Google recently unveiled several new Google Meet featuresThese include a reorganized web interface with new pin controls, a new data- and battery-friendly saver mode for mobile users and a number of new video functions.

Some are now available to everyone, others are only available to Workspace users, and some won’t be available until later this year. Here’s a quick rundown of everything Google announced for Google Meet this week, when each feature will be available, and how to use the new content released so far.

New web user interface

First on our list, the Google Meet web app has a new user interface. The overall experience has been improved several times, but the most immediate change will affect the Google Meet button layout.

Google moved all of the Meet buttons to the bottom of the screen. This includes the meeting chat, attachments, and attendee list, which are now in the lower right corner. The End Call button and camera and microphone switches are now on opposite ends of the main control bar, so you won’t accidentally leave or end a call when you turn your microphone or video on or off.

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Hide or resize your own video feed

Now, if you’re talking about turning off your video, you can hide, move, or resize your video feed before the call. This only affects your screen. You can still see the other participants if you minimize your video. However, it is not visible on your side.

  1. Hover over your video to bring up the grid controls.
  2. Click the Minimize icon in the menu to hide your video.
  3. You can click and drag your minimized feed onto the screen or click the double arrow icon to expand your video and switch to picture-in-picture mode.

Smarter tile pinning and multiple pinning

There are also new pinning options that you can apply to other moderators in the meeting. You can now hover over a presented tile and then click the pin icon to return to the grid view, where all video tiles are the same size. This also works when you are sharing a presentation on the screen.

Google also previewed the plans for multiple pinning so you can highlight multiple video tiles in an expanded view. This functionality will be introduced later this year.

Economy mode for cell phones

Google Meet users on Android and iOS can activate “Saver Mode” to reduce battery power, mobile data and CPU resources that the app needs. While this affects the video quality and performance of Meet, it is useful when you need to extend battery life or limit the use of background data. Economy mode is now being introduced.

To enable Google Meet saver mode on Android and iOS:

  1. Open Google Meet.
  2. Tap the three-dot menu button.
  3. Choose the settingsThen scroll down and turn on “Limit data usage.”

Video enhancements

Finally, Google also announced a number of video enhancement features planned for Meet. These aren’t available yet, but Google has previewed the launches scheduled for later this year.

  • Automatic lighting for the desktop: The low-light mode of the Google Meet mobile app will be added to the web version for all desktop users in the coming weeks. The brightness of your video is automatically adjusted to suit your surroundings. For example, the video will be darker if you are in a sunlit room, or the picture will be brightened as soon as the sun goes down.
  • AI auto zoom: Similar to the automatic lighting adjustments, Google Meet has an AI-powered auto-zoom function that keeps the image centered on you. This will be available to Google Workspace subscribers in the coming months.
  • Video backgrounds: These are animated backgrounds that obscure the room you are in – similar to using a static wallpaper or Google Meet’s background blur. Google will publish three backgrounds in the coming months: a forest scene, a classroom and a virtual party. Google plans to add more after the first three. So far, however, there are no plans to allow users to upload their own videos.