As the situation surrounding COVID-19 continues to change, it’s wise to get in the know about the software solutions to this problem that are available – especially as they’re often free of charge (albeit with some limitations).
Google Meet is an app that was developed initially for users of Google’s paid GSuite (which is now called Google Workspace) – a suite of apps designed for businesses. But, with the increased need due to the pandemic, they have made this tool available to everyone, for free.
The main point of Google Meet is to provide video conferencing for teams of up to 250 people (or 100 with a free account) – which means it’s great for even the largest of teams. Since it’s purpose-built, it handles large conference calls better than other options like Skype, which are designed more for one-on-one or small group communication; it’s designed to be a professional-level tool. As such, it also has some other features, such as noise cancellation to eliminate background noise, the option to blur your background while on a call, and the ability to adjust the layout of the participants in the call if you need to. You can also share your screen with the group, or be a voice-only participant.
Paid Google Workspace users have the option of allowing dial-in participants, meaning that a person who only has access to a regular phone can call a local number and join the conference call that way. Google Meet also links up with the rest of Google Workspace if your organisation uses it.
There is a 60-minute call length limit on free accounts, but you can simply start a new call and add people again after that period.
Google Meet is available on Google Play for Android, and on the App Store for iOS devices. You can also use it as a web app directly in any supported browser.