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Google takes on Zoom by introducing custom background feature for its Meet users

Currently, this feature works on ChromeOS and on the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac desktop devices.

In what seems to measure to step up its competition against Zoom, Google has now enabled its Meet users to replace their background with an image in Google Meet. The users can either select Google’s hand-picked images that comprises of office spaces, landscapes, and abstract backgrounds, or upload their own image. Currently, this feature works on ChromeOS and on the Chrome browser on Windows and Mac desktop devices. However, the support on Meet mobile apps will be introduced in days ahead.

Custom backgrounds not only help users hide their surroundings, but can even enable them to showcase their personality. “We recently launched the ability to filter out disruptive background noise and blur your background in Google Meet. Together, these features reduce audio and visual distractions, and help ensure more productive meetings.

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According to Google Workspace team, “There will be no admin control for this feature. Admin controls to select which organizational units can use custom and preset backgrounds for meetings they organize will be introduced later this year.”

Wondering how to change your background on Google Meet if you are using a computer? Well, the tech giant has revealed, “Users who join the video call while not logged into a Google account and users which need to knock to get admitted, can only change their background once in the video call. Users who join a G Suite for Education video call can’t select their own background images.”

Therefore, to customize the background before a video call on Google Meet via computer

  1. Go to Google Meet and then select a meeting
  2. On the bottom right of your self view, click Change Background
  3. To completely blur your background, click Blur your background
  4. To slightly blur your background, click Slightly blur your background
  5. To select a pre-uploaded background, click a background
  6. To upload your own image for your background, click Add Add
  7. Click Join Now

And to change the background on computer during a video call, click on more on the bottom right > now, tap on Change background and select any of the following options:

  1. To completely blur your background, click Blur your background
  2. To slightly blur your background, click slightly blur your background
  3. To select a pre-uploaded background, click a background
  4. To upload your own image for your background, click Add Add

Mind you! Changing your background may slow down the computer. If you will turn off this feature, other apps can run faster on the computer.

On the other hand, Android users must note that this feature to replace the background on Google Meet app with an image is currently not available on mobile. If you wish to customize the background before a video call, simply open the Meet app and then select a meeting. Before you join, tap Blur your background to turn blur on and off. This is located on the bottom of your self-view and click on Join Now.

And to change the background on an Android device during a video call, simply tap the screen to see the self-view. Once self-view is visible, tap Blur your background to turn blur on and off. It must be noted that blurring your background may increase your battery usage. You may want to turn it off if your battery is low.

Lastly, Google has also listed the steps that an iPhone or iPad user has to follow to change the background before as well as during the call. Check it out:

Before a video call 

  1. Open the Meet app and then select a meeting
  2. Before you join, on the bottom of your self-view, tap blur your background to turn blur on and off
  3. Click Join Now

During a video call

  1. Tap the screen to see the self-view
  2. On your self-view, tap blur your background to turn blur on and off
  3. However, blurring your background may increase your battery usage

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