Google Meet, a rival to Zoom?

Zoom is an app that’s skyrocketed during this pandemic because it has aided our communication process. The videoconferencing software company that went public last year is having a moment during the pandemic. People have flocked to the service to keep up with friends, build digital clubs, and even host weddings. The app allows you to virtually interact with co-workers or employers when in-person meetings aren’t possible.

This makes telecommuting seem much more human, as it helps you feel connected. Zoom has become an essential tool for small, medium, and large sized teams that want to keep in touch and continue their daily workflows with minimal disruption. Zoom is a cloud-based video conferencing service you can use to virtually meet with others either by video or audio. It could be both, all while conducting live chats and it lets you record those sessions to view later. When zoom is mentioned, phrases like zoom meeting and zoom room are mentioned. The first refers to to a video conferencing meeting that’s hosted using Zoom. You can join these meetings via a webcam or phone. While the latter refers to the physical hardware setup that lets companies schedule and launch Zoom Meetings from their conference rooms. The app has a few features which includes:

  • One-on-one meetings: Host unlimited one-on-one meetings even with the free plan.
  • Group video conferences: Host up to 500 participants (if you purchase the “large meeting” add-on). The free plan, however, allows you to host video conferences of up to 40 minutes and up to 100 participants.
  • Screen sharing: Meet one-on-one or with large groups and share your screen with them so they can see what you see.

Google Meet on the other hand is also a video conferencing app. It is the business-oriented version of Google’s Hangouts platform and is suitable for businesses of all sizes. The solution enables users to make video calls with up to 30 users per high-definition video meeting. The app allows users to join pre-scheduled meetings from calendar events, choose a link, enter meeting code and even dial in from their phones if the invitation includes a phone number. The app allows users to dial in phone numbers to access meetings, thus enabling users with slow or no internet connection to call in. However, dial-in numbers are only available to the G Suite enterprise edition customers. This program lets you connect with others via audio or video through your computer’s web browser, or through the Meet app.

Launching your meeting is really straight forward and invites are sent through email. You can easily tap into your Gmail contact list to invite colleagues to join you, or add contacts directly through Meet. If recipients have a Google account, the meeting is automatically added to their calendar and reminders set. This video conference program gives you a specific meeting ID that you can use over and over again. You can also create additional rooms so multiple meetings can be held at the same time. These can also be used as breakout rooms for more in-depth collaboration on important topics or team-building exercises. Features of this app includes:

  • Expanded tiled video view
  • Share high-quality video with audio
  • Low-light mode added to mobile; google is adding a low-light mode to the mobile version of Google Meet, which brightens up a user’s video to compensate for less-than-ideal lighting in their environment.

Comparisons have been made regarding the two apps

  • Video calls made through Google Meet currently have a 24-hour time limit. Zoom on the other hand imposes a 40-minute limit on free video calls.
  • Both Zoom and Google Meet allow you to hold group video calls with up to 100 people. Zoom, however, lets you see up to 49 people on your screen at once, while Google Meet lets you see up to 16 of them.
  • Unlike Zoom, Google Meet calls are encrypted. However, they’re not end-to-end-encrypted, which means there’s no guarantee that their content will be protected from Google itself. Security and transparency, on the other hand, haven’t exactly been Zoom’s thing.

Finally, one of the biggest advantages Google Meet has over Zoom is its integration with other popular Google products. For instance, you can easily start Google Meet calls right from Google Calendar, and it will be possible to do this directly from your Gmail inbox soon too.

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