Google Meet Can Now Be Accessed via Gmail as Google Pushes Back on Zoom

Google Meet video conferencing service has been integrated into Gmail. A few users are seeing the new option to start a meeting using Google Meet in the left sidebar of Gmail on Web. This new feature looks to tackle recent competition from Zoom video conferencing app during these times of social distancing and lockdowns. Google Meet was earlier available to enterprises and education customers via G Suite, but recently Google made it available for free to everyone with a Google account. Google Meet free version lets you host up to 100 participants for each of your virtual meetings.

The Gmail integration of Google Meet has been spotted in a few users’ accounts, reports The Verge. Earlier last month, Google announced that this integration for G Suite subscribers will be introduced soon. Google’s support page suggests that only Gmail for work or school accounts can access it for now. The report says that the rollout of this Google Meet integration in Gmail has begun, and some users are able to spot it already. The new Meet integration shows up in the left sidebar panel, and it allows users to ‘start a meeting’ or ‘join a meeting’ without having to switch between apps. The tech giant looks to ease the process of starting a video meeting with this new feature.

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Once you click on the ‘Start a Meeting’ feature, a new window opens up. You can choose the meeting name and share the unique URL or code with colleagues. You can alternatively join a meeting started by another person based on the code or link provided by the organiser.

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Google Meet recently announced that it is roughly adding 30 lakh users every day. Apart from Gmail, it can be accessed directly through Chrome and other modern browsers and doesn’t require any additional plugins. You can just head to to host a meeting. It offers a meeting limit of 60 minutes for free users, but the limit is waived off until September 30. It also supports screen sharing, just like Zoom, but only paid users can record calls.

How are we staying sane during this Coronavirus lockdown? We discussed this on Orbital, our weekly technology podcast, which you can subscribe to via Apple Podcasts or RSS, download the episode, or just hit the play button below.

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