Google Meet Introduces New Multitasking Tools

The PiP feature allows users to pin multiple video feeds, and join meetings directly through apps like Google Docs or Sheets.
Jade Artry

Google is ramping up its Workspace offering with new features specifically designed to boost team collaboration and productivity.

The picture-in-picture mode (PiP) feature — which started rolling out June 16, allows users to see up to four video tiles in a floating window on top of other platforms — making multitasking easier.

Meetings can also be joined directly through Google Docs, Sheets and Slides, allowing everyone to collaborate and communicate in real-time, all from the same tab. Plus, Google's multpin functionality — also just released, will allow users to pin three items in Google Meet, including presentations and people in your team, making your meetings more inclusive and accessible.

As one of the most popular big tech brands worldwide, Google is known for its intuitive tools, ease and accessibility, but with web conferencing services tools like Zoom already hot on its tail, Google Meet has fierce competition and it knows it.

Google Supporting Hybrid Working

This latest release comes as part of Google’s commitment to help businesses to improve ways of working – with plans to introduce more new features in the coming months, designed to help teams of all sizes stay more productive, connected and engaged when working from home, or in the office.

For most companies working in a hybrid model, meetings typically include in-person and remote attendees, and it’s essential that each hybrid meeting experience is unified and productive for all. We continue to make enhancements to Google Meet to help ensure that all video meetings are secure and inclusive no matter the location or device preference. – Dave Citron, Director of Product Management, Google Meet and Voice

How Does PiP Work?

Picture-in-picture mode allows users to navigate away from Google Meets and open a floating window with up to four video tiles. The floating window will show tiles from other attendees on your call, and will stay on top of your other applications, allowing you to use multiple apps while still participating in your call.

Within PiP mode, users can mute their microphones, control their camera, leave the call, and jump back into the Meet tab with ease. Meeting presenters will also be able to view chat notifications, hand raises and join meeting requests, making the presentation experience even smoother.

The feature is available to all Google Workspace customers, including legacy G Suite Basic, Business customers and people with a personal Google account.

What's Next For Google Meet?

Google Meet plans to roll-out more improvements in the coming months, including automatic noise cancellation on all Google Meet hardware for Companion mode for in-room settings, and the option to add personal video tiles to make it easier for other attendees to see their expressions and gestures. Another key areas of focus for Google Meet is the livestream experience — plans to add Q&A polls, and the ability to livestream meetings directly in YouTube are also on the agenda.

See Google stacks up against its competitors in our full Google Meet review.

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Best for
Free plan
Audio-Conferencing
Pros
Cons

Zoho Meeting

GoToMeeting

Zoom

RingCentral

Webex

Google Meet

Microsoft Teams

Lifesize

BlueJeans

$14.99/month

$14.99/month

$8/month

$4/month

$12.95/month

$12-$16/month

Zoho users

Overall conference calling

Beginners

Longer meetings

Larger businesses

Google users

Microsoft users

Users that need hardware

Users that need customer support

Yes (paid plan) – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – VoIP, Phone & Toll-Free

Yes – Add-on audio plan allows you to add Call Out, global Toll-free & local dial-in for premium countries

Yes – Companies get a single audio conferencing bridge dial-in phone number for easy universal access.

Yes – Audio-only calls can be created when a host generates an Audio pin

Yes – Just call the number listed on the meeting invite, or join via the link and turn off your camera

Yes – but only in selected countries, and each user dialing into meetings will need an audio-conferencing license.

Yes – in a meeting contact card, users can tap the phone number under Details to call using their default phone or voice app

Yes – Easy access to audio conferencing is provided via a traditional PSTN number

  • No time limit on free plan
  •  Browser functionality
  •  SSL/128-bit AES encryption
  • High quality audio and video
  • Very reliable and secure
  • Lower cost than competitors
  • Easy to use
  • Feature-rich free version available
  • Intuitive interface
  • Lots of customizability
  • Can also be used for Glip
  • Feature-rich software
  • High quality audio and video
  • Easy setup
  • Google Calendar compatibility
  • Saves chat logs
  • Easy integration with Google apps
  • Completely free
  • 300 participants
  • Integrates with Microsoft 365
  • 1080p video and HD audio,
  • Integrates with third-party apps
  • Good value
  • Amazing sound quality
  • Lots of features
  • Many software integrations
  • Recording costs extra
  • Weak free plan
  • Poor audio quality
  • 24-hour meeting limit expires in July 2021
  • Occasional bandwidth issues
  • Spotty connectivity
  • No gallery view for guests
  • Steep learning curve
  • Unsophisticated chat function
  • Connectivity issues without update
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Jade Artry is the Content Manager for Tech.co. A digital marketing specialist with over 12+ years experience, her passion for tech and innovation has driven from life in London to Japan. Her experience and exposure to business and emerging technologies means that she's equipped with a wealth of knowledge to help readers go from technophobe to tech pro, quicker than a cup of instant ramen.

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