Office workers, don’t suffer anymore – you don’t need to spend hours in a stuffy conference room. With conferencing services like Zoom and Skype, which are readily available on mobile and desktop platforms, it’s now easier than ever to make a video call for work or pleasure, whether it’s a call with friends or a meeting with your boss.
Google’s own video calling service, Google Hangouts, has recently been replaced by Google Meet. What is Google Meet? Google Meet is a simple video calling service that used to be a business service. It is now available to all Google account users.
What is Google Meet?
Google Meet is the best video calling service from Google. Originally launched in 2017 as a paid product for business users, Google’s decision to ditch the consumer-centric Google Hangouts service left a hole the size of video calls in its offerings – a hole that Google Meet is intended to replace.
Google Meet is free to use for all Google account users from April 2020. It has a mobile app available for iOS and Android devices, or it can be used on a desktop or PC by visiting the Google Meet website You can also use Google Meet within Gmail itself, and schedule calls for future events using Google Calendar
While the service has been designed with business needs in mind, it offers great value for personal users. The advantage of using Google Meet over other services is simple: if you have a Google account, you don’t need to sign up for another account to start video meetings with friends, family, or work colleagues.
Schedule a Google Meet meeting
Before you can start a video conference with another Google Meet user, you need to start the meeting immediately or schedule it for some time in the future.
If you want to schedule a meeting, you can use Google Calendar to create an appointment ID that you can share with others.
- To schedule an appointment in Google Calendar, click the New button in the upper right corner. In the new meeting box, set the time, date, and name of the meeting, then click the Add Google Meet Video Conferencing button. This will create a Google Meet share link that you can copy by clicking the Copy button. Click “Save” to save the appointment to your calendar.
- To invite others by email, click the More Options button. In the broader menu for creating a meeting, you can invite other Google account holders to the event (and thus provide them with a link to the conference) in the Guests section.
A Google Meet link created with an event will take users to a private Google Meet meeting, and you can use it before, during, or after the scheduled time of the event.
If you’d like to create this event in Google Meet, click the â€œSchedule a Video Meeting in Google Calendarâ€ button on the Google Meet home page. This will take you directly to the new Google Calendar event, where you can schedule a meeting and invite others directly.
Create and Join a Google Meet Meeting
If you want to create a meeting immediately, you can do so from the Google Meet home page, the Gmail website, or the Google Meet app for iOS or Android.
- Click the “Start” appointment button to immediately create a new appointment. This creates a virtual meeting room with its own 10 letter ID code.
- With the link created, you can test the video and mic input on the left side. When you’re ready to join the meeting, click the Join or Show button if you want to show your screen. A direct link to your meeting is listed above the options for joining it. You can copy this link or save the 10 letter code here to allow others to join your meeting.
You can also create and join a Google Meet using the Gmail interface. This is only available for desktop users – mobile users will need to download and install the Google Meet app instead.
- To create a new Google Meet in Gmail, open your Gmail inbox and click the Start Meeting button under the Google Meet section of the menu on the left. This will open Google Meet in a new window, allowing you to preview feeds from your camera and microphone. As before, click Join or Attend to join the meeting.
- If you want to join the meeting, click the Join Meeting link instead.
- Gmail will ask you for your 10-digit Google Meet ID code. Enter this in the provided appointment code? Box and click “Join” to join the meeting.
- If you enter the correct Google Meet ID code, Google Meet will launch in a new window – click Join, Ask to Join, or Submit to join. Another user in a Google Meet meeting may require approval of the invitation to join if the user has not already been invited to the meeting. If this approval is received, you will successfully join the meeting.
If you are using Android and iOS, you can join a video meeting with other Google users using the Google Meet app.
- To create a new meeting in the Google Meet app, click the New Meeting button. A new appointment will be created with a pop-up window containing the appointment ID and sharing link. To join a meeting in the Google Meet app, tap the meeting code instead.
- If you choose to join a meeting, you will need to enter your Google Meet meeting ID in the Enter Meeting Code box, then click Join Meeting to join the meeting, or ” Show to mirror your device’s screen for a meeting.
When you decide to end the meeting, all other connected users will need to leave the meeting for it to actually end. However, the meeting ID will remain valid, allowing you to reconnect and restart the meeting later if you wish to.
Video conferencing with Google, Zoom, and more
With the ability to schedule and launch video calls on desktop and mobile devices, Google Meet offers strong competition between Zoom and Microsoft Teams for fast, easy group meetings. It’s also a good option for personal calls, although you can try other options like Whatsapp video calling.
If you can’t choose between these services, why not try them all? Even business-focused services like Microsoft Teams offer a free service or trial, but for Google Meet account holders, Google Meet offers the fastest and easiest way to video calls between colleagues and friends – completely free.