As previewed last month, Google is starting to launch a handful of pre-announced features for Meet. Background blur and being able to see up to 49 people simultaneously is coming to Google Meet in the coming weeks.
Seeing more people at the same time can improve the dynamics of larger group meetings and classes. Whether it’s seeing everyone’s reactions to what’s being discussed, or more easily tracking multiple speakers, it can help virtual meetings feel more like in-person meetings and encourage participation.
Especially useful for businesses and classes, Google Meet now lets auto and tiled layouts show up to 49 people. This is only available on the web, while users have to actively enable it. The default tile number is set to 9 in “Auto” layout and 16 in “Tiled.”
From the “Change layout” panel, there will be a new “Tiles” slider. You also have the option to add yourself as a tile by hovering over your top-right thumbnail. This is useful for group screenshots.
You may want to increase the maximum when you have a large group, or reduce the number of tiles if you have a weak internet connection. Note that the slider adjustments are specific to each meeting, it will reset between each meeting and you can then customize each time.
This feature is rolling out over the coming weeks for both G Suite and personal accounts.
Meanwhile, background blur is seeing a similar launch. This straightforward feature puts the focus on you by masking everything behind you. A new icon exists in the bottom-right corner before you start a call or in the settings menu afterwards.
Google Meet background blur is first launching in Chrome for Mac and Windows with a similar rollout timeline as the grid view. Chrome OS and mobile app support is “coming soon.”