A new update to Google Meet could mean the end of potentially embarrassing occasions on a video call forever.
The video conferencing service will now allow users to quickly mute themselves in a meeting by holding down the space bar button. To unmute, users simply release the button.
“We hope this makes it even easier for you to participate in your meetings by quickly unmuting to say something,” the company wrote in an update to Google Workspace. blog post (opens in a new tab)and added that it could also be useful in situations where users forget to go back to mute after unmuting in a group call.
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The feature is off by default, but can be enabled in the Google Meet settings menu and will begin rolling out to users on September 9, where it will be available to all Google Workspace customers and users with personal Google accounts at all web browsers.
A similar feature is already available in Zoom, which also allows users to mute and unmute by simply pressing the space bar. In contrast, Microsoft Teams, the other big rival, requires users to press two buttons (Ctrl+Spacebar) to activate the sound.
The update comes as the company continues its merger of Google Duo and Meet to create a single video calling service.
It also comes shortly after the platform finally added improved support for USB accessories, meaning users will be able to toggle between muting and unmuting using headsets, speaker mics, and other USB peripherals.
Fortunately, another recent update to Google Workspace will also tweak the way your smart assistant reacts. (opens in a new tab) when users are in a video conference call, specifically if someone says “Ok Google.”
The change means Google Assistant will now only be active when a device is not in a meeting, as well as being active only in the 10 minutes leading up to an upcoming meeting.