Guide to Google Meet Backgrounds
G Suite’s Google Meet, the video call solution, has struggled to stay competitive with competitors like Microsoft Teams and Zoom in the past. Microsoft Teams recently added a custom background feature to compliment the app’s blurred background solution.
Teams unveiled custom backgrounds to keep up with Zoom, which already had a feature that allowed users to include custom green style sets into their meeting environments.
Google Meet is now catching up to its competitors by stating an intention to introduce similar features to both its mobile and desktop app.
The background replacement and blur features are in a document that Google released regarding upcoming technology. The new features will permit users to blur or replace their background completely with any chosen image.
What can we expect from Google Meet’s background feature?
The availability of a background replacement or blur option is an exciting and timely step (considering the times we are in) for all Google Meet users.
That said, it’s crucial to state that there are some caveats to note. The document that the new background features appear on is a little fluid.
Every 2-3 months, Google introduces a new item on the list and takes out a few others.
This is because the ideas listed on the document are not bound by an official commitment from the tech giant to deliver them. There’s always the probability that Google may take a step back and decide not to proceed with the new background features at all.
However, if the new background features become available, then there’s a high chance that other functions on the list will show up simultaneously.
Google Meet is taking the reins from Hangouts, the collaboration solution from Google. This means that the big G will definitely upgrade the app’s features and hopefully background effects are a part of the update.
The next phase for Google Meet
Google Meet will have to speed up its feature list quickly if it intends to keep up with Microsoft Teams and Zoom. Promises such as digital whiteboards and breakout rooms are welcomed steps.
The availability of background solutions like blurred backgrounds and custom backgrounds will also be an amazing addition that all users are expecting.
How to blur or change your background on Google Meet now – Workaround
So while we wait for Google to decide about introducing a background replacement and blur feature, there’s still something you can do to achieve the same.
For this, you’ll have to use a tool called ChromaCam.
What is ChromaCam?
ChromaCam is a tool that you can use to replace or remove your background in all video conferencing apps.
How to Use ChromaCam to change your background on Google Meet
To blur or change your background on Google Meet, using the third-party tool ChromaCam, follow these steps:
First Step: Download ChromaCam on your desktop PC. Visit here to download.
Second Step: Check your system properties as ChromaCam requires Intel 4th gen/higher or the AMD equivalent, which supports OpenCL 1.2 and AVX2 instruction. You can check here to confirm your PC’s properties.
Third Step: Next, sign up and then log in to ChromaCam with your credentials. You should then see the screen below with instructions on how to proceed.
Fourth Step: Navigate to the Google Meet solution at https://meet.google.com
Fifth Step: If you intend to be the host of the meeting, click the ‘New meeting’ button, then type in a nickname for the meeting and hit continue, as below.
But if you’re a participant of an already created meeting, type in the meeting’s nickname or code.
Sixth Step: You should see a preview of your video feed and a ‘Join now’ button to the right of your screen. Before clicking ‘Join now’, tap on the 3 dots ‘ more options button at the bottom of your screen.
This will allow you to set up your camera.
Seventh Step: A popup menu will appear, tap on the settings icon.
Eight Step: In the new page, select the video option and choose your preferred camera as ChromaCam AVS and hit ‘Done’.
Ninth Step: The ChromaCam menu will automatically pop up on your Google Meet screen. Next, you can choose a preset background but if you intend to use a custom background, you must purchase ChromaCam Pro.
You can adjust various parameters such as filters and blur levels as seen below.
After you’ve chosen your preferred background or blur level, you can minimize the ChromaCam popup. You also have the option of changing your background effects at any point during a meeting.
Last Step: Click on join to participate in the meeting.
It’s important to note that there are other tools you can use this workaround with, it doesn’t have to be ChromaCam. Applications like Snap Cam and XSplit VCam can work with this method brilliantly.
You only have to pick the right camera in your Google Meet video settings.
How to change your Background on Google Meet for MacOS – Workaround
For the macOS, changing your background requires a different third-party tool – Snap Camera.
Here’s how to get it done:
First Step: Visit the website https://snapcamera.snapchat.com
Second Step: Type in your email and download the Snap Camera app to your device.
Third Step: Proceed with the installation of Snap Camera. You must allow Snap Camera to access your microphone and camera.
Fourth Step: Open up Snap Camera and hit next.
Fifth Step: At the bottom of your screen you’ll see a bunch of camera lenses with different backgrounds, choose your preferred one.
Sixth Step: Visit Google Meet and tap on ‘Settings’ and then in the popup that appears click on ‘Video’. Next, choose ‘Snap Camera’. If you don’t see Snap Camera in the drop-down options, reboot your device.
Last Step: Click on ‘Join’ to participate in your meeting with a virtual background.
That’s a wrap!
That’s it. We wait in anticipation of the possible introduction of the background replacement and blur feature to Google Meet.
But while we do, there are still workarounds you can use to change your background on Google Meet whenever you want to keep your actual environment private.
So in the meantime, check out our Google Meet backgrounds and spice up your video calls using the workarounds listed in this piece.
If you have additional tips or questions, please leave a comment below!