This new Google Meet update will make meetings less of a free-for-all

Getting your voice heard in a Google Meet call should be easier than ever thanks to a new update to the service.

Google's video conferencing tool is upgrading its "Hand Raise" tool in order to make it simpler to address those participants wanting to speak.

The improvements, which have begun rolling out now, include an "updated and improved visual icon and animation" on a user's video tile, giving a more dynamic view of when a participant wants to speak, and an audio notification will now play when the first hand raise occurs on a call.

Raise those hands

Google Meet can support up to 100 participants on desktop devices, and recently announced support for even bigger calls on Android and iOS devices as well.

Many of the new changes look to be focused on large group calls, and making users who wish to speak more visible to hosts. This includes a change that moves the video tiles of users who have raised their hands to become more visible in a group call.

There will also be a clickable notification that shows everyone who has already raised their hand, as well as ordering these people in a queue determined by when they first activated the call for attention.

At the other end of the spectrum, and a welcome update for many, a participant’s hand will now also be automatically lowered after they speak, removing what had been a major headache for call hosts everywhere.

The new tool will be on by default, with no admin or end user controls, as Google aims to help foster better teamwork in meetings.

Google says that the new features will be available in meetings organized by users with Workspace Essentials, Business Standard, Business Plus, Enterprise Essentials, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Education Fundamentals, Education Plus, Nonprofits, as well as G Suite Business customers.

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