Google is pushing its Zoom competitor, Google Meet, on as default in Gmail calendar invites November 16th, but notifying users that they can make this feature live now. November 16th the switch is flicked for them. The new setting will be on by default for all organizations from today. The aggressive move is probably why some big Zoom news is coming out later today.
Google is seeing more than 100m users use Google Meet a day and adding about 3m users a day on top of that. A lot less than Zoom’s +500m but with more than 1.5 billion Gmail users that figure can shift fast. Default from November 16th, users are being urged to change the settings in an email sent to Gsuite users, the move will be on 100% by November 16th.
How to set Google Meet as your default videoconferencing tool now:
Go to Apps > GSuite > Calendar > Sharing Settings > Video conferencing and look for ‘“Make Google Meet the default video conferencing provider’
Google says it is introducing this new setting to ‘…provide you with better tools to encourage Google Meet usage within your organization, given that it is included in your Google Workspace license.” The email also contained a subtle sting about costs; “[changing Google Meet to default]…now makes it possible to nudge users to create Google Meet conferences instead of other conferencing solutions that may incur additional IT costs.” Google Meet
Gmail mistakenly removed the button that lets you triage loads of emails at once, but it’s coming back
If you’re not the inbox zero type — and I’m definitely not — you might sometimes rely on Gmail’s “Select all conversations that match this search” option to read, archive, or delete hundreds or thousands of messages at once.
Except we can’t do that anymore, and neither can a number of angry Gmail users we’ve spotted. The option has up and disappeared. Google accidentally removed it, the company confirms to The Verge.
@gmail Hey, how come there’s no longer an option to “Select all conversations” to mark thousands as read at once?
I’m typing “is: unread” + selecting the “All” check box, but instead of “Select all conversations” at the top of my screen, it says “No results found”…? pic.twitter.com/dercwGE5OE
— Laura McQuillan (@mcquillanator) September 30, 2020
incredible that the “Select all conversations that match this search” option has been removed from @gmail. what on earth are they thinking??? actions can now be performed only on the max # of messages per page. insane! please fix ASAP @Google
— rick tait (@rickt) October 1, 2020
Instead of the option, we’re seeing a nav bar with a handful of shortcut buttons when we search, like this:
Thankfully, Google tells The Verge it’s coming back “as soon as possible,” adding:
We are working to bring back the feature in Gmail that allows you to ‘select all conversations that match this search’ as soon as possible. This feature was removed unintentionally. We apologize to our users who may have been affected.
That’ll be good news to those who posted in this Gmail help thread from six days ago, which had gone unanswered until now, and it explains why Google’s own Gmail support team was unaware of a change; on at least a couple occasions, they’d been giving readers instructions that no
- Google is extending unlimited Meet video calls for Gmail users until March 31, 2021.
- The perk was originally set to expire on September 30.
- Google is acknowledging the reality of the extended COVID-19 pandemic.
Google’s unlimited free Meet video calls for Gmail accounts will last several months longer. The internet pioneer has extended (via Neowin) the unlimited-length chats from their original September 30 expiration date until March 31, 2021. Free tier calls were previously limited to an hour each.
Simply speaking, Google is acknowledging that the repercussions of the COVID-19 pandemic will last for a while. Many people will have no choice but to celebrate holidays and attend events online, Google said, and unlimited Meet calls will ensure they can “stay in touch” in the months ahead.
Read more: How to use Google Meet
The company pointed out that Meet has grown in recent months, including Chromecast-based calls on your TV and background blurring effects to hide your messes at home. Video chats for Gmail account holders are capped at 50 users, but all G Suite and educational customers can have up to 250 participants and record their calls.
The move is clearly meant to keep Meet competitive with video chat rivals like Zoom and Facebook Messenger Rooms. If Google didn’t offer unlimited free calls, it risked losing otherwise loyal Meet users. This won’t necessarily draw you to Meet, but it could keep you invested if you have a choice of platforms for your virtual conversations.