Earlier this year, Google
announced a revamp of Google Meet, promising a smoother and easier conference call experience than ever. At the annual Google I/O event, we discovered that Meet is being integrated directly into Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides, and is also receiving some significant video and audio improvements.
But Google wasn't done, as we find out from a recent support note
that was published on Google Workspace Updates. Google has just announced that over the course of the next few weeks, one particular Google Meet element is about to become even better: the Hand Raise
Image credit - 9to5Google
The ability to raise a virtual hand during online Google Meet calls was introduced in November 2020 and has drastically improved the call experience. The small bottom-left notification and hand symbol that pops up once anyone raises their hand gives every single participant in the meeting a voice, without causing any disruptions.
But in a meeting with many people, the main speaker could easily miss a raised hand, or in the event of many people raising their hands, there was no way of knowing who should be addressed first.
In order to make sure that anyone raising a hand is noticed, Google will now shift the hand-raising video tile forward, to make it more visible among the other faces in the grid.
New audio notification
There will also now be an audio notification sounding every time there is a hand raised. If multiple hands are being raised at the same time, don't worry: the meeting won't be a complete cacophony. The primary goal of hand-raising is to avoid rude interruption, after all. Instead, only the first hand will trigger the sound, and those following will only see the visual pop-up appear on their tiles.
And in order to keep track of the order of raised hands, there will be a clickable notification which the main speaker can open to view the queue of people waiting to speak.
Raised hands are automatically lowered
While previously, anyone who raises their hand had to wait for the host to manually "lower" their hand, this will no longer be necessary. Once the participant raising their hand speaks, the visual pop-up will now be automatically lowered.
Along with these updates, the actual hand-raising animation and visual icon appearing on video tiles will be seeing an improvement as well.
Once the Google Meet update reaches you, you won't have to do anything to gain access to these features; they will be automatically available.