Google offers all Gmail users the ability to use Google Meet to make video calls with friends and family for hours without interrupting a sentence. These unlimited video calls were originally developed for subscribers to Google Workspace, which is only available to businesses and schools in the UK. But when millions of us were banned last year, the US tech giant showed its generosity and opened up this video calling tool to anyone with a free Gmail account.
It was a very welcome change as most video services like Zoom limited the amount of time users could talk without paying for the privilege. Unfortunately, Google is now joining these competing platforms, with the company bringing back the 60 minute limit.
As the US company explains: “After 55 minutes, everyone receives a notification that the call will soon be ended. To extend the call, the host can update their Google account. Otherwise, the call will be ended after 60 minutes.”
Google has confirmed that the change won’t affect those who are on the phone with someone else, but anyone who joins a group call with three other friends will find that the limit is now enforced.
It’s also worth noting that UK users cannot currently sign up for Google’s Individual Workspace option, as this $ 9.99 subscription that unlocks unlimited calls and many other benefits is only available in the US, Canada and other countries is few other nations.
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Apple is also in the process of adding a number of new features to its calling app, including noise isolation so everyone can hear voices loud and clear, along with a portrait mode that adds a blur behind your face to make you stand out better when you call – it also means friends can’t snoop around every book title on your bookshelf.
Also included in this iOS 15 update is the ability to schedule a call for a set time, with contacts then reminded to join at the right time. FaceTime comes for Android too, so you don’t need an iPhone to use it.