Google launches videoconferencing service
Google Cloud has introduced a premium video conferencing solution dubbed Google meet with enhanced features like simple scheduling and screen sharing, real-time captions, and layouts that adapt to one’s preference, including the expanded tiled view.
This, as it seeks to bolster operations and keep up with the growing demand for online conferencing that has particularly risen with the stay at home initiatives due to the corona crisis.
Javier Soltero, VP of G Suite: “With the lines blurred between work and home, Google Meet can offer the polish needed for a work meeting, a tiled view for your online birthday party and the security needed for a video meeting with your doctor. We’re in the middle of a significant worldwide shift impacting communication from the workplace to schools to the home. People want familiar, secure tools that they can use across all facets of their lives.”
Google has invested years in making Meet a secure and reliable video conferencing solution that’s trusted by schools, governments and enterprises around the world, and in recent months has accelerated the release of top-requested features to make it even more helpful. Whether it’s hospitals supporting patients via telehealth, banks working with loan applicants, retailers assisting customers remotely, or manufacturers interacting safely with warehouse technicians, businesses across every industry are using Meet to stay connected.
The company says it will be gradually expanding Meet’s availability to more and more people over the following weeks. While users might not be able to create meetings at meet.google.com right away, they can sign up to be notified when it’s available.
Meet is designed, built and operated to be secure at scale. Since January, we’ve seen Meet’s peak daily usage grow by 30x. As of this month, Meet is hosting 3 billion minutes of video meetings and adding roughly 3 million new users every day. And as of last week, Meet’s daily meeting participants surpassed 100 million. With this growth comes great responsibility. Privacy and security are paramount, no matter if it’s a doctor sharing confidential health information with a patient, a financial advisor hosting a client meeting, or people virtually connecting with each other for graduations, holidays, and happy hours.
Google has come up with simplified security measures which it says are hinged on providing the protections needed to keep our users safe, their data secure, and their information private. The company’s default-on safety measures include:
A strong set of host controls such as the ability to admit or deny entry to a meeting, and mute or remove participants, if needed.
The company says it does not allow anonymous users that is, those without a Google Accounts, to join meetings created by individual accounts.
Meet meeting codes are complex by default and therefore resilient to brute-force “guessing.”
Meet video meetings are encrypted in transit, and all recordings stored in Google Drive are encrypted in transit and at rest.
Plugins are not required to use Meet on the web. It works entirely in Chrome and other modern browsers, so it’s less vulnerable to security threats.
On mobile, the company has dedicated Google Meet apps in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
Meet users can enroll their account in Google’s Advanced Protection Program, the strongest protections available against phishing and account hijacking.
Once the roll out is complete, anyone with an email address will be able to use Meet for free via meet.google.com and the Meet mobile apps for iOS or Android to schedule, join or start secure video meetings with anyone—whether it’s a virtual yoga class, weekly book club, neighborhood meeting, or any other reason to connect with others. Using the new Meet experience will require a free Google Account, which only takes a minute to create using your work or personal email address of choice. This step is required as a security measure, and you only need to sign up once. Meetings are limited to 60 minutes for the free product, though it says it will not enforce this time limit until after September 30.
For organizations that aren’t already G Suite customers, Google has announced a new edition called G Suite Essentials, which also includes Google Drive for easy and secure access to all of a team’s content, and Docs, Sheets and Slides for content creation and real-time collaboration. It’s perfect for teams that need access to Meet’s more advanced features, such as dial-in phone numbers, larger meetings and meeting recording. Through Sept. 30, we’re providing G Suite Essentials and all of these advanced features free of charge.
G Suite’s 6 million existing customers already have access to Meet. Admins simply need to enable Meet by following instructions outlined on our Help Center. G Suite is also providing three ways for new and current enterprise customers to access Meet through September 30 including: free access to Meet’s advanced features for all G Suite customers, free additional Meet licenses for existing G Suite customers without any amendments to their current contract, and free G Suite Essentials for new enterprise customers.
Jim Lundy, CEO, Lead Analyst, Aragon Research: "As digital communication has become a vital part of everyone’s lives, there is an increased demand for video-conferencing solutions that provide security and reliability together with popular features like tiled view. We're seeing enterprises and consumers alike choose Google Meet for its ability to securely support a high volume of users, while still providing robust functionality. Combined with its integration with widely used G Suite tools like Gmail and Calendar, users see Meet as a compelling video communications solution."