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Background replacement videos are coming to Google Meet

Google Workspace has announced several upgrades for Google Meet that should make your video calls more engaging and flexible. Among these is the addition of video background replacements, which should make things a bit more lively than static backgrounds. The first batch includes a classroom, a party and a forest, and there are more on the way. They’ll be available in the coming weeks.

Starting next month, Google will revamp the user interface for desktop Meet users, with more features to customize how video panels are displayed. You’ll have more control over your own video feed, with the ability to keep it in the grid or turn it into a floating window that you can reposition and resize. You’ll be able to minimize your video feed and hide it. Google also plans to add an option to switch off your own feed completely for all Meet calls.

You’ll be able to unpin the presentation tile so that panel is the same size as other participants’ feeds. Doing do will help you see more people and get a better sense of their reactions. A way to pin multiple feeds is coming in the next few months as well.

Google

Meanwhile, Google has shifted all the controls to the always-on bottom bar. That should give you more vertical screen real estate to see other people and the content they share.

If you hop into Meet calls from a mobile device, you might be pleased to learn that there’s a data saver mode coming this month. It’ll be especially useful if you have a data cap or live in a region with high data costs.

In the coming months, the web version of Meet will be able to automatically enhance the brightness of your video feed if it appears to be underexposed. A similar low-light feature landed on the Meet mobile and desktop apps last year.

There’s another AI-powered feature on the way in the coming months, but one that’ll only be available to paid subscribers. Autozoom will automatically center your face in the feed and keep it there, even if you move around.

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