With increased demand for video-conferencing solutions that provide security and reliability together with popular features like tiled view, Google Cloud has now announced that it is making Google Meet, the tech giant’s premium video-conferencing solution, free for everyone with availability rolling out over the coming weeks.
According to the tech giant, anyone with an email address can sign up for Meet starting early May. This would enable a user to gain access to the same features available to G Suite’s business and education users, which includes simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts with the expanded tiled view.
The California-based tech giant has revealed, “Google will be gradually expanding Meet’s availability to more and more people over the following weeks. While users might not be able to create meetings at meet.google.com right away, they can sign up to be notified when it’s available.”
Once the roll out is complete, anyone with an email address will be able to use Google Meet for free via meet.google.com and the Meet mobile apps for iOS or Android to schedule, join or start secure video meetings with anyone. The users will require a free Google Account, which only takes a minute to create using your work or personal email address of choice. This step is required as a security measure, and they only need to sign up once. According to Google, “Meetings are limited to 60 minutes for the free product, though we will not enforce this time limit until after September 30.”
For organizations that aren’t already G Suite customers, Google has announced a new edition called G Suite Essentials, which also includes Google Drive for easy and secure access to all of a team’s content, and Docs, Sheets and Slides for content creation and real-time collaboration. In a blog post, the tech giant said, “It’s perfect for teams that need access to Meet’s more advanced features, such as dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings and meeting recording. Through Sept. 30, we’re providing G Suite Essentials and all of these advanced features free of charge.”
However, G Suite’s 6 million existing customers already have access to Meet. Admins simply need to enable Meet by following instructions outlined on Google’s Help Center.
As far as schools and higher education institutions are concerned, Google Meet is included in G Suite for Education, a suite of free Google apps tailored specifically for schools, which serves over 120 million students and teachers globally for high-quality virtual classes, PTA meetings, parent-teacher conferences, tutoring, and even school socials.
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