Google Meet Gets Live Translated Captions, Companion Mode


Google Meet is getting new features to improve the hybrid work culture and make video meetings more productive. Google has started rolling out live translated captions for Google Meet widely. The new functionality will automatically translate conversations from one language to another in real-time in Google Meet on the Web and mobile devices. Additionally, Google Meet is getting a new Companion Mode feature on the Web that allows users to add remote members through an additional screen. The Companion Mode gives remote members all the advanced interactive features that the members present physically have access to. The new functionality is compatible with Google Meet hardware and the Nest Hub Max.

Google announced the addition of new features for Google Meet via its blog post. The live translated captions feature, that automatically translates spoken language into another language is live now on Google Meet on the Web and mobile devices. The functionality currently supports the translation of English speech to French, German, Portuguese, and Spanish. The captions will appear at the bottom of the screen during a Google Meet video call. Google says the new real-time translation feature will help to reduce language barriers during video calls.

Companion Mode allows employees present in the physical meeting rooms to connect with their remote teammates through an additional screen. It gives everyone access to interactive features and controls no matter where they are. Companion Mode lets them to access interactive features and controls such as chat, screen sharing, hand raising, polls, host controls and more. Companion Mode is available on the Web through Meet hardware and the Nest Hub Max. People can join a meeting using Companion Mode from the green room before their meeting. Users can join a meeting in Companion Mode by visiting or on compatible hardware. The latter can be used for those who want to share content or screen.

People joining using Companion Mode will count as separate participants and their tiles will be hidden from the video grid to maximise screen space. Google initially previewed the Companion Mode for Google Meet at the Google I/O event held in May 2021.

Google says it started to make the live translated caption feature available to Google Workspace Business Plus, Enterprise Standard, Enterprise Plus, Teaching and Learning Upgrade, and Google Workspace for Education Plus customers on January 12. The search giant will release the feature to all users over about 15 days. Google Workspace Individual customers or users with personal Google Accounts cannot avail it currently.

The Companion Mode, on the other hand, will roll out gradually starting January 13 to all Google Workspace Individual customers and users with personal Google accounts.

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