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Having the capability to forcefully mute any meeting participant in Google Meet was rolled out nearly a year ago, but after being muted, call attendees could just unmute themselves and carry on. The problem with this functionality is that oftentimes as people attempt to adjust to the digital workspace during and post-pandemic, they may fumble with their microphone and camera and not understand why they were muted, to begin with. Accidents happen, and whether someone forgot to close their mic off or keeps turning it back on because they think it was toggled off by mistake, it creates chaos and halts the meeting.
To resolve this, Google is rolling out new host controls which will let you force mute anyone in the call, and more importantly, keep them muted. These new “Audio lock” and “Video lock” options are simple flicks of a switch that will save the speaker a world of headaches. Once muted, the target remains muted until the host unmutes them manually.
Anyone using Google Meet for Android M or iOS 12 or newer will be fine if they enter meetings with this feature enabled, but anyone rocking a lower version of the app will be forcefully shut out of the meeting if they get muted for compatibility reasons. Then, they will be prompted to update their app before being allowed to rejoin the call.
If an admin or host sets these locks on a call, they will remain intact during any subsequent breakout rooms, which is useful. However, if changes are made to an audio or video lock in a breakout room, those changes will not apply to the primary room once everyone regroups there. Luckily, the entire feature will be toggled off by default once it launches, so you and your organization can decide if you want to use it or not.
If you have a Rapid Release Domain, you can expect to begin using this as early as today, and as late as two weeks from now. If you’re running an organization with a Scheduled Release domain so you can better adapt your team to changes, you can expect to work with Audio and Video Locks as early as November 1, 2021, with a full rollout occurring over the two weeks following.
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