Google Meet is getting new audio and video locks to let hosts turn off the microphones and cameras of other participants. The new feature essentially lets you mute a user and prevent them from unmuting themselves until you unlock them.
Earlier this year, Google rolled out the ability for hosts to mute everyone all at once in a group call. This latest feature takes the move a step further by preventing participants from unmuting themselves at any point during the call.
Once a host enables either an audio or video lock in the main meeting, it will also be applied to breakout rooms. However, any changes made to a lock setting within a breakout room will not affect the settings of other breakout rooms or the main meeting.
Google says audio and video locks give hosts more control over their meetings by letting them decide when they want to allow different levels of participation from users. It also gives them the ability to address disruptive meeting participants.
It's worth noting that participants using versions of the Android and iOS apps that do not support the new feature will be removed from the meeting if the host turns on the audio or video lock. If users try to join a meeting that currently has the locks enabled, they will be prompted to update their app in order to be allowed into the meeting. However, if the host turns off the locks, the participants will be able to rejoin the meeting.
The new audio and visual lock features are starting to roll out today to all Google Workspace customers, along with G Suite Basic and Business customers.
Google has been rolling out numerous features for Meet over the past few months, as it continues to compete with Zoom and Microsoft Teams amid the work-from-home era brought on by the pandemic. For instance, the company launched a new feature last month that automatically adjusts your webcam brightness. Additionally, Google rolled out a refreshed UI and several features for Meet in April. The videoconferencing platform has also partnered with other services, such as Otter.ai, with the goal of retaining and attracting more users.