GOOGLE EXTENDS ‘CHANGE BACKGROUND’ FEATURE TO ANDROID DEVICES

Google has recently introduced a new update to its virtual meeting platform, Google Meet. It has extended the users’ ability to change the background in Meet in Android devices, which is initially limited to select users. The virtual background feature was earlier limited to the web version of the Google Meet and was first pushed to web devices in October 2020.

The feature includes blurring or selecting one of “Google’s hand-picked images” that include office spaces, landscapes, and abstract wallpapers. The video feed in Google Meet’s pre-call “green room” will feature a new button to blur or change the background. After clicking, it opens a carousel with two blur options and various presets.

If users want to change the background before going on a video call, they can select a meeting to join and tap on “change background” at the bottom of their self-view. They can choose to either blur the background or use the available presets.

To change the background during an ongoing video call, users can tap the screen for self-view, followed by tapping the “change background” option to choose between blurring or applying the available presets.

The background update will be made available on iPhone/iPad shortly while it is rolling out in a phased manner for Android users for now.

Google has also brought a major UI change recently, aiming at making features and settings more accessible. A bottom bar has been added to the interface to allow users to access all the necessary options, some of which were earlier listed under the settings menu.

The new bottom bar includes the meeting code, video, microphone, captions, hand raises, and other toggles. Users can find meeting details like joining info, polls, the chat panel, Q&A, and more on the far right bottom of the Meet. They can also see other participants on the screen. The presentation view can be unpinned as a tile that allows seeing additional participants and mute any audio in their presentation. 

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