Companion mode is a way to connect to Google Meet video calls on a second screen for collaboration equity. In Companion mode, your mic is off so you can connect a second screen with reduced risk of audio feedback. For example:
- In meeting rooms—Connect using Companion mode on your laptop to share your screen or use chat, polls, Q&A, and host controls. To speak or listen to remote participants, connect with full audio and video (non-Companion mode) on meeting-room hardware or Google Nest Hub Max.
- When you're remote—Join meetings with full audio and video (non-Companion mode). To view presentations or captions more clearly, connect using Companion mode on a second screen.
How Companion mode supports collaboration equity
If everyone is remote—or if everyone is in the same meeting room—they all have equal access to activities. But when you have a mix of remote and meeting-room participants (hybrid meetings), people in meeting rooms are at a disadvantage: They can't individually chat, upvote questions, or answer polls using meeting-room hardware or Nest Hub Max.
When you're in a meeting room, use Companion mode on your laptop to participate in activities with remote attendees. And use the meeting-room hardware, or Nest Hub Max, for audio and video. Watch the Companion mode video overview.
To avoid missing chat messages, connect using Companion mode at the beginning of the meeting. Messages sent before you connect aren't included in your chat stream. If you plan to use chat during the meeting, remind meeting-room participants to connect using Companion mode.
Connect & present using Companion mode on your laptop
- To connect your laptop to a video call in Companion mode, choose one of the following options:
- In a meeting invite, click Join. Then on the meeting landing page, under Other joining options, click Use Companion mode.
- In your browser, enter the short link g.co/companion. Then on the Meet home screen, select a meeting, or enter a meeting code.
- To quickly share your laptop screen in Companion mode, choose one of the following options:
- In a meeting invite, click Join. Then on the meeting landing page, click Present, and choose what to share.
- In your browser, enter the short link g.co/present. Then on the Meet home screen, select a meeting, and choose what to share.
- To speak, hear others, or share your video, choose one of the following options:
- Connect the meeting-room hardware, or Nest Hub Max, to the call. Learn how to connect meeting-room hardware.
- Join the meeting using full audio and video (non-Companion mode) on your laptop or mobile device.
Video & infographic overviews of Companion mode
Device, participant & hosting information
- Audio—Your microphone and meeting audio are turned off in Companion mode to avoid echoes. To speak or listen to others on the call, use meeting-room hardware or Nest Hub Max. Your laptop can still play notifications, such as join requests, and audio from other apps, in Companion mode.
- Video—Your video camera is turned off in Companion mode. Also, your tile is hidden from the participant grid to make room for other video feeds. When you raise your hand in Companion mode, Meet displays your avatar and name followed by (Companion) to other participants. For example, Quinn Taylor (Companion).
- Activity notifications—When people in meetings send chat messages or start activities, such as polls, notifications appear on meeting-room hardware and Nest Hub Max. These notifications remind people in meeting rooms to use Companion mode to participate.
- Mobile devices—Companion mode isn't available on mobile devices.
- Companion mode participants—The People list shows everyone who is connected to the meeting using Companion mode.
- Join & leave notifications—All participants are notified when Companion mode users connect or disconnect.
- Guests—The meeting host must approve people who aren't signed in to a Google Account (guests) before they can connect using Companion mode.
- g.co/present—When you present using g.co/present, you connect to the meeting in Companion mode. To speak, hear others, or share your video in the meeting, connect using meeting-room hardware or Nest Hub Max. Or join the meeting using full audio and video (non-Companion mode).
- People list—People who are presenting in Companion mode appear twice on the People list. Listing them twice lets you pin or eject people and presentations independently.
- Viewing presentations—If there are 2 or more presentations in a meeting:
- People using Companion mode view the active presentation only.
- If the active presenter stops presenting, other presenters need to resume their presentations for people using Companion mode to view them.
- Host controls—You can use host controls to moderate meetings in Companion mode. For example, you can make web, mobile, or Companion mode participants co-hosts, set up attendance tracking, and end the call for all (including Companion mode users). You can also control the use of chat, screen sharing, video, and audio. Learn more about host controls.
- Ending the call for all—As a host, you can end the meeting for everyone. Ending the meeting for everyone disconnects any participants who might have forgotten to disconnect when they left the meeting room. Learn more about ending meetings for everyone.
- Live stream events—You can start and stop live stream events from Companion mode if you set up the events in Google Calendar before the meeting. Learn more about live stream events.
To set up breakout rooms in hybrid meetings, choose from the following options:
Keep in-person participants (people in meeting rooms) in the main room of the Google Meet call, rather than assigning them to breakout sessions.
Ask an in-person participant in each meeting room to disconnect the meeting-room hardware from the meeting. Then have them join the meeting on their laptop or phone with full audio and video, and assign them to a breakout session. When the breakout sessions end, have the person reconnect the meeting-room hardware to the meeting.
Before the event, set up separate meetings to use for breakout sessions. When the breakout sessions begin, ask attendees to disconnect from the main meeting and connect to the breakout sessions. When the breakout sessions end, use Google Chat to remind participants to return to the main room.
Learn more about breakout rooms.
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