Back in April, Google announced a Tiled layout in Meet, allowing users to see up to 16 other participants in a meeting. This tiled view is now getting further enhancements. Starting this week, this feature works with presentations as well.
You can now see other attendees in the meeting even when someone is making a presentation. The tiled view with most active participants will move to the bottom or side of the screen with smaller images.
Presentations will appear in a large tile, covering roughly two-thirds of the screen. There is no admin control for this feature.
Google says Meet will now also save your preferred screen layout. When you choose a new layout, it will be automatically saved as your preferred layout for subsequent meetings. Of course, you can change the Meet layout as many times as you wish.
Along with Tiled, Google Meet also offers Spotlight and Sidebar layouts. In the Spotlight layout, the presentation, active speaker, or pinned feed fills the window.
The Sidebar layout, on the other hand, shows the active speaker or presentation with other participants on the side.
There's also an Auto layout that automatically selects a suitable default layout for you. You can change the layout by clicking the More menu (three dots in the bottom-right corner) after joining a video meeting on a computer.
Google improves the Tiled layout in Meet
In a bid to "help remote meetings feel more like in-person meetings," Google has been continuously making improvements to Meet.
The company recently announced that all G Suite customers, including Basic, Business, Education, and Nonprofit customers, can host meetings with up to 250 participants through September 30, 2020, at no additional cost.
The move was in response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. As businesses, organizations, and educators around the world are forced to work from home, this extension made it easier for them to operate during this global health crisis.
Google followed that extension with the introduction of the Tiled layout in Meet, allowing users to see up to 16 people at the same time. The layout adjusts automatically to show active speakers. If there are more than 16 participants in a meeting, Meet also offers an option to see the full list of participants.
The most recent changes are part of this continued effort as well. In addition to the aforementioned enhancements, Google has also made some minor improvements to the meeting UI to "better utilize the space on your screen". These changes are now available to all G Suite customers as well as users with personal Google accounts.