Google Meet, the Mountain View tech giant’s video-communication service has received a bunch of new features and integrations. The company announced the new add-ons at the Google I/O 2021 annual hardware event.  With the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, employees around the globe are locked in confined space, and to ease up the work from home situation, Google has introduced integration tool and features for an interactive Workspace experience.

With these new features, the company claims to make the online productivity suite better and smarter. Highlights being Smart Canvas, a new Companion mode, with the former enabling Google Meet to integrate directly into applications like Sheets, Docs, and Slides, while the latter will offer each user their own video tile and allow them to create their own Q&A sessions, polls, and chats. Here’s a brief on Google Meet’s new features.

Google Meet video conference in Docs, Sheets, Slides

One of the notable upcoming features added to Google Meet is the ability to hold calls within Docs. Courtesy of Smart Canvas integration, it will now allow users to start video calls from within Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. While the feature will likely work similar to Zoom, it will help presenters to work their way through a shared document and get feedback from their mates simultaneously. As demoed by Google, the video thumbnails of participants will appear in a panel to the right side of the document, and they will be able to edit the document while on call. Google cited that Google Meet will be integrated within Docs, Sheets, and Slides this fall.

Speaking of the new Smart Canvas integration tool, it will enhance Docs, Sheets, and Slides with new features like smart chips, checklists for a seamless experience. For the uninitiated, smart chips will expand on the already available @mention feature in Docs, meaning when you type the ‘@’ symbol, smart chips will add files, linked documents without switching tabs. The feature will make its way to Sheets in the coming months.

Google Meet Companion mode

Besides offering the ability to hold video conference calls within Docs, Google Meet has received a new feature- Companion mode that will provide each and every participant their own video tile, even if they are not in the same office space. With this feature, participants will be to host Q&As, entries in polls, and chat in real-time while on the video call.

Google Meet Smart Canvas

Google Meet gets noise cancellation, automated lighting, and zoom adjustments

With enhanced artificial intelligence and machine learning tech Google is bringing noise cancellation features to Google Meet which will help reduce ambient noise during group video calls. In addition, the video-communicating tool is getting automated lighting and zoom adjustments for faces, which means participants won’t have to hop around for better lighting while making conference calls.

Google Meet Customised View

Another interesting feature added to Google Meet is Customised View which will enable a presenter to re-arrange other participants’ faces as he/she speaks, thereby allowing them to maintain eye contact and see for their reaction during a presentation. In addition, Google has enabled live captions at the bottom of the Google Meet screen that will allow transcribing the video call in real-time. Users will be able to translate text live via Google Translate.

As for the rollout, Google says that these integrations of the Google Workspace will be made available to the public in the near future.

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