Google Meet brings noise cancellation feature to iPhone and Android

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Google has started to roll out its impressive noise-cancellation technology to Google Meet users on iPhone and Android. But unfortunately, not everyone is able to take advantage of this improvement – designed to make voices easier to hear during video calls – quite yet.

For the moment, you’ll need to have a G Suite Enterprise for Education or G Suite Enterprise account. If your company or school doesn’t use Google Accounts, then you won’t be able to use the feature on your iOS or Android device for the time being.

Thankfully, Google Meet users have been able to take advantage of noise-cancellation in the online feature since June.

For those who missed the initial announcement, Google Meet’s noise cancellation is designed to remove any background sounds – like tapping on a keyboard, the soft hum of a desk-fan, or the rustle of a crisps packet.

To do this, Google will use its all-powerful Artificial Intelligence (AI) to strip-out any sounds that it determines to be troublesome. As well as quashing any background sounds that the AI thinks callers won’t want to hear, it also adds clarity to your voice. This all happens in the cloud, so shouldn’t be taxing on your laptop or phone – no matter how tired or underpowered it is.

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When starting a new call from Google Meet on the web, noise cancellation will be enabled by default. Google has decided to flip that for Android and iOS users, where the feature is disabled by default. Instead, smartphone and tablet owners will need to dive into the settings to take advantage of noise cancellation. Although, if you feel the need to regale your colleagues with the sound of your fingers hammering on the keys or the gurgle of the central heating kicking in, you can leave it off.

Noise cancellation is slowly rolling out to iPhone and Android devices right now. However, Google staggers the release of major features like this, so it might take a few days to reach your handset.

This isn’t the first time that Google has leveraged its AI to subtly improve your video call quality. The Mountain View-based company leverages facial recognition to identify your facial features. Once it’s found your face, it will use software to lighten your features – even if you’ve chosen to sit in-front of a window, casting yourself in shadow – to make you more visible to everyone you’re talking to.

As more and more of us are encouraged to work from home and stay in touch with relatives under tougher restrictions using video call technology, these improvements could make Google Meet a better option than the likes of WhatsApp, Messenger Rooms and FaceTime.

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