Google Meet introduces live translated captions and adds companion mode for hybrid meetings


Google Meet is getting new features to improve hybrid work culture and make video meetings more productive. Google has started rolling out live translated subtitles for Google Meet across the board. The new feature automatically translates conversations in Google Meet on web and mobile from one language to another in real time. Additionally, Google Meet is getting a new Companion Mode feature on the web, allowing users to add remote members through an additional screen. Companion mode gives remote members all the advanced interactive features that physically present members have access to. The new feature is compatible with Google Meet hardware and the Nest Hub Max.

Google announced the addition of new features for Google Meet via its blog post. The live translated subtitles feature, which automatically translates spoken language into another language, is now available live on Google Meet on web and mobile. The functionality currently supports translation of English language into French, German, Portuguese and Spanish. Subtitles appear at the bottom of the screen during a Google Meet video call. According to Google, the new real-time translation feature will help break down language barriers in video calls.

Companion mode allows employees who are in the physical meeting rooms to connect with their remote teammates via an additional screen. It gives everyone access to interactive features and controls, no matter where they are. Companion mode gives them access to interactive features and controls like chat, screen sharing, hand raises, polls, host controls and more. Companion mode is available on the web through Meet hardware and Nest Hub Max. People can join a meeting in companion mode from the green space before their meeting. Users can join a companion mode meeting by visiting or on compatible hardware. The latter can be used for those who want to share content or screens.

People who join via companion mode count as separate participants and their tiles are hidden from the video grid to maximize screen real estate. Google first unveiled companion mode for Google Meet at the Google I/O event in May 2021.

Google says it began rolling out the live translated captions feature to Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Google Workspace for Education Plus customers on January 12. The search giant will roll out the feature to all users over about 15 days. Google Workspace individual customers or users with personal Google accounts cannot use it at this time.

Companion mode, on the other hand, will be rolled out gradually to all individual Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google accounts starting January 13th.

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