Google Meet is probably one of the more popular alternatives to Zoom when it comes to video conferencing, probably because it’s free and Google is really pushing it. They keep adding a lot of new features to eventually reach parity with the more widely used apps out there. Now the latest update brings up the number of people you can see on an auto and tiled layout to 49 people. They’re also now adding a background blur option for those who have no time to fix their house or office for that video call.
If there are a lot of people joining your Google Meet video call, like with office town hall or a class in school, seeing the faces of everyone in the call might be important. Previously, the default number of people you can see is 9 in the Auto layout and 16 in the Tiled layout. But as we get more into video calling, there is a need to see more people in a call. You can now see up to 49 people in both the auto and tiled layouts.
Go to the change layout panel and you will see a Tiles slider. You can also add yourself in the tiles by hovering over your top-right thumbnail. These slider adjustments are of course specific to just one meeting so you will have to reset it and customize every time you start a meeting, It’s only available on the web and will have to be manually enabled. It will be available for both G Suite users and those who are using their personal Google accounts to do Meet meetings.
You can also now blur your background when in a meeting, whether it’s because of a messy room or you want to protect some parts of your privacy. It will basically put the focus on you while masking all the elements behind you. The blurring tool is a new icon on the bottom right corner. You have to enable it before you start a meeting or if you’re already in the meeting, you can access it in the settings menu.
The background blur for Google Meet will be available in Chrome for Mac and Windows. Google said that the feature for Chrome OS and the Android mobile app will be coming soon but no specific timeline was mentioned.