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Google Meet now comes 'preinstalled' on Chromebooks

The update should happen automatically for all Chromebook users.

Published onAugust 3, 2021

The Google Meet app on a Chromebook.
  • Google Meet video conferencing is now baked into Chrome OS.
  • The same OS update also introduces an emoji picker.
  • eSIM is another addition, but only for compatible carriers and Chromebooks.

Google Meet is integrated into Chromebooks as of the latest Chrome OS update.

The video conferencing app — a rival to Zoom, which surged in popularity during the pandemic — can now be opened directly from the Launcher, Google noted in a blog post. The company has also made some performance improvements, namely in relation to handling “different network conditions” and screen sharing.

Other additions in the Chrome OS update include a dedicated emoji picker, triggered by hitting Search/Launcher + Shift + Space. Users can then browse emoji manually or search for them by keywords, say by typing “coffee” into the picker’s search field.

The emoji picker in Chrome OS.

The OS now also supports eSIM, a technology which lets people switch between cellular carriers without having to swap SIM cards. The option is only available on certain compatible Chromebooks however, such as Acer’s Chromebook 511 and Chromebook Spin 513. The eSIM option can be found under Settings > Network > Mobile data, and activated using either a QR scan or an activation code. Not all carriers offer eSIM support.

Minor changes in the update include new “Togetherness” wallpapers from three black artists, and a curated, kids-oriented digital magazine in the Explore app. The latter is currently limited to US-based users of the Family Link app.

See also: How to use Google Meet: Quick and easy video meetings

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