A few tips to help you access Google Meet quickly, improve your image framing, access other apps, and even talk-to-type in chat.
Starting in mid-2020, more people turned to Google Meet than ever before. People who needed to work, teach, or learn from home discovered that Meet delivers a secure and reliable video conferencing service. Google also made Meet available for anyone to use, so that anyone with a Google account could use the service, which had originally been built for G Suite customers.
A significant number of people chose to use Google Meet on an iPad. With an excellent camera, display, solid battery life, and an easy-to-carry size, the iPad works well as a highly portable tablet for video conferencing. Of course, it helps that you can use an iPad with a keyboard, touchpad, or a mouse, that Google Meet lets you turn on captions, and that you can present your screen from Meet on an iPad.
The following tips assume you have the Google Meet app installed on your iPad, you’ve signed in, and are familiar with the basics of Google Meet. If you’re not familiar, explore Google’s own Google Meet guide. These tips may help you refine how you use Google Meet on your iPad.
Move Google Meet to the Dock
If you use Google Meet often, move it to the iPad Dock for fast access to the app. Tap and hold Meet on a home screen, then drag it down to the Dock. Once it is in the Dock, swipe up from the bottom of your iPad screen any time to bring up the Dock. If you use a keyboard, Option-Command-D also brings up the Dock.
Review framing and lighting before you Meet
When you tap the Google Meet app, it displays a preview of your video. Use this opportunity to check your positioning and lighting before you start or join a meeting.
You may need to do a bit of adjusting to present yourself in the best framing. Typically, I try to frame my head and shoulders in the center of the view–with my eyes about a third of the way from the top of the screen. In most cases, I suggest you use the iPad in landscape orientation, positioned at a 90-degree angle to the ground. Since the camera is on the left side of the iPad when in landscape orientation, this generally means that the iPad needs to be moved a bit to the right, not directly in front of you.
A box, a few books, or an adjustable stand can help you get the iPad high enough off the table to provide a level view. Without these, you’ll provide a bit of an up-the-nose view if you set your iPad on a table and use a standard cover, Smart Keyboard, Smart Keyboard Folio, or a Magic Keyboard. (Figure A)
Also take a moment to check the lighting–avoid bright lights directly behind you (e.g., a window). If you have smart lights, adjust the lighting to fit your taste. If you happen to use Hue Lights, you might try the Concentrate default setting.
Long-press to Meet directly
If you’re confident of your video setup, or just want to start Meet quickly, you may choose to start Meet directly: Tap, hold until options display, then tap either Start A New Meeting or Enter A Meeting Code, and you’re in (Figure B). This long-press method skips the preview step and works well when you use your iPad to meet in a familiar place.
Try Google Meet in Split View
Google Meet supports Split View, which means you may select and drag-and-drop another app to either side of the screen during a meeting. This can be useful if you want to refer to items from Google Drive (e.g., a Google Doc), a website, or any other app when you meet. (Figure C)
When you work with Google Meet in Split View, the app automatically turns your video view off. Video from other viewers continues, as does your audio stream. You may continue to talk, but your webcam will stop while Split View is active. You may re-enable video after you switch Google Meet back to full screen mode.
Talk-to-type in chat
The chat feature within Google Meet lets you type a comment on the side. It’s a great way to share an idea or thought, but not interrupt the person who is speaking. The chat comments may be shared with everyone or, with a mention, directed to a specific person.
Since the chat feature works with Apple’s keyboard, it is possible to dictate text into chat (Figure D). Before you do this, you need to tap the microphone in Google Meet to mute your microphone–you also will likely want to mute your video. If other meeting participants see you speaking, they may think you’re trying to speak to the group.
With both your microphone and video muted, tap the chat icon, then tap in the chat field. Tap the microphone on the on-screen keyboard, then say whatever you want to appear in the chat field.
Note: If you have a connected keyboard, the microphone may not be displayed. To access it, tap and hold the downward arrow in the lower-right corner of the iPad screen to bring up the on-screen keyboard. Then, if necessary, tap the emoji icon to cycle through to a keyboard with the microphone available to the left of the space bar.
Review the text carefully and make any corrections needed before you tap Send. When finished with chat, re-enable your microphone and video when appropriate and desired. This can be a great way to add a comment in chat without having to type.
What’s your experience?
Which of the above tips do you use most often when you use Google Meet on an iPad? What other Google Meet tips and tricks do you find most helpful? Let me know your thoughts and tips, either in the comments below or on Twitter (@awolber).