In addition to swapping your background with a static image – something Google Meet could already do for some time now – the video backgrounds the company previously announced are finally beginning to roll out. Over the next week, Chrome users running M87 or later who are set up with a Rapid Release domain will begin to see the option appear during active calls or in the green room while they prepare. Scheduled Release domain users will need to wait until June 18th to begin their gradual, week-long rollout.
If you want to be certain you will have them available to you, be sure to update Chrome by going to the three dots ‘more’ menu at the top right of the browser, and choose ‘Settings’, and then ‘About Chrome’, and click ‘Update’. The available backgrounds will be a classroom, a party with quirky characters and a disco ball, and a forest, but more will release in time.
Google hopes that users will toggle these on to show more personality where appropriate, and to block out any distractions or privacy concerns in their surroundings. What’s interesting is that they’re rolling out first to the web version of Meet, and then to mobile shortly thereafter, though we still don’t have a date for the mobile release. Meet’s PWA has become incredibly powerful, and it’s nice to see the company prioritizing the web over installed applications.
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