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Companion Mode Google Meet

February 27, 2024

companion mode google meet image for Stork's blog

As we continue to adapt to the new era of hybrid work environments, it's never been more crucial for teams to maintain connection and productivity, regardless of whether members are working from the office, from home, or on the go. Tech giants have been working tirelessly to build tools that better serve this new norm. Today, we're diving into Google Meet's latest feature designed to enhance the hybrid work experience - Companion Mode.

What is Companion Mode?

companion mode google meet image for Stork's blog

Companion Mode is an innovative feature within Google Meet, designed to create a more inclusive and engaging meeting experience for both in-person and remote participants. Whether you're sitting at your office desk, working from your home, or joining from a conference room, Companion Mode ensures every participant's voice is heard and seen equally.

How Does it Work?

companion mode google meet image for Stork's blog

When enabled, Companion Mode allows people joining a meeting in a physical meeting room to use their personal devices alongside the in-room audio and video. This gives all attendees google meet meeting, both remote and in-person, access to interactive features like screen sharing, chat, live polls, Q&A, and more, without disturbing the meeting flow. Companion Mode essentially bridges the divide between in-room and remote participants, fostering greater participation and collaboration.

The Benefits of Companion Mode

companion mode google meet image for Stork's blog

1. Greater Participation and Engagement

Companion Mode encourages interactive participation by enabling everyone to access the same suite of collaborative tools. This means remote participants can now feel as engaged as those in the meeting room, enhancing the overall productivity of the meeting. Everyone can easily share screens, respond to polls, or ask questions via chat.

2. Enhanced Meeting Experience

With Companion Mode, attendees can join meetings from their devices and take advantage of high-quality audio, video, and screen-sharing capabilities. This ensures everyone has a consistent meeting experience, regardless of their location.

3. Seamless Collaboration

It promotes seamless collaboration by integrating other Google Workspace tools like Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This means you can view a shared document or slide deck, contribute to it, and still follow the meeting without having to switch between screens or apps.

4. Smart Noise Management

Companion Mode takes advantage of Google's advanced AI to manage noise levels. If someone in the room is also joining on a device, the software will automatically mute their microphone to prevent audio feedback, echo, or other disruptive noises.

In Conclusion

Google Meet's Companion Mode is a significant step forward in leveling the playing field for hybrid meetings, ensuring everyone, no matter where they are joining from, can fully participate and collaborate. As we continue to adapt to new ways of working, such tools will undoubtedly play a significant role in defining the future of work.

Whether you're a small team or a large enterprise, adopting Companion Mode in your meeting routine can help foster a more inclusive, engaging, and productive work environment. So, the next time you join a Google Meet call, remember to take advantage of Companion Mode and redefine your meeting experience.

FAQ

What is companion mode in Google meets?

Companion Mode is a feature in Google Meet app designed to enhance the meeting experience for people joining both in person and remotely. This feature is particularly useful in hybrid work environments where teams may be split between office locations and remote setups.

When a person in a physical meeting room enables Companion Mode, they use their personal device (like a laptop or smartphone) in the meeting code addition to the in-room audio and video. This allows meeting participants, regardless of their location, to have access to interactive features like screen sharing, live polls, Q&A, chat, and more.

The goal of Companion Mode is to create a more inclusive, engaging, and productive meeting experience. It bridges the gap between in-person and remote participants, allowing everyone to actively participate and collaborate with the same set of tools. It also offers the added benefit of integrating with other Google Workspace tools, enhancing the overall collaborative process.

What does Google companion mode do?

Google Meet's Companion Mode serves to enhance the meeting experience, specifically designed for hybrid work environments. Here's what it does:

Enhances Participant Experience:

Companion Mode allows both in-person and remote participants to utilize their personal mobile devices for more interactive participation. This includes having access to features like screen sharing google chat, live polls, chat, Q&A, and more.

Encourages Active Participation:

This feature promotes an active role in room hardware for all attendees, regardless of their location. Everyone can easily contribute to the discussion, share their own room check their screens, answer polls, or chat, thereby promoting a more engaging and inclusive meeting environment.

Promotes Seamless Collaboration:

Companion Mode integrates with other Google Workspace tools, so you can view room check in a shared document or slide deck, contribute to it, and still follow the meeting without having to switch between screens or apps.

Facilitates High-Quality Communication:

By allowing attendees to use their devices, Companion Mode ensures everyone has a consistent meeting experience with high-quality audio, video, and screen-sharing capabilities.

Offers Smart Noise Management:

Companion Mode uses Google's AI technology to manage noise levels in a meeting. If someone in a physical meeting room is also joining on their device, Companion Mode will automatically mute their microphone to prevent disruptive noises.

In summary, Companion Mode ensures a leveled field for all meeting participants, whether they are joining in-person or remotely, creating a more interactive, inclusive, and productive meeting environment for external participants.

Why do I use companion mode in Google Meet?

Companion Mode in Google Meet is designed to improve the experience of hybrid meetings - where some attendees are present in a physical meeting room, and others are joining remotely. Here are some reasons you might want to use Companion Mode:

Interactive Participation:

Companion Mode allows both remote and in-person attendees to use the same suite of interactive features like chat, polls, Q&A, and screen sharing. This can make meetings more engaging and collaborative.

Consistent Meeting Experience:

It ensures that all attendees, regardless of their location, have access to the same high-quality audio, video, and screen-sharing capabilities.

Seamless Collaboration:

Companion Mode integrates other Google Workspace tools, such as Calendar, Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This enables attendees to view shared documents or presentations and contribute to them during the meeting without switching between screens or applications.

Noise Management:

Using Google's AI capabilities, Companion Mode automatically mutes video calls and the microphone of any in-room attendees who are also on their device, preventing audio feedback, echo, or other disruptive noises.

Inclusive Meetings:

By offering the same set of tools to both remote and in-room attendees, Companion Mode makes meetings more inclusive, ensuring everyone can contribute equally, regardless of their location.

In short, using Companion Mode can lead to more productive, engaging, and inclusive meetings, making it a great tool for hybrid work environments.

Is Google Meet free?

Google Meet does offer a free version that anyone with a Google Account can use. The free version allows you to host meetings up to 60 minutes long with up to 100 participants, with features including screen sharing, real-time captions, and compatibility across devices.

However, for more advanced features such as longer meeting durations, larger meetings, video meeting recording, and advanced safety locks, you need to upgrade to a paid version like Google Workspace Individual, Business, or Enterprise edition.

Please note that Google's policies and offerings may change over time, so it's always a good idea to check the latest from Google's official Meet or Workspace pages for the most current information.

How much does Google Meet cost per month?

Google Meet is a free plan included with Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) subscriptions. The cost of Google Workspace varies depending on the plan you choose:

Business Starter:

$6 per meeting link per user per meeting host month, with video meetings for up to 100 participants.

Business Standard:

$12 per user per month, with video meetings for up to 150 participants and the ability to record meetings.

Business Plus:

$18 per user per month, with video meetings for up to free users up to 250 participants, attendance tracking google calendar,, and more.

Enterprise Editions:

Pricing varies and is provided by contacting Google or a sales representative, offering more advanced features and larger meeting sizes.

All these versions come with additional features such as custom business email, shared calendars, Google Drive cloud storage,, and more. It's worth noting that Google often updates its plans and pricing, so these figures might have changed. Always check Google's official Workspace pricing page for the most up-to-date information.

Remember, there's also a free version of Google Meet available to anyone with a Google account, but it has limitations compared to the paid versions, such as meeting duration caps and fewer participant allowances.

What is the difference between free and paid Google Meet?

Free Google Meet:

  • You can host video meetings with up to 100 participants.
  • Each meeting can last up to 60 minutes (though during the COVID-19 pandemic, Google temporarily extended this to 24 hours).
  • Features include screen sharing, real-time captions, and compatibility across devices.

Paid Google Meet (as part of Google Workspace subscriptions):

  • Meeting participant limit increases, depending on the plan:
  • Business Starter: Up to 100 participants.
  • Business Standard: Up to 150 participants.
  • Business Plus: Up to 250 participants.
  • Enterprise: Varies, but can include more participants than other plans.
  • The duration limit for meetings is much longer, up to 300 hours.
  • The ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive is included.
  • Attendance tracking and breakout rooms are available.
  • Live streaming within your domain is possible.
  • 24/7 online support and phone support are provided.
  • You get access to other Google Workspace features, including custom email (you@yourcompany), shared calendars, Google Drive storage, and more.

Does free Google Meet have a time limit?

The free version of Google Meet typically limits meetings to up to one hour and 60 minutes for 1:1 or group meetings. However check in part, during the COVID-19 pandemic, Google temporarily extended the duration of free meetings to 24 hours.

Is there anything similar to companion mode in other apps?

the idea of enhancing hybrid meeting experiences was being explored by many tech companies. However, the specific feature known as Companion Mode, as introduced by Google Meet, is unique in its approach to harmonizing the meeting experience for both in-person and remote participants.

Nonetheless, there are similar features in other video conferencing tools that aim to enhance hybrid and remote collaboration:

Microsoft Teams:

Teams offers a feature known as "Together Mode," which places participants in a shared virtual background, making it feel as though everyone is in the same room. Microsoft has also worked on improving AI-powered noise suppression and has features to integrate personal and team devices for a seamless meeting experience.

Zoom:

Zoom offers various features designed to improve the hybrid meeting experience, like breakout rooms for smaller group discussions, co-annotation for collaborative working, and an array of reaction emojis for non-verbal communication. They've also introduced features like smart gallery view to optimize how remote and in-room participants are seen.

Cisco Webex:

Webex offers AI-powered noise removal and speech enhancement to make hybrid meetings clearer. It also offers features like gesture recognition, breakout sessions, and integrations with other collaboration tools.

While these features serve similar goals of improving the hybrid meeting experience, they don't exactly replicate the Companion Mode in the Google Meet app. Always make sure to check the most recent updates from these platforms for their latest offerings, as they continue to evolve and innovate to support hybrid work environments.

Define companion mode google meet in one paragraph

Companion Mode in Google Meet is a feature designed to enhance the experience of hybrid meetings, where participants join both in-person and remotely. This feature enables individuals present in a physical meeting room to use their personal devices along with the in-room audio and video. This allows every participant, regardless of their location, to access interactive features like screen sharing, live polls, Q&A, chat, and more. Companion Mode, thus, fosters greater inclusivity, engagement, and collaboration, ensuring that all attendees can equally participate in the meeting, thereby creating a more balanced and productive meeting environment.

What is Google Nest Hub Max?

image of Google Nest Hub Max

The Google Nest Hub Max is a smart display device that was launched by Google in September 2019. It integrates Google Assistant, allowing you to control it using your voice to perform a variety of tasks.

Featuring a 10-inch HD touchscreen, the device is essentially a central hub for your smart home devices. It can control smart lights, smart thermostats, and other compatible devices in your home. It also supports video calls through Google Duo, displays photos, plays videos, and acts as a digital picture frame when idle.

One distinguishing feature of the Nest Hub Max is its Nest Cam integration. This means it can act as a security camera, letting you keep an eye on your home when you're away. It can send notifications if it detects movement and also lets you check in from your phone.

Furthermore, the device supports gesture control and facial recognition, which allows it to show personalized information (like your calendar appointments or reminders) when it recognizes you.

Like other Google Assistant devices, the Nest Hub Max can answer questions, play music, set timers, read the news, and much more. Music and videos can be played from various services like YouTube, Spotify, and Netflix.

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