Video conferencing application Google Meet is set to receive a new Zoom-esque gallery layout later this month, according to G Suite chief Javier Soltero.

The new layout will allow up to 16 conference attendees to feature on screen at once, compared to the previous maximum of four.

Soltero also announced a new integration with Gmail, which will enable paying users of the email service to make and receive calls directly through Meet. The new options will be integrated into the Gmail sidebar, in the same way as Googles chat functionality.

Google Meet, which is distinct from consumer-focused Google Hangouts, will also receive upgrades to its video quality in poor light and its background noise filtration system.

The latest raft of Google Meet features arrive in the midst of a meteoric rise in users, as employees and students worldwide turn to the service under coronavirus quarantine.

Google announced last week the service has 25 times the users

it did in January, and is currently adding two million new users each day – with a recent peak reportedly seeing Meet increase its user base by 60 percent over a single day.

The firm has also expanded the availability of some Meet features usually reserved for G Suite Enterprise customers, in a bid to help businesses navigate the ongoing crisis. The additional features include live-streaming for up to 100,000 viewers and the ability to hold video calls with up to 250 participants.

According to Google, the latest updates to Meet are designed to facilitate a seamless transition between different forms of workplace communication.

“With more and more people working and learning from home, we want to make it easier for you to connect and keep things moving forward,” said Google

.

“With Meet in Gmail, you can easily start or join a meeting in seconds. Our goal is to help you follow the flow of the day, seamlessly switching between email and video meetings – whichever form of communication you need.”

While users will have to wait for the new gallery layout, the Gmail integration will come into operation almost immediately for G Suite customers using the web-based service.

Via Reuters