Google today rolled out an update to Meet on Android phones and iOS devices aimed at reducing data usage and power consumption when mobile. The company hinted at that upcoming update yesterday in a blog post alongside other broader improvements to Meet on the desktop, including new video backgrounds, enhanced support for AI, and a more space-conscious layout. At the same time, most of those updates will come over the coming months.
The mobile release is available today. Once this feature is engaged by flicking the new “Limit Data Usage” toggle, it’ll reduce data usage — probably by limiting resolution input and output. It’ll also free up your device’s CPU and RAM, a move that would naturally allow you to wring more battery life out of your phone. If there were a Google Meet Lite, one would imagine that this would be more or less the selling point of that hypothetical app.
Google Meet remains one of the best apps for video conferencing, rivaling Zoom and Microsoft’s Teams. Google has also been savvy with its Teams push, first turning the service free and paywalling some features — and then making the paywalled features accessible anyway (temporarily). With budget-conscious customers already encouraged to use Meet, this change would make the experience more enjoyable on cheap phones. It’ll also make Meet more attractive as a Duo alternative, as Google already ships that app with a data-saving mode.