Google Meet is adding support for Polls, Custom backgrounds, and more

Google is previewing several new features for education and enterprise subscribers on Google Meet. These new features include blurred/custom backgrounds, new moderation controls, hand raising, ‘Hey Google’ voice command, and more. Recently, Google introduced new updates for Meet like noise cancellation, shortcut links as well.

As schools and offices moved daily work to online channels, conferencing platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet are drastically gaining users. Google Meet offers secure video conferencing for up to 100 participants and provides enterprise-grade performance for users all over the world. It has an easy-to-use UI and can offer support on multiple devices, including the ability to join a meeting right from web browsers like Chrome, Safari, and more.

New features on Google Meet:

The platform is adding custom and blurred backgrounds for its users. Participants will be able to upload their own custom backgrounds or choose from a number of default backgrounds offered within the app. However, hosts will be able to disable this function whenever they like. Similarly, Google Frames will also enable users to hide the  “surroundings you don’t want others to see,” so that participants can feel more comfortable with their video feed.

The app recently enabled the 16-person view and is now working on a tile view which will support up to 49 participants at once. Other upcoming features include:

For Participants:

  1. Hand raising: Participants will be able to raise their hands to interact with the host in large meetings such as lectures, business conferences, etc.
  2. Q&A: Participants can ask questions to host without interrupting the flow of his/her lecture.

For Hosts:

  1. Attendance: A new shortcut will be provided to meeting hosts to see who attended their meeting.
  2. Breakout rooms: Hosts can split large meetings into small groups and have parallel discussions.
  3. Polling: Hosts will be able to engage participants in real-time polling.
  4. Moderation Controls: Hosts will have more control over participants, including options to mute, join, remove, and more.


Moderation Controls for Teachers

Google Meet is also rolling out new moderation features for teachers so that they can have more control over their meetings. The following updates are coming to Meet’s moderation controls:

  1. When a student Knocks (asks to join a meeting), he/she will not be able to knock again after being denied access.
  2. A knock will not show up after being rejected twice.
  3. Moderators will be able to end the meeting for all participants.
  4. Teachers will be able to allow anonymous attendees to enter their meetings.

“Hey Google” and other Updates

Currently, ‘Hey Google’ voice command for Meet Hardware Kit is under beta testing. However, the update is expected to become available for Logitech and Asus devices in the upcoming weeks.

Google will also add support for Virtual Board ‘Jamboard’ for better UI. Google states:

“Integrating Jamboard into Meet makes it easy for those who are remote to participate in brainstorming activities, but it also lets workers who are returning to the office whiteboard right from their laptop or mobile device.”


The timeline for these updates has not been announced yet, but they are expected to arrive sometime in the coming months.

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