Hangouts Meet Gains Support for Android Tablets and iPads
Google took the wraps off Hangouts Meet, an enterprise-centric version of its Hangouts chat platform, in March 2017. It’s chock full of nifty features like meeting reminders and Google Drive integration, but ever since launch, it’s lacked tablet support. The search giant rectified that longstanding shortcoming with a tablet-forward update for the Hangouts Meet app. Starting today, it’s officially supported on Apple iPads and Android tablets.
The updated Hangouts Meet app, which started rolling out Monday, is the latest in a series of enhancements Google’s made to the business-focused G Suite tool. In July, it added an in-conference messaging feature that let video chat participants share messages and links in a dedicated, slide-out tab, and dial in support for phones that aren’t compatible with the Hangouts Meet app. And in November, it bumped the maximum number of video chat participants to 50 from 30.
The update also follows on the heels of Hangouts Meet hardware, a $2,000 package with a touchscreen, camera, microphone, and Chromebox designed for conference rooms that Google announced in October 2017. The eye-popping price tag nets you a high-tech camera that uses machine learning to properly frame meeting participants, a Google-designed speaker microphone, and a capacitive touch display from Mimo that costs $500 on its own.
Hangouts Meet might not be the most consumer-oriented product in Google’s portfolio, but it’s a breeding ground for innovation. Video calls can be shared with a simple link. Native integration with G Suite means meeting updates get pulled directly from Google Calendar, eliminating the need to manually update meeting times across multiple platforms. And the web app’s natively supported in Chrome and Firefox — it doesn’t require an additional plugin.
Google says the new Hangouts Meet app will roll out to all G Suite Enterprise Edition users by the end of this week. If you’ve already installed it on your iPad or Android tablet, it’ll update automatically.