Google Workspace revamps Meet UI, aims to address 'collaboration equity'

Collaboration equity refers to the ability of workers to contribute regardless of location, role, experience, language and device.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Google Workspace is rolling out a more streamlined user interface with improvements to pinning, presenting, customization and controls in an effort to address "collaboration equity."

The general idea from Google Workplace is that features can enable remote and office workers to operate from the same baseline. Collaboration equity refers to the ability of workers to contribute regardless of location, role, experience, language, and device. 

Starting in May, Google Workplace will bring the new UI to desktop and laptop users that will include new video backgrounds, Autozoom, and automatic light adjustments. Google Workspace has been retooling Meet in recent weeks. Google rebranded G Suite as Google Workspace in October

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Google Workplace is adding a bevy of features designed to address a hybrid workplace as well as accessibility and engagement. Google is also adding more controls to Meet in a bid to reduce meeting fatigue. Settings will give customers more control over how they view themselves via resizing and repositioning of tiles. You will also be able to minimize your feed and hide it from your view.


Here's a look at some of the feature updates to Meet.

  • Multi-pinning, drag and drop, and scrollable overflow. Meet is allowing a presenter to unpin a presentation, so it becomes the same size as other participant tiles. The idea is that the presenter can better gauge reactions.
  • Video feed updates that will enable Google Meet customers to pin multiple video feeds and mix and match people and content. This feature could be handy since it allows you to prioritize people and content on the fly.
  • More streamlined controls. Meet's controls will be consolidating in the bottom right to create more space.
  • Light adjustments. Meet will automatically detect when a user is underexposed and enhance brightness. With this feature, Google is leveraging AI to enhance video much like it does with its computational photography.
  • Data saver, a feature designed to limit data usage on mobile networks. Data saver will launch this month and come in handy in markets with high data costs such as Brazil and Mexico.
  • Autozoom, an AI tool that will position a user in front of the camera. Autozoom will be available to paid Google Workspace subscribers.
  • Video background replacement will come with three options including a classroom, a party, and a forest. Google said it will add more video backgrounds.
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