June 23, 2024

Mikayla Macfarlane

Serving technology better

Google Meet debuts ‘On-the-Go’ mode to make mobile meetings a little easier

2 min read
Google Meet debuts 'On-the-Go' mode to make mobile meetings a little easier

Google Meet

Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

More people are working from home than ever before, and that means more and more meetings are happening on the go. If you’re a Google Meet user, meetings on the move are getting a little easier.

Google Meet is rolling out an optimized “On-the-Go” mode that automatically detects when you’re in motion — either walking, riding in a car, or sitting on public transit. When Meet sees you’re moving, a large popup appears encouraging you to enable On-the-Go. If nothing is done, a countdown begins at which the mode automatically activates.

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Meet’s mobile mode streamlines the overall interface and provides easier access to most used features like mute/unmute, raise hand, and audio device selection. Only important information is displayed, Google says, like the person speaking and the number of people on the call. 



Instead of the traditional interface, the screen now displays large, easy-to-press buttons. The user in On-the-Go mode automatically has their video turned off. There’s no way to turn it on and no way to view video from others, but there is an option to view presented content.

“As people are increasingly on the go,” the announcement from Google read, “it’s becoming more common to join meetings while walking, in a car, or on public transportation. That’s why we’re introducing the On-the-Go meeting experience, which will make it easier for you to focus on the critical meeting details, cut down on external distractions, and save bandwidth with an audio-only experience.”  

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It’s worth noting that Zoom, Meet’s largest competitor and more popular option for many people, does have a Safe Driving mode, but it’s not as robust. Zoom’s alternative turns the meeting to audio-only and automatically mutes your microphone.

Google says the feature is rolling out now and will soon be available to all Google Workspace users and Google personal account users. It was live when I tested it on my Google Pixel 8 Pro this morning through a personal Google account.  

The mode can be activated through a button at the top of the screen while in a meeting, or automatically when your device senses that you’re mobile. If you don’t want to be automatically placed in mobile mode, you can turn off that option in the settings menu by toggling “Automatically use On-the-Go.” 

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