Google has improved its video conferencing platform Meet to be able to compete with other platforms such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. A new feature of Meet is that users can now see the faces of 16 people on their screen. Previously, users could only see four people on their screen at one time, but with Meet's new tiled layout, people can now see 16 participants at once. Meet's new gallery view comes at a time when more and more people are using video conferencing services across the world. Many people are contacting family and friends during lockdown; companies are holding online meetings; and schools and universities have changed their operations to be able to teach online.
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Google said the improved Meet platform would help millions around the world in times of lockdown. It wrote: "Remote work has become increasingly necessary for public safety and wellbeing - which makes staying connected, even while we're apart, more important than ever." It added: "Each day, a rapidly growing number of people connect on Google Meet, and we want to make sure they have the features they need to share and be productive." Google said it would introduce more new features such as the ability to block out background noise. This will end the noise of keystrokes as other people type while online. Users will also be able to improve video quality if the lighting in their room is not sufficient.