Google is improving how Meet runs on Chromebooks by changing how it manages bandwidth. Thanks to the massive uptick in demand from students and employees working entirely from home, using Meet on a Chromebook while simultaneously running other software like Google Docs, Classroom, Kahoot, and so on has created some performance issues. Luckily, Sweyn Venderbush, Product Manager for Chrome OS has spoken about how he and his team have identified a need for Meet’s software compatibility to be improved on Google’s laptops and outlined their work via The Keyword.
Now, Google Meet will be able to run video calls alongside other Chromebook apps and web apps much better regardless of the user’s internet connection strength. By applying some behind the scenes processing tricks, Meet will adapt to the user’s actions and connection dynamically.
For example, your Chromebook’s camera and video performance will now automatically be adjusted to make sure that no unnecessary processing is happening in the background. When you open up another program on your device, your video quality may decrease slightly to compensate for it. Additionally, Meet will adapt to the speed of your network by temporarily disabling your camera if your signal is too weak so that your call doesn’t drop entirely!
Another interesting thing to note is that Google’s engineers have partnered with Zoom to bring many of these AI and ML improvements to their software as well. Google has been pretty good about playing nice with its competitor, largely just finding ways to cooperate with them in order to benefit users as a first priority. Also, Zoom has been killing it this year just the same, so take that for what it’s worth.
There’s no doubt that if your camera turns off on its own on a weaker connection, it may annoy you to no end, but it’s a good improvement nonetheless. The question is whether or not this can be toggled on and off. Change is good but can be perceived differently based on the user. What are your thoughts on this? If it’s not optional, most users will probably just reschedule the call so that they can prioritize fixing their internet. Which camp do you land in? Let us know in the comments!