Meetings — nobody wants them but everybody has them. So for those times when you’re in a meeting but mostly just surfing the web, it’s nice to have a transcript to make sure you didn’t miss that one important nugget of information that actually pertains to your job. Google knows this, so the company today announced that it is bringing automatic meeting transcriptions to its Meet video conferencing service.
Until now, you needed a third-party service like Otter to record and transcribe your call for you. Now it’s a built-in service. The new feature is now available for meetings in English, with support for French, German, Spanish and Portuguese coming in 2023.
Microsoft Teams, of course, started offering a similar feature for meetings in English more than a year ago. Given Google’s experience with other speech-to-text services like its Assistant or the Android Recorder app, it’s a bit odd that it took this long to add this to Meet, but better late than never.
Google’s overall implementation is still a bit basic, too. The feature will dump the transcript in Google Docs and for now, that’s it. Google noted, though, that having transcripts will also allow it to offer analytics and other features based on these recordings, but for now, it’s not launching any of those.
In addition to transcripts, Google also today announced that Meet’s companion mode now works on mobile and that users with AI-powered cameras from Huddly and Logitech can now use adaptive framing so that the speaker is always positioned nicely within a frame.
Google Chat, Google’s Slack competitor, is also getting a few new features that you may remember from Slack, including custom emojis, one-way broadcast spaces to blast information to the entire team or company without having to worry about inept comments and inline threaded conversations. Basically, Google is trying to catch up with Slack and reminding people that Chat exists.