New Video Conferencing Tool: Google Meet

Illustration: Goggle Meet
October 27, 2017

Google's next-generation online meeting tool will be available November 3, 2017.

Mike Williams of OIT Twin Cites Video and Conferencing Services announced the new application to IT Directors on October 26, 2017. He wrote:

IT Directors,

Google's next-generation online meeting tool - Google Hangouts Meet (also referred to as Google Meet) will be made available to all UMN campuses starting Friday, November 3 at 10:30 a.m. Existing users in the BAA and BAA+ (see definition below) will not be impacted by this change.

Below are answers to questions you might have about Google Meet. Please share this with your units, and feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hangouts going away?

No, Google Hangouts (both chat and video) will remain available for the immediate future. Google has not yet announced a retirement date for Google Hangouts. After November 3, users will still be able to visit hangouts.google.com if they wish to start a video Hangout instead of Google Meet.

Once Google retires Hangouts for Video, Meet will be the official Google replacement video conferencing application.

Does Google Meet work with all browsers and operating systems?

No, only Google Chrome is supported at this time. For more information, see Meet system requirements on your computer. Mobile apps for both iOS and Android are also available.

How are end-users being communicated to?

  • IT Directors email (10/26/2017),
  • University Brief (11/1/2017,
  • IT@UMN email (10/27/2017),
  • MyU story (10/30/2017),
  • News story on IT.UMN website (10/30/2017)
  • Activate an "alert" message on the it.umn.edu help page (11/3/2017)

How will this change affect end-users?

Starting November 3, when a user adds a video call option from their Google Calendar it will automatically be set to use Google Meet. The meeting experience will be very similar to Google Hangouts, but users will notice a refreshed/improved interface and better performance, especially with more than a few meeting participants.

To see the differences between these two platforms, see Meet vs. classic Hangouts feature comparison.

BAA+ members (see definition) were provided access to Google Meet in July 2017. BAA+ members are not able to join Hangouts and are currently required to be a host of a Google Meet if they want to conference with users outside of BAA+. Once Google Meet is available for the UMN community on Nov. 3, all users will be able to host meetings in Google Meet, creating a simpler and similar experience for all hosts and attendees.

Why do we want to implement this now?

At some point in the future, Google will retire Google Hangouts for Video. The closer we are to that unannounced date, the more calendar entries our end users will need to modify if they have Google Hangouts for Video links attached to those calendar entries. By moving the default in calendars to Google Meet we minimize the effort for our end user in the future. Here is the announcement of Google Meet by Google earlier this year.

How do I start a Google Meet?

Visit the getting started guide on Google's Learning Center.

How do I use Google Meet with Google Calendar?

Visit Schedule a video meeting in Calendar in Google's Learning Center.

Is there a mobile app?

Yes, there are mobile apps for Android and iOS. For more information, see Start a video meeting from your mobile device.

Why can't participants use their telephone to dial into a Google Meet?

The University is using Google for Education and not Google Enterprise Edition which means phone dialing is not available at this time. If you have users who need to have telephone participants, WebEx (webex.umn.edu) is the solution.

What happens to Google Calendar invites with a video call?

Existing Google Calendar invites that have a Google Hangout link will not change. At a future time, when Hangouts eventually gets retired (no date set by Google), these links will need to be updated with Google Meet links. There is nothing to worry about today, though. The two systems will exist concurrently.

Is there help documentation?

Yes, visit Get Started with Hangouts Meet in Google's Learning Center.

Who are BAA and BAA+ users?

  • Healthcare (BAA)
    • Clinicians, researchers, and support staff
    • No access to Google Meet or Hangouts
  • Healthcare aka "BAA Plus(+)
    • End-users working in areas where PHI is located
    • Users can by exception be granted access to this area and requires specialized training and procedures
    • Already have access to Google Meet

My question isn't listed; where can I ask other questions about Google Meet?

For other questions, please contact Technology Help.