Google Meet has started rolling out an expanded grid that allows you to see up to 49 people during a meeting. A preview of the newly updated functionality was made available to users last month. In the coming weeks, users will be able to see up to 49 people at the same time.
Per 9to5google, this is just one of a couple of other updates and features being rolled out by Google. One other feature expected to be launched along with the expanded view is background blur—more on that in a jiffy.
The fact that you can now see more people while in a meeting will improve the quality of your meetings. You will be able to see how people react to your suggestions, and effectively work towards making a better presentation. Being able to see other people in the meeting will also encourage more participation as it will create an atmosphere that makes it look like it is a person-to-person meeting.
The update, which is understandably only available in the web version of Google Meet, is a very useful tool when it comes to class activities, and business meetings.
Google Meet is also rolling out background blur; a feature that blurs your background and focuses only on you during meeting. A new icon now exist in the bottom-right corner before a call is initiated or in the settings menu immediately afterwards.
Google Meet background blur will first be available in Chrome for Mac and Windows with a similar rollout timeline as the grid view. So, expect both features to be available in the coming weeks.
A couple of months ago, Google improved the privacy of Meet by launching a new feature that blocks anonymous users from gatecrashing an education meeting by default. Anonymous in this case would mean those not signed into a Google account; such people will be blocked from joining meetings organized by anyone with a G Suite for Education or G Suite Enterprise for Education license. Participants therefore will not be able to share a link publicly to encourage anonymous users to request access.
Google said this decision was taken to allow for concentration during such meetings. Learning as you already know requires concentration, and enabling anonymous users to attend such meetings could be disruptive. The feature is being added by default, but can be disabled by G Suite for Education admins who would have to request for the feature to be deactivated for anonymous users to participate.
In April, Google Meet launched a couple of new tools to encourage remote learning for both teachers and students. Google, in a blog post announced the new features as well as emphasizing on a couple of new privacy measures being put in place to make the service safe for all.