Google Meet is #4 in Top 10 Videoconferencing software

Google Meet
(Formerly Google Hangouts) Video meetings for your business. Connect with your team from anywhere. With easy-to-join video calls, you can meet face to face without the added cost of travel.

Google Meet video

Positions in ratings

#4 in Top 10 Videoconferencing software

#5 in Top 14 Video Calling apps


The best alternatives to Google Meet are: Skype, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, Facetime

Latest news about Google Meet

2022. Google Meet gets automatic meeting transcriptions

Google is bringing automatic meeting transcriptions to its Meet video conferencing service. Until now, you needed a third-party service like Otter to record and transcribe your call for you. Now it’s a built-in service. The new feature is now available for meetings in English, with support for French, German, Spanish and Portuguese coming in 2023. Microsoft Teams, of course, started offering a similar feature for meetings in English more than a year ago. Given Google’s experience with other speech-to-text services like its Assistant or the Android Recorder app, it’s a bit odd that it took this long to add this to Meet, but better late than never.

2022. Google Meet’s new feature lets users consume YouTube and Spotify together

Google announced that it’s introducing new Apple SharePlay-like live-sharing features to Google_Meet, making it easier for call-participants to engage with content together in real time. It’s worth noting that Google already introduced some live-sharing features (e.g. watching YouTube videos together) to Duo back in February, and now it’s bringing them to Meet as the part of the Duo-Meet merger. The live-sharing feature will let users watch YouTube videos together. These new features will be available under a new Activities tab — which also hosts Q&A and polls options — and is accessible through the three-dot menu.

2022. Google Duo to unite with Google Meet

Google Duo, the company’s video chat service for consumers, will soon merge with Google Meet, the company’s video chat service for business users. The Duo app will soon get all of Meet’s features, including scheduled calls, and then, once the transition is complete, change its name to Google Meet. At that point, the current Meet app will simply launch the new Duo/Meet app. It’s a bit complicated, but to be fair, moving millions of users to the new platform was always going to be a heavy lift.

2021. Google Meet gets a refreshed UI, multipinning, autozoom and more

Google released a major update to its video-meeting service Google Meet, which brings several user interface tweaks for desktop users, as well as quite a bit of new functionality, including multipinning so that you can highlight multiple feeds instead of just one, as well as new AI-driven video capabilities for light adjustments, autozoom and a new Data Saver feature that limits data usage on slower mobile networks. For presenters who don’t want to see themselves on the screen, Meet now also lets you minimize or completely hide your own video feed — and if you really want to glance into your own eyes, you can also pin your feed to the rest of the grid.

2020. Google brings Meet to Gmail on mobile

Google integrated to mobile Gmail its Meet video conferencing service. Now, if you use Gmail on Android or iOS and somebody sends you a link to a Meet event, you can join the meeting right from your inbox. So you won’t have to install the dedicated Meet app anymore to join a call from Gmail. Gmail app will get a new Meet tab at the bottom of the screen. This new tab will show you all your upcoming Meet meetings in Google Calendar and will allow you to start a meeting, get a link to share or schedule a meeting in Calendar. If you’re not a Meet power user, then you can turn this tab off, too.

2020. Google Meet takes on Zoom by going completely free for everyone

Google announced that Google Meet, its premium videoconferencing software, is going free for everyone. Previously, Meet was only available as a part of Google's G Suite business-oriented service package, which starts at $6 per month per person, but now it will be free to anyone with a Google account. Availability will be gradually expanded in the "following weeks," as Google wants to make sure the experience stays secure and reliable. Meetings on the free version of Meet will be restricted to 60 minutes – though Google says it won't enforce the time limit until after Sept. 30. For comparison, some Zoom video calls on the free version of the software are limited to 40 minutes. There are other limitations, too: The free version only supports 100 participants versus 250 for the paid version, and recording and saving calls is only available on the paid version.

2020. Google Meet adds Zoom-style gallery view

Google is adding a Zoom-style gallery view to one of its video-chat products - Google Meet. Importantly, the service is not free to everyone with a Google account like Hangouts. Rather, it is a paid enterprise service primarily aimed at businesses. The least expensive G Suite tier that gets you access to Google Meet costs $6 per month, per user. The "most popular" version costs $12 per month, per person. In other words, you're paying a premium for a feature that competitors like Zoom offer for free.

2020. Google is rebranding Hangouts services

Google has officially removed the Hangouts brand from its enterprise G Suite offering with the rebranding of Hangouts Chat as Google Chat and Hangouts Meet as Google Meet. As for the Hangouts brand, it will continue to live on as the name of the consumer chat app that Google spun out of its shutdown social network Google+ back in 2013 as a spiritual successor to Gchat.

2017. Google Hangouts Meet provides new $1,999 hardware kit

Hangouts Meet, Google’s service for running video and audio meetings, is getting a few new hardware kit that includes a touchscreen controller, speaker microphone, 4K camera and an ASUS Chromebox to control it all. For a while now, Google has sold numerous meeting kits based around the Acer and ASUS Chromeboxes at prices that range from $999 to $1,999. That was before the Hangouts Meet and Chat schism, though (which is still confusing), and this new kit is specifically geared toward Hangouts Meet and G Suite Enterprise edition customers. It’s also the first set to feature this new touchscreen controller (though that, too, isn’t the first touchscreen specifically geared toward Hangouts meetings). That touchscreen, Google tells me, is a 10-inch MIMO Vue capacitive display with HDMI capture. These screens typically retail for about $499 outside of this kit.

2016. Google acquired work chat Pie

Google has gobbled up Pie, a Slack-like team communications service based in Singapore. Pie’s basic premise is was very much like Slack — and a host of other, better funded rivals in Asia like Eko and ChatWork — and it tried to differentiate itself by focusing on a very basic experience targeted at non-technical companies. The deal, which is an acqui-hire, has been made to boost a new Google team that will focus on developing products for Southeast Asia in the same way that Google has done in India over the past year.

2015. Google Hangouts now allows to make videocalls to those who don't have Google account

Google now allows you to invite “guests” into a Hangouts meeting, even if they don’t have (or don’t want) a Google account. This will make it easier for you to do all your communications, at least on the video conference aspect, through this particular medium. The process has also been made simple and painless (or so we hope). All it would take is for you to invite the guests, and for them to accept through a few taps or so. They will be labeled as “external guests” and Google users will be able to invite them to a Hangouts through Google Calendar. They need to click the external link in the event description, then input their name, preferably not a silly nickname as this is supposed to be a professional conference. After doing those two simple steps, they will now be able to be part of the meeting and chat with you and your other colleagues for the duration of the virtual meeting.

2015. Chat for work Pie gets $1.2M

Enterprise messaging service Pie has raised a $1.2 million Series A round as it prepares to monetize its service. Pie is a messaging service for teams with apps across iOS, Android, Mac and the web, and integrations with Dropbox, Google Drive, Box and others. It’s much like a simplified version of Slack. With no paid promotion, the app is being used by over 2,000 companies, from obvious verticals like marketing, advertising and publishing, to less likely customers including flower shops, manufacturing plants, universities, and even churches. With new funding in the bag, the company is preparing to introduce a paid version of this app, which will include admin controls and cost $3.14159 per user per month.

2014. Google Hangouts is available as a standalone Chrome app for Windows and Chromebooks

Google Hangouts users can now chat and make calls from their desktops without opening their browser. Google Hangouts is now a Chrome app for Windows and Chrome OS computers. It can be installed on Mac OS X computers that also have Chrome but isn’t yet fully supported. The app provides all of your active chats on the desktop for easy access. More important though is the support for voice calls through the app, right on your computer. And Google Voice users will benefit from the Voice integration with Hangouts, meaning access to voicemail and the ability to send and receive SMS.

2014. Google Hangouts adds voice calls to mobile app

Google continues to unify its messaging services under one app by adding free voice calling and a number of other Google Voice features to Hangouts. Android users can make free voice calls as soon as they update to the newest version of Hangouts, while web and iOS users will have access to free calls immediately. Hangouts users are also getting access to some Google Voice features: Calls made from within the Hangouts client now feature a user’s Google Voice phone number as caller ID, and calls to that number automatically are being answered through the Hangouts app. Users will also be able to send SMS text messages through Hangouts, and Google Voice voicemail messages will start to show up in Hangouts conversational streams.

2014. Hangouts unlinked from Google+, becomes a part of Google Apps For Business

Until now, you had to have a Google+ account to use Hangouts if you were a Google Apps user. Starting today, that requirement is gone. Anybody with a Google Apps account will now be able to start or join a meeting from their desktop or their dedicated Chromebox for Meetings device. Hangouts is also now coming to Google Apps for Business. While users on Google’s paid accounts could always use Hangouts (assuming their admins allowed it), this change means that Hangouts is now covered by the same SLAs as the rest of Google’s services like Gmail and Drive.  Lastly, IT administrators can better manage meetings right from the Google Apps Admin Console with options like remotely starting, muting and ending a meeting.

2014. Google Hangouts will no longer require a plugin for Chrome

Starting next week video conferencing service Google Hangouts will work in Chrome without the need to install any plugin. Other Hangout-compatible browsers (IE/Firefox/etc.) will still need the plugin — but Chrome will now have Hangouts support baked right in. Between the transition to HTML5, new cross-browser protocols like webRTC, and even platforms like Unity trying to go plugin free, it’s going to be really, really hard to convince users to install plugins moving forward — so if your big idea requires one, you’ll want to find another way.

2014. Pie - group collaboration chat with less noise

Pie, the group chat service, just received almost $1 million funding to take a slice of the enterprise collaboration market. Pie competes with services like Slack, Convo, Hipchat, Hall, and CoTap. So how does Pie plan standout from all the collaboration platforms out there? Co-founder Pieter Walraven says “We differentiate through a less noisy and more on-topic chat experience as well as by a more simple and playful design. Commonly used broad-topic chat rooms can often veer off-topic and are noisy”. Pie takes the noise out of work chat by allowing users to make mini-chatrooms for every item–including links, files, questions, and images–they want to discuss.

2014. Google wants to embed its video chat in every business app

Google is being serious about pushing its video chat service Google+ Hangouts into enterprise sphere. In February this year it released the video conferencing system for meeting rooms based on Chromebox, then integrated Hangouts with leading video conferencing systems Polycom and Cisco and recently released the video chat plugin for Outlook. Now Google offers all developers of business apps to embed Hangout button into their products (this button allows to instantly launch video call). And many of them already accepted this proposal. For example, Hangout button video is already available in Salesforce CRM, customer support app Zendesk, project management system Smartsheet, enterprise social network Zoho Connect, recruiting software Zoho Recruit, etc.

2014. Google created Hangouts video chat plug-in for Outlook

Some Google Apps users instead of native email solution - GMail are using desktop version of MS Outlook. And so far they didn't have the ability to chat and make video calls (like GMail users). Of course, there is an integration of Outlook and Microsoft Lync, but companies that are using Google Apps hardly deploy Microsoft Lync. So Google decided to fix this problem and released Google Hangouts plugin for MS Outlook. It allows to easily make video calls to Outlook contacts, organize group videoconefernce calls with up to 10 people and schedule video meetings in Outlook's Calendar. Recall recently Microsoft rolled out Skype integration for, but it works only with the online version of Outlook.

2014. Google Hangouts now can connect to Polycom, Cisco and other videoconferencing systems

Recently we reported that Google unveiled video conferencing system for meeting rooms Chromebox for Meetings. But the adventures of Google in this area haven't ended with this news. It turns out that Vidyo (the maker of enterprise video communication systems) provides backend for Google Hangouts. And this company added to this backend a new service VidyoH2O, which allows Google Hangouts users to participate in videomeetings with corporate videoconferencing systems - Polycom, Cisco, Avaya, Lifesize and others (supporting H.323/SIP standards). So, there is a great potential for establishing intercompany video meetings. However, this service is not free - it costs from $99/month per concurrent user.

2014. Google unveiled video conferencing system for meeting rooms

Enterprise video conferencing systems (like Polycom, Tandberg ...) cost tens and hundreds thousands of dollars, and their installation and maintenance - is a difficult task. On the other hand videochat services (like Skype, GoToMeeting ...) can't provide the effect of presence that will let business users to completely abandon trips. Therefore, gasoline and airline tickets are still among the the main expenditures in many companies. Google decided to fight this evil and launched the professional video conferencing system based on Google Hangouts - Chromebox for Meetings. It costs just $999 + $250/year (the subscription fee is paid starting from the second year). As you can understand from the title, the system is based on the Chromebox - Google's desktop computer running Chrome OS. In addition, it includes Logitech HD camera, microphone, remote control and any LCD TV. ***

2013. Voice calling is back in Google Hangouts

As you know, in result of the epic merger of Google communication services (GMail Chat, Google Talk and Google Hangouts) only Google Hangouts remained, but it had no voice feature (only chat and video chat). So, the ability to make VoIP-calls also disappeared from GMail and it was unpleasant surprise for many users. That's why Google (after just 2 months) is adding voice to Hangouts. Now you can call over the Internet from GMail, Google+ and Hangouts app for Chrome. You can make PC2PC or PC2Phone call. You can also connect participants to Hangouts conference via VoIP call. But to make sure that we won't die of happiness, Google is not adding voice to the Hangouts mobile apps (for iOS and Android). So, for while you can only call from the desktop.

2013. Google unites GTalk and Hangouts

Google engineers have so much work to do (mostly for Google Glass), that they simply don't have time to fix other (useful) products. For several years we have been waiting when Google finally unites its separated communication services in order to create competitive Skype alternative. And finally, they spent few weeks and implemented the half of this task. Google Talk messenger is now replaced by Google Hangouts videochat. Google has released two Hangouts mobile apps: for Android and iOS. In addition, Hangouts is available in GMail and Google+. All your Hangouts chat apps are synchronized, so you can start conversation on your computer (in GMail) and continue it out of the office on your phone. In chat you can insert pictures and videos from Youtube. Video chat supports up to 10 people simultaneously. Unfortunately, for now Google had not time to unite Hangouts with Google Voice. So you can't send SMS in Hangouts and make voice calls. You can either send a message or make video call. No voice calls yet.

2012. Google replaces GMail Video chat with Google Hangouts

Google should have integrated the variety of its Chat/voice/video services and applications long time ago. And just now they start to do it with the simplest and most effective step - replacement of GMail's video chat with Google Hangouts. Both services are using the same browser plug-in and the same authorization base. But Hangouts provides much more features: free videoconferencing for 10 participants, screen-sharing, whiteboarding, collaborative editing of Google Docs, simultaneous Youtube-video co-watching, webinars, etc. (there is a even a catalog of third-party apps that work with Hangouts). Also, now you can make video calls not only to contacts who are in GMail, but also to those who is in Google +, and not only in browser, but also on Android, iPhone or iPad. Google will be rolling out the new feature during 2 weeks.

2012. Google+ Hangouts comes to iPad and iPhone

It's very strange that Apple doesn't really try to become the video chat king, and even doesn't prevent the competitors of using its platform for this matter. Though it was Apple's iPhone that made mobile video chat popular and Skype position not so strong. But since then Apple's video chat app Facetime didn't progress, and competitors continue to use it. Yesterday Google released a new Google+ app for iPad with Hangouts video chat and updated Google+ for iPhone app, that now also supports Hangouts. Recall, Google Hangouts allows you to organize online video meetings with up to 10 users - for free. In addition to iOS, Google's video chat works on Android smartphones and tablets, as well as on any computer via a web browser and a small plug-in.

2011. Google adds phone conferencing to Hangouts

What was the Skype's killer feature that made it super-popular? Video calling. And on what Skype is making money? On IP-telephony. Google wasn't able to repeat the same trick with GTalk/GMail/Google Voice. Because people got used to Skype already. But maybe Google will succeed with the rapidly growing group video chat Google Hangouts. That's what Google is going to do - integrate Hangouts with IP-telephony. The new tool in Google Hangouts already allows to call landlines and mobile phones and connect people that are not currently by a computer to the online meeting. This is especially important for business meetings when you need to connect client or partner to your meeting. However, meanwhile these external calls work only in the United States and Canada (and work for free). But it's no doubt that soon it will become available in other countries via paid Google Voice calls.

2011. Google+ launched pages for companies and brands

After Google opened its social network Google+ for Google Apps business users, it didn't make enterprises waiting for a long time with the next step. Today it added an opportunity to create pages for companies and brands, like on Facebook. Many companies have already done it. Here are examples of business pages: Toyota, Pepsi, FC Barcelona, Angry Birds. And though it's not possible to select vanity URLs yet, spend 5 minutes and create a page for your company right now. You can do it here: Company page in a social network - is a great way to make your business closer to your customers and partners (and to find new ones). Of course, meanwhile the Google + Pages are less functional than Facebook Pages: you can't publish RSS-feed, only one person can add messages, widgets for websites and apps are not ready yet. But there are two major benefits. ***

2011. Google Hangouts turned into full-featured web-conferencing tool

Lebanese developer's hack, which allowed text collaboration in Google+ Hangouts didn't remain a hack so long. Today's Google+ update has added much more new features to Hangouts. First, it's an opportunity to share your screen (Screen-sharing). Second, is the ability to collaboratively draw on a whiteboard. Third, is the ability to collaboratively edit Google Docs documents. Fourth, is the ability to create broadcasts for the unlimited number of viewers (the number of active participants is limited to 10). Fifth, Google Hangouts videochat now works on Android-smartphones. And finally, sixth, Google has opened the official API for Hangouts, so you don't need to hack it, as the Lebanese programmer in order to create your own application for Hangouts. By the way, the social network Google + is now open to all. Is your company ready for this?

2011. Google Hangouts adds real-time code-collaboration

An open source software engineer, Mohamed Mansour, has created an extension for Google+ Hangouts - Hangout Pad for Google+, which allows you to collaborate on the text (or program code) while communicating in video chat. Although this extension is still to buggy, it's very interesting for several reasons. First, it doesn't use the official Google + API (because it doesn't exist so far). Hangout Pad is a plug-in for Google Chrome browser and embeds into Hangouts video chat using a complex hack (via Google Shared Spaces and Google Wave protocol). However, this tool shows the opportunities of expanding Google Hangouts (beware Skype!). The collaboration window (in this case the code editor) is located above the user video streams and it can contain anything. In addition, it is a cool demonstration of the future integration between Google Hangouts and Google Docs.

2011. GMail VoIP is available almost globally

VoIP-service in GMail, which was earlier available only in the U.S. and Canada, has appeared in the user accounts in almost all countries of the world - in 38 languages. Here is the list of countries where Gmail Call Phone is NOT currently available: Argentina, China, Cuba, Egypt, Ghana, India, Iran , Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nigeria, North Korea, Peru, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, South Korea, Sudan, Syria, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, Viet Nam. With this global intervention, Google has lowered its VoIP rates, making them slightly cheaper than rates of its new main rival - Skype. For example, a call to France costs 8 cents (vs. 16.9 cents in Skype), to USA - 1 (vs. 1.9). As before GMail Call Phone requires quick browser plug-in installation - the same plug-in that is used for video calling in GMail.

2011. Web video chat: Google Hangouts vs Facebook Skype

A great battle between Google and Skype (Microsoft) for the video calling market continues on a new platform - the Social Web. Last week Google launched (in Beta) their social network Google + and one of it's features is the group video chat Hangouts. And yesterday the built-in Skype-based video chat appeared in Facebook. Both video chat apps work directly in browser, which signals about the transition of video calling applications to web-technologies (although both apps require the installation of a small browser plug-in). ***

2011. Google adds video chat to Android. Skype already enables video calls between Android and iPhone

Earlier this year, we forecast the active competition between Skype and Google for the mobile video chat market. And the companies justify our expectations. Yesterday Google launched the (wireless) update of Android-smartphones, that adds voice and video chat to mobile Google Talk. At first Nexus S models will be updated, then all other devices running Android 2.3 and higher. Built-in video chat on Android will work via Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G networks, and will allow to call from a smartphone to GMail and back. Recall that the operating system for tablets Android Honeycomb already has in-built video chat. Meanwhile, Skype is already ahead of its competitor - it already offers video chat for Android and iPhone, and even lets you make video calls between these devices. ***

2010. Google improves video chat quality

It is pleasant that though GMail video chat hasn't become the second Skype and does not bring any revenue to Google, the company still continues its development. Besides, it is personally lead by Christopher Vander Mey, Senior Product Manager for Google Apps. Apparently, the company has big plans for utilizing video chat in business.   And another confirmation for this guess is the latest new feature - improved video quality (it can be turned on in GMail Labs). Now the video chat supports VGA video (640x480), and the picture looks more clear, the CPU is less loaded and internet connection may be lower. According to Vander Mey, it's all thanks to new technology of hardware-accelerated video decoding based on H.264 (and, it is not the result of the GISP acquisition but Google's own development). Note, that if you want to enable video chat in GMail, you need to install this plug-in.

2010. GMail = Unified Communications client

Few days ago the analytical company Frost & Sullivan stated that Google will soon storm the unified communications market, which is dominated by Cisco, Avaya and Microsoft. After all, Google has GMail, Google Voice, GTalk, Buzz, Gizmo5, Android, GISP and it remains just to combine all these technologies into single offering. And Google has decided to immediately confirm this forecast - from today GMail allows you to make and receive phone calls (thanks to the integration with Google Voice and Gizmo5). Meanwhile the VoIP service in GMail is available only in US. ***

2010. Google may outgo Skype by means of mobile video

Video chat in GTalk (or more exactly, in GMail) has appeared more than a year ago. And we were confident that Skype will get the very strong competitor. Nevertheless, Skype's market share hasn't suffered at all. Even GMail users mainly continue using Skype for video calls. Probably, it's a question of a habit and Skype's great popularity. And perhaps, when Google adds calls to regular phones with the help of acquired Gizmo5 - this won't also change anything. Without offering some new revolutionary features, pushing Skype from the market will be extremely difficult. Especially now, when Skype introduced group video calling. However, it seems Google has a new idea. Today the company announced the acquisition of Swedish developer of VoIP and videoconferencing solutions - GIPS. GIPS technologies are used in Yahoo Messenger, Cisco WebEx and Lotus Sametime. And in addition, GIPS has created the best engine for video chat on Android. ***

2009. Google acquired Gizmo5

Multiple sources (including TechCrunch) say that almost exactly Google has bought  Gizmo5 for $30 millions. If it's true, Skype now will get the very powerful competitor. Interesting, that month ago Skype was going to buy Gizmo5 itself in order to replace the Global Index technology (that was a reason of lawsuit) with Gizmo5 SIP-based platform. But now when Skype has after the Skype settlement, though, Gizmo5’s strategic value to Skype sort of plummeted. But, it turns out, that Gizmo5 has the strategis value to Google. And, really, it ideally fits Google's communication plans. First of all, GTalk can call only between internet users, but can't call PSTN and mobile phones. Gizmo5 will easily provide this opportunity to GTalk users. ***