Video conferencing has become an integral part of work and school life, long after the pandemic has taken its toll on the world. Although “Zoom fatigue” has apparently subsided, almost any type of office or event can have a meeting or two happening over the web. This has made apps and services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams ubiquitous and present on virtually every device.
Of course, there are always exceptions, including devices that receive these kinds of video calls so infrequently that it’s not worth installing an app. Google Meet for web browsers was built specifically for this purpose, and it’s now getting updates that bring it up to par with dedicated Meet apps..
It’s kind of an age-old battle between web apps and more traditional apps that you can install on devices. Web apps have the advantage of requiring no installation and supporting many platforms and devices, but they can also run into limitations due to restrictions on the hardware they can directly use. In the past, web applications couldn’t even use a computer’s GPU to improve graphics or video quality, although many of these restrictions have now been lifted. Google Meet on the web has tried to overcome these trade-offs for one particularly resource-intensive activity: video conferencing. This latest update not only improves its capabilities, but also enablesuse Google Meet on computers that are not powerful enough to meet the software requirements.
Video calls are resource-intensive because they have to process real-time video and audio. They have become even more complicated recently due to the need to blur backgrounds or even use virtual backgrounds to hide the user’s physical space. This can be particularly tricky for web app users due to the amount of processing involved, but Google promises that the all-new version of Meet for the web allows for more precise separation of background and foreground to Reduce visual artifacts when using background effects.
Google Meet on the web has the advantage of supporting older, less powerful computers that aren’t compatible with native Meet apps, but that doesn’t mean it will work well on those machines. This is especially true when background processing is involved, which can take a lot of processing power from an already struggling computer.
A Web application worthy of a standard application
However, with this update, Google Meet now includes the option to offload background processing to the cloud and reduce computer CPU load by up to 30%, according to Google. This not only saves CPU time, but also extends battery life.
These two updates ultimately make Google Meet on the web more universal and useful, especially for those who regularly engage in video calls. Of course, the experience on the web is still not at the same level as native apps, but it allows you to immediately jump into a call without having to worry about installing or updating the application. Even better, Meet’s improved background processing is being made available to all Google users, even if processing in the cloud is only available to certain Google Workspace customers.