Google Meet is now available as a Progressive Web App (PWA). It’s a standalone app that offers the same features and functionality as the conventional desktop app but in a smaller package.
If you’re not very familiar with PWAs, understand them as standard websites presented in a slightly complex manner to look and function like an app. Now you might argue that you could already open that webpage in your browser. Perhaps even bookmark it for quick access whenever you want. Well, since PWAs come as a standalone app, they open separately like a conventional app and hence, help “streamline your workflow by eliminating the need to switch between tabs” in a browser. They also offer a faster and more seamless experience than a regular website.
Why not a conventional app then? Firstly, PWAs come in a significantly lesser package. The storage space they eat up on your computer is next to nothing. Moreover, when the web client of an app is updated, PWAs automatically pick up the changes. Traditional apps need to be updated separately to gain access to the latest and greatest features. For PWA users, they arrive automatically.
Zoom recently launched a PWA for Chrome OS. Google is now following the suit. The Google Meet PWA has a blue top bar but the rest of the interface and functionality expectedly remain unchanged from the web client.
How to install Google Meet PWA
To install the Google Meet PWA, go to meet.google.com on your computer and click the install button at the right end of the URL bar. The PWA will be installed and you will be able to access it in your app dock. Note that you don’t need Chrome to be your default web browser to install the Google Meet PWA. However, Chrome must be open during the process.
Once installed, you can click on the Meet app in your app dock to open it. You can also visit meet.google.com from a browser on your computer, click the Open app button in the URL bar, and select Google Meet. The PWA will open, with a familiar Meet interface.
The new Google Meet PWA is available for all Google Workspace customers. Additionally, G Suite Basic and Business customers, as well as users with personal Google Accounts, can also take advantage of this web app. It works on Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux platforms. You need to have version 73 or newer of the Google Chrome browser installed on your device though. Version 73 was released in March 2019, so it’s quite likely that your browser has been updated to a supported version.
Google has already started rolling out the Google Meet PWA to eligible users. Users on Rapid Release domains started seeing it last Monday. The rollout for users on Scheduled Release domains begins on August 2nd, i.e. today. It could take up to 15 days for feature visibility, Google notes.