While we’re still getting confused with the various iterations of Hangouts within G Suite and other Google apps, we might get a unified app that will bring everything under just one app. But that may take some time to actually arrive so in the meantime, we’ll have to try and understand what the different Hangouts are for. Now if you’re using Hangouts Meet for your video conference calls, a minor update brings the ability to use your smartphone as your audio source.
When doing your Hangouts Meet video call, you will now be able to separate the audio and video feeds if necessary. Your computer or laptop’s camera and web browser can still be used for the video but you can now use your smartphone for the audio. You will be able to this by using your phone to dial into the call directly or have the scheduled Meet call your phone. Once you’ve joined the meet, you can immediately use your phone to join. You can also switch to it even in the middle of your video call.
Why would you want to use your phone for audio anyway? This is so your audio quality will remain consistent even if your network connection isn’t that great of if your computer’s microphone suddenly doesn’t work. It will also be useful for when you’re in a group setting and passing around a laptop is not the most convenient thing. And if it’s a sudden video call, you don’t have to set up a remote microphone or your usual more complicated setup.
The phone as audio feature will be on by default if your dial-in functionality is enabled. But if you want to have it disabled, then you’ll need to have your Admin disable the dial-in functionality for Meet meetings. It can be disabled through the Admin console and Apps > G Suite > Settings for Google Hangouts > Meet settings and then disable the “Provide a phone number and PIN for each video meeting” setting.
This small but useful feature will now roll out for Rapid Release domains and the Scheduled Release starts on February 12. Allow for 15 days for the rollout to finish to all G Suite users.