Back in June, Google previewed a second screen experience for video conferencing. Google Meet’s Companion Mode is now beginning to roll out “when joining a meeting using Google Meet hardware or the Nest Hub Max.”

Companion Mode lets you text chat, hand raise, create/answer polls, screen share, and access host controls on another device (i.e. laptop) as you have a Google Meet call open on a Smart Display or other dedicated hardware that would otherwise not let you use those interactive features. It also lets you enable captions and translations.

In its first iteration, those taking a video call on the Nest Hub Max or other Google Meet hardware can access Companion Mode on the web via g.co/companion. Google will advertise that URL in Meet’s green room and on external devices before joining. Additionally:

If you intend to immediately share content, you can simultaneously join the meeting and present with Companion mode by using g.co/present.

Google designed this second screen experience to “seamlessly connect those in meeting rooms with their remote teammates.”

Hybrid meetings and classes are growing as some begin to return to office or school, while others remain remote. Companion mode fosters collaboration equity for all attendees regardless of where they’re joining a meeting from.

The company notes that people using Companion Mode will count as an additional meeting participant, but those tiles will be hidden (unless they raise their hand) and that the meeting roster will note these occurrences.

This is rolling out over the coming weeks to all Workspace customers and personal Google accounts, though the latter group of users (including Workspace Individual) will see it slightly later. 

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Abner Li

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