Google is bringing companion mode, previously available only to Nest Hub Max and web client, to iOS and Android starting this week. Companion mode is designed to allow in-person participants to use virtual tools in a hybrid meeting.
This feature is intended for use in large hybrid conference situations. Such setups often include, for example, corporate conference room hardware that handles audio and video for the entire room. However, this hardware does not allow direct participants to access virtual meeting features such as reactions, messages, and raise hand.
Companion mode on mobile provides all these features and more to in-person meeting participants while using Google Meet. In addition to the above features, companion mode provides captions and subtitles for speakers and the ability to zoom in on the content being displayed.
To use companion mode, users click the new “Use companion mode” button on the pre-join screen. Selecting this option automatically mutes the user’s audio and video. Google recommends using conference room hardware to avoid audio feedback from multiple active microphones in the room.
The company says companion mode on mobile devices makes sense if it’s not practical to use this feature on a laptop.
This feature is currently rolling out to both Google Workspace users and individual his/her Google account holders. However, depending on your school or company’s Google Workspace platform release schedule, companion mode may take several weeks to become available.
Immediate release domains will see this feature starting Monday (February 12), but full rollout may take up to 15 days. Domains scheduled for release will have access to companion mode by February 27th, but you may need to wait up to an additional 15 days after that.
iOS requires Google Meet version 229 or Gmail version 2024.01.28 or later. Google Meet on Android version 225.0 or Google Meet on version 6.0.231231 or later.
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