With Chrome OS’s latest update, Google has announced that its Google Meet app will be preinstalled on all Chromebooks. The announcement is part of the company’s larger push to adapt its operating system for remote meetings. Due to the pandemic that saw the world at standstill, people quickly turned to video conferencing applications to carry out deeds that require gathering. Video conferencing applications such as Google Meet, Zoom, MS Teams, Cisco, and others are been used more than ever. Although most offices are looking to return to offices, the trend is unlikely to reverse completely.
More than a year later, tech giants are working round the clock to add and improve these video features. Apple is improving FaceTime, Microsoft is integrating Teams directly into the Windows 11 taskbar, and now Google announces Google Meet will be pre-installed on all Chromebooks, meaning there will be no need for it to be downloaded.
The new feature shouldn’t make too much of a difference to longtime Chromebook users who already have a preferred video chat platform installed. But for the new users using a Chromebook for the first time, or other folks who are trying the platform out, it could certainly mean the difference between using Google Meet for meetings and social calls or turning to competitors like Zoom. Google also says it’s made performance improvements to Google Meet’s experience, including “adapting video calls to different network conditions and adjusting video performance during screen sharing.”
The tech giant has also announced that its Chrome OS for Chromebooks will also receive a new emoji picker. This feature will allow users to quickly choose the one they want with a keyboard shortcut. The shortcut key for finding your favorite emoji is now Search + Shift + Space or Home Key + Shift + Space. It will allow users to quickly find and insert an emoji in any text field on the Chromebook. Google also mentions it recently partnered with Zoom to bring a new and improved version of the app to the Play Store. This improved version would offer faster performance, use less disk space, and include the all-new service features that were added to Windows and macOS applications such as live transcripts and meeting rooms. Chromebook users should also be able to access a new background masking feature that looks like it could be useful for work-from-home setups.
In addition, Google has launched a new standalone web application for Google Meet. The web app is also known as the Progressive web app (PWA) has all the features of the Google Meet app, but this is strictly for the web. What this simply means is that users no longer need to go to Gmail to start a meeting on Google Meet or type the URL either. Users can simply download the application on a laptop, Desktop, or MacBook and use it. Google’s announcement comes few weeks after Zoom had announced its own PWA. Google assures the new standalone web application is easier to find and use, as it streamlines workflow by eliminating the need to switch between tabs. Apart from all this, the latest Chrome OS update brings features like support for e-SIM, an updated emoji picker with a search bar, and a new digital magazine for kids and families in the Explore App.