, Google Meet hardware.
The blog post further added that Meet and Cast can also work together to simplify distance learning. Students can view their classmates and lesson plans on the big screen while working from their laptops, and teachers can get a broader view of their students on a call.
In order to get started, all you need is to have a Google account, update to the latest version of Chrome and ensure that your Chromecast device has the latest firmware installed. Google Cast functionality is available for all Meet users, and casting works on Chromecast, TVs with built-in Chromecasts, and Nest displays.
Apart from TVs, Duo and Meet also work seamlessly with Nest Hub Max. The Google blog post added that you can simply say “Hey Google, join my next meeting” or “Hey Google, start a group call” and jump right into the video hands-free, staying productive from a separate device on your desk.
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