If you have a hybrid working system, you know how tricky running a meeting with both remote and in-person participants can be. This is even more complicated when the number of participants involved is large.
However, Google’s Meet Companion mode feature announced in September 2021 can help you enhance collaboration among the participants.
But, what exactly is Google Meet Companion mode, and how do you use it?
In this article, we will not only tell you what this feature entails but also give you a step-by-step guide on how to use it for better collaboration.
Let’s get down to it, shall we?
Google Meet Companion mode is a Google Meet feature that allows participants to join a meeting with a second screen. With the feature, users can launch a second instance of the meeting on a different device so that they can perform some tasks on the other device without losing view of the main display.
The Google Meet Companion mode can be used by all meeting participants, including meeting hosts and the other participants. Nevertheless, this mode is not available on Android or iOS devices; it can be used on Google Meet web or Hux Max.
Google Meet Companion mode focuses on seamlessly connecting participants in the conference with their remote teammates and allowing everyone to access the advanced host and participation features.
However, with the Companion mode, you won’t be able to access the device’s camera and microphone or show the participant grid to avoid audio feedback. If you need to speak or listen to others, you will need to connect to the primary hardware in the meeting room.
The primary focus of the Companion mode is to enhance collaboration between the meeting participants. While there are many features that you will be able to access, others are unavailable while on the Companion mode.
Whiteboard access: Whiteboards help to visualize what’s being discussed in a meeting. It allows you to write and draw on it to illustrate the discussed points.
Screen sharing: Use the Present Now button to share your screen with other meeting participants while making a presentation.
Chat: Open the Chat mode at the bottom right to directly send messages, ask questions, and send replies during a meeting.
Caption: You can turn on captions to follow what’s being said or discussed easily.
Though available, some features like hand raising and polls require specific Google Workspace editions.
Microphone and camera: With the Companion mode, the camera and microphone of the second device are put off to avoid unnecessary video or voice echoes.
Participant grid: Google Meet hides the participant grid while in Companion mode to declutter the screen; you can only view this from the primary screen.
You can connect your second device to the Google Meet call in two ways: either via an invite link or a short code. Below are the detailed steps.
To activate the Companion mode using the meeting invite:
Turn on your secondary device.
Click on the meeting invite link to join the meeting.
Find ‘Other joining options’ on the Google meeting landing page and click Use Companion mode.
To join using the shortcode:
Turn on your secondary device.
Open your browser and go to g.co/Companion.
On the Google Meet screen, enter the meeting code or link on the ‘Enter a code or link’ box that opens.
Click on the ‘Start Companion’ button. A pop-up screen will notify you that you are in Companion mode and display what you can do on your secondary device.
The Google Meet Companion mode feature can be used to improve collaboration between and among the meeting participants. This is how you can utilize this feature for better collaboration.
You may need to share your screen with other participants during a meeting. This is especially useful when making presentations to ensure everyone can see and follow the points. It’s also great for creating visual presentations.
To share your screen in Companion mode:
Join the meeting.
Hit the ‘Present now’ button at the bottom of your screen
Select the content you want to share on the pop-up menu that appears. You can share a browser tab, an entire screen, or a specific window.
Check the sharing preview and the share system audio if needed. Finally click ‘Share.’
Participants can send messages during a meeting using the chat feature. To send group messages to all meeting participants:
Click on the ‘Chat with everyone’ button at the bottom right screen.
Type your message and hit the ‘Send’ button.
Meeting participants may have questions or need clarification on some points during meetings. Google meet has a feature that allows users to raise their hands, just like in a physical meeting.
To raise your hand in Companion mode:
Join a Google Meet meeting.
On the Google Meet screen, click on the raise hand button at the bottom. Every participant will be able to see your raised hand.
Can I use Companion mode when I’m not in a meeting room?
Yes, but you’ll need to join the meeting with audio and video in the normal way. This is because while using the Companion mode, you won’t be able to hear or see what others are saying. Google Meet disables the second device's microphone, speaker, and camera to avoid creating video and audio echoes.
How to turn off google meet Companion mode
Google Meet Companion mode is off by default. Once you leave the meeting on Companion mode, you automatically turn off this feature. Every time you need to use this feature, you will be required to enable it.
Will others know you are using Companion mode?
Yes, other participants will know when you are using the Companion mode.
Google Meet highlights any meeting participant who uses the Companion feature to join a meeting using a Companion mode label under their name. By clicking on the people icon at the bottom right corner, participants can identify those using the Companion mode.
Michael started his career as a product manager and then developed a passion for writing. He has been writing on technology, remote working, productivity, etc., hoping to share his thoughts with more people.