Info-tech

Google begins rolling out Companion Mode in Google Meet

BL Mumbai Bureau | | Updated on: Jan 15, 2022
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Google has begun rolling out the Companion Mode in Google Meet for users.

Google has begun rolling out its Companion Mode in Google Meet.

Google had pre-announced the ‘Companion Mode’ feature in 2021.

The feature is designed to “seamlessly connect those in meeting rooms with their remote teammates, giving everyone access to interactive features and controls, while leveraging the best of in-room audio and video conferencing capabilities,” Google said in a blog post.

What is the ‘companion mode’?

With the rollout, users can use the Companion mode on the web when joining a meeting using Google Meet hardware or the Nest Hub Max. Companion mode enables access to features and controls such as chat, screen sharing, hand raising, polls, host controls and more.

They can join a meeting using Companion mode from the green room before the meeting begins or by using g.co/companion. Users can also simultaneously join the meeting and present with Companion mode by using g.co/present if they want to immediately share content.

“Hybrid meetings and classes are growing as some begin to return to office or school, while others remain remote. Companion mode fosters collaboration equity for all attendees regardless of where they’re joining a meeting from,” Google said. 

Companion mode complements functionality on Google Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max by enabling attendees to see a presentation up close, participate in chat, initiate polls or vote, raise hands with their names associated, use host controls and enable captions and translations in their preferred languages. 

All Google Meet users can connect to meetings using Companion mode on the web however, access to features such as hand raising will depend on the Google Workspace edition that they are using. 

Users will be able to notice prompts on Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max devices for Companion mode when chat messages are sent or other interactive activities are initiated in a meeting.

“The tiles of participants using Companion mode will be hidden from the video grid to maximize screen space for video feeds unless they raise their digital hand. Additionally, in the meeting roster, those using Companion mode will be identified as such,” it further explained.

When users use Companion mode, it will be counted as an additional meeting participant, even in the overall meeting participant count. 

Availability

External meeting guests and meeting participants without Google accounts can also use Companion mode and g.co/companion, but they will need to ask to join the meeting. Companion Mode will be available to all Google Workspace customers, as well as the Teaching and Learning Upgrade, G Suite Basic and Business customers apart from Google Workspace Individual customers, as well as users with personal Google accounts.

Published on January 15, 2022

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