Google Meet is adding a new audio and video lock feature that allows hosts to turn off select participants’ microphones and cameras during a meeting. It also prevents participants from turning on them until the host unlocks them. Earlier this year, the search giant gave Google Meet hosts the power to simultaneously mute all participants in Google Meet on desktop. The latest audio and video lock allows the host to prevent participants from unmuting themselves once they are muted.
Google announced the arrival of the new feature via a blog post on October 21. The Audio and Video Lock feature gives hosts more restrained control over their meetings to ensure productivity. For example, the host can use this option when background noise is disturbing to other listeners. Additionally, the host can also decide whether to allow different levels of participation from the attendees.
During calls, the latest audio and video locks will also apply to small groups within Google Meet – any breakout rooms launched later. Once a breakout room is created, any changes to the lock setting in one room will not affect the setting of the other breakout rooms or the main meeting.
This feature works on devices with Android OS version M or newer and iOS version 12 or newer. Users should also have the latest updated version of the Meet or Gmail app. People using a version of Google Meet on Android or iOS that doesn’t support the newly launched feature will be removed from the meeting if the host or co-host turns on either of the locks. If participants attempt to join a meeting that has any of these locks enabled, they will be asked to update their app or use a different device to join the meeting. Turning off the audio or video lock will allow these participants to rejoin the meeting.
The audio and video lock feature rolled out on October 21 for users of the Rapid Release domain. It will be made available to all users in the coming weeks. Google confirmed that it will be available to all Google Workspace customers and G Suite Basic and Business customers.