Meetings on Google Meet are finally set to get a bit more personal for users on iOS devices thanks to a new update to the platform.
Users on an iPhone or iPad will be able to choose from Google’s hand-picked images, which include office spaces, landscapes, and abstract backgrounds, or use your own image.
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Google Meet virtual backgrounds
"Custom backgrounds can help you show more of your personality, as well as help hide your surroundings," Google said in a blog post announcing the update. The new feature is available now to all users, including all Google Workspace customers, as well as G Suite Basic and Business customers, and users with personal Google Accounts.
The feature will be turned off by default for end users, meaning you'll need to contact your Google Workspace admin to toggle it on. Users will need iOS 12 or above to run the feature, alongside an iPhone 8 or later, or iPad 5th generation and up.
To turn the feature on before a video call, users will need to tap the Effects button on the self view screen displayed before joining a Google Meet call. There, you'll see the options to "slightly blur" or completely blur your background, alongside a tool to upload your own background images. Users can also select from a number of different styles and filters, and can remove any effects at any time.
Changing backgrounds can also be done during a Google Meet call, also by tapping on the Effects option, and then selecting the same offerings as above. Google does warn that changing background may increase your battery usage, so you may want to turn it off if your battery is low.
The announcement comes several weeks after Google announced Chrome browser users would be able to change their backgrounds after months of waiting. The search giant first added the ability to use custom backgrounds in Meet in October 2020 as it tried to keep pace with rivals Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
However users were initially only able to select from three Google made videos that show a classroom, a party and a forest.
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Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.