Google’s Chat and Video Services
Here’s a quick overview of Google’s various chat and video services.
- Google Hangouts is Google’s longest running messaging and video chat service. As of June 2020 this service will only be offered to consumer accounts, which is basically anyone with an @gmail.com or @googlemail.com email address. Hangouts can be found in the Gmail sidebar and at hangouts.google.com.
- Google Hangouts Chat is Google’s paid team chat service, provided as part of G Suite. If you use Gmail with a company email address, you’re already a paid G Suite user, meaning you can use Hangouts Chat. This app includes direct messaging, just like the consumer Hangouts, but also offers threaded team channels similar to Slack. Hangouts Chat can be found at chat.google.com.
- Google Hangouts Meet is Google’s paid video conferencing software, provided as part of G Suite. It’s similar to the video chat service provided in the consumer Hangouts but supports far more participants. Meet can be found at meet.google.com
- Google Duo is Google’s answer to FaceTime, offering one-on-one video chats on mobile and computers. Duo can be found at duo.google.com.
- Messages is the default SMS application in Android. Depending on your mobile carrier you might be able to turn on chat features to enable a few advanced features, similar to iMessage on Apple devices.
In this article – we focus on Google Hangouts Meet (Meet).
One of the key things to remember about Google Meet is only paid G Suite accounts can create Google Meet appointments, but consumer Google accounts can join appointments if invited.
Google Meet, also known as Google Hangouts Meet, is built to let dozens of people join the same virtual meeting, and speak or share video with each other from anywhere with internet access.
It’s meant for use by businesses and other organizations, and it’s a great way for colleagues who don’t work in the same building to communicate.
A Google Meet organizer can share whatever is on their screen with everyone on a call, and any participant can turn their own audio and/or video feed off at any time, participating however they want.
How much Google Meet costs
To set up and host a Google Meet session, you need to have a paid G Suite account, which costs $6 USD a month at its “basic” level. Anyone with a standard Google account can join and participate in Google Meet meetings, however.
G Suite has a few different membership tiers, and the more you pay, the more people you can have on a single Google Meet call.
- G Suite Basic, as noted, costs $6 USD a month per user. With this, you can meet with up to 25 people at once.
- G Suite Business costs $12 USD a month per user. With this, you can meet with up to 50 people at once.
- G Suite Enterprise costs $25 USD a month per user. With this, you can meet with up to 100 people at once.
Each G Suite tier also comes with extra Google Drive storage space and advanced data security options. There are also versions built for schools and educators, which Google offers for free to certain institutions.
How to join a Google Meet call
You join a Google Meet session by using a code that’s created when the event organizer schedules the meeting.
On both the Meet mobile app and on a computer, simply pull up Google Meet and click or tap “Use a meeting code” (it may say “Enter a meeting code” on mobile). Once your code is in, provided the session has started, you’ll enter the call and can begin talking with your team.
The creator of the meeting can also send out a direct link, which you just have to click once to join the meeting.
Updated: 24/03/2020 New Zealand (NZ)
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