Google Meet Tutorial for Beginners: How to Use Google Meet?
In the wake of COVID-19, Google Meet, a Google premium video conferencing service is providing its service to consumers for free. Previously available to only organizations using G Suite, Google Meet is now available to anyone interested in video conferencing.
A lot has also been said about Google Meet Vs Zoom. This Google Meet Tutorial will not only show you how to use Google Meet but shows you how it compares to Zoom, the most popular video conferencing platform.
One of the best things about Meet is that you can start a new meeting with just one click. If you already have a Gmail account, you can start a meeting directly from your account on the left side or visit meet.google.com. Either way, you have to open a Google account to host a meeting.
How to Use Google Meet on your desktop?
If you are just getting started with the Google Meet, here are the steps you should follow:
Sign up with Google Meet – Step 1
The first thing you need to do is to sign up for a Google account if you are ready to start a meeting in Google Meet. But if you are just joining a meeting or participating, you do not need an account. To start a meeting, go to meet.google.com, click on start a meeting and set up a Google account for free.
Step 2 – Present (Share Screen)
Now that you’ve setup your account on meet.google.com, you can “Start A Meeting” which is similar to Zoom’s “Host a meeting” however, without many of the features that Zoom provides when you are a host.
You can also “Join A Meeting” by entering the meeting code and clicking “Join.” For instance, if you receive an invitation code via your email, you can click “Join A Meeting” directly from your email or copy the code and paste it on meet.google.com manually and then click on “Join.”
When you click on “Start A Meeting” or “Join A Meeting,” it will launch the service and you can get everything set up for the meeting. You can start the meeting by clicking “Join Now” or start presenting by clicking on “Present.”
Presenting in Meet is the same as the share screen feature in zoom. There are many options; you can share a particular tab you have opened on your Google Chrome browser or select any window that is opened on any browser on your computer.
When you click on “Share,” you can share your screen and if you want, you can exit by clicking “Stop Presenting” or you can click on “Stop Sharing” at the bottom.
Step 3 – Start A Meeting (Host Meeting)
Before you start a meeting or host a meeting, it is a good idea to check what settings you are using for video and audio. When you click on the three dots at the right bottom of your video screen, you can select settings where you will see “Audio,” “Video” and “General” settings.
You want to set up your audio by choosing which microphone you want to use and which speakers you want to listen to. Similarly, you want to check that you have chosen the right camera, in case you have multiple cameras. And if you want to change the resolution, you can do it under the “Video” setting, The recommend resolution is 360p (standard definition), however if your internet connection is good you can up that to 720p (high definition).
When you launch a meeting, you will see a window pop up with “Copy joining info,” which is a web link that you can use to invite people to instantly join your meeting. You also have the option of “Add people.” When you click on “Add people,” you can type their email address in the field. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a Gmail email address; you can add people who have all kinds of email addresses, including Yahoo, Hotmail, etc. That is how you can invite people to your meeting when you start a meeting.
On your video screen, you have fairly simple management options and there are not many tools as you have in Zoom. Hopefully, Google will add more features as the software becomes more popular.
On the meeting controls toolbar is where you can enable and disable your camera. To enable or disable your camera, you can click on the Video icon” or use the short cut key Ctrl + E. If you want to mute your audio, you can click on the microphone icon or use short cut Ctrl + D. To end the meeting, click on the red phone call icon.
Google Meet Captions
Google Meet is the only service that can add live captions to meetings, so you can understand people better. You can enable and disable captions on your meeting controls toolbar where it says ‘turn on captions’. This is a nice feature that can help you understand a person better if the connection is weak and you cannot hear their voice clearly.
Present Now (Share Screen)
Just next to captions, you have present now. This feature lets you project your desktop screen to the live meeting. You can choose to share your entire screen or just a window that you want to share. And if you want the possibility of a whiteboard type of feature which you also get in Zoom, you can type https://canvas.apps.chrome/ into your URL and you will see a very similar type of whiteboard screen like in zoom which you can share, however with a limited amount of tools.
If you go to the far left of the meeting controls toolbar under meeting details, this is where you can copy your meeting URL code by clicking “Joining info.” You can also see the code of your meeting which you can use more than once.
The meeting code can be used for several meetings with different groups, which is very convenient. You don’t have to fear intruders as you can approve or decline any participants.
At the top right of the “Meeting details” pop up window, you have “Attachments.” A lot of meetings tend to be set up in a meeting invitation. For example, you may invite someone to join a meeting at 5 pm and there might be an attachment saying we are going to review this file or word document. So any attachments from your Google Calendar will show up in “Attachments.”
So Google brings all the attachments from your Google Calendar to the forefront, which is a really handy feature in Google Meet.
More Options (Dot Dot Dot Or Three Dots)
When you click on More options or dot dot dot, you have many options including:
Layout lets you customize the chat windows layout according to your preference. There are three different layouts you can choose from, by default, Auto Mode is selected. You can choose from the Sidebar, Spotlight ( very useful if you are hosting a webinar and you want the spotlight to be on you) and Tiled layout.
You can enable full screen to cover your whole screen.
Turn On Captions
You can turn on captions and turn it off here. This comes in handy if a person’s voice is not clear, especially if there is an issue with network connection. You can read everything being said in a text word for word.
There are a few options here where you can customise your microphone and video settings.
On the top right-hand side, you can see how many participants are in the meeting and also live chat here too. Live chat is a nice feature to help you send messages during the live meeting. If you are not able to understand a person or you want to chat with them, then you can send messages in live chat using the live chat feature.
However, you cannot send and receive documents or files the way you can do in Zoom. If you want to exit the live message feature, just click outside of the white box. Also, you can see your own feed in a thumbnail view at the top right corner next to the chat icon.
Step 3 – Schedule A Meeting
Google Meet also allows you to set up a Google Meet session from your calendar. You can schedule a meeting by going to your calendar directly or on the Google Meet website. You can schedule a meeting by clicking on the app icon at the top right corner of the Google Meet website and by selecting calendar.
You can click on a specific date on the calendar and add the title, the time , and guests (email) and then click on Add Google Meet Video Conferencing. You can also copy the meeting URL and send it to those you want to invite to the meeting.
Google Meet Vs Zoom
If you want to use Google Meet for quick meetings, you will love it. For instance, using Meet with people who don’t have the zoom app installed on their device. If you are hosting a meeting with large groups, for instance, a school or business, then Google Meet is quite limited in terms of managing these large groups effectively.
In particular, the absence of “mute all” and “unmute all” feature in Meet, together with control over screen sharing between host and participants make Meet less effective for any meeting which is focused around a significant presentation to more than a few people.
So, for informal meetings of a small number of colleagues, then Meet is excellent. But when it comes to an event such as a lecture, the lack of controls to enable a managed teaching environment is a barrier.
So, to wrap up, although Google Meet doesn’t have as many features as the Zoom video conferencing platform. We believe the best part about it is that you can easily video conference with anyone, anytime. There are no download apps needed, no tricky passwords needed and no security issues.
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