Google has announced that it is giving free access to its advanced hangout meet video- conferencing features until 1st July to schools and businesses who have been affected by the coronavirus outbreak.
The tech giant announced on Tuesday in a blog post saying that “as more employees, educators, and students work remotely in response to the spread of COVID-19, we want to do our part to help them stay connected and productive.”
Hangouts Meet is part of Google’s G Suite set of productivity tools, alongside Google Docs and Sheets. It allows users to upload items from Drive, collaborate on Docs, Sheets or Slides, join online meetings with Hangouts Meet, or use Google’s powerful search to look up room members, past conversations, and shared files.
It also has an education-focused version of its product and an enterprise version for large businesses. It’s the features in those premium versions that will be made free until July.
The free package allows users the ability to host up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.
Those features include being able to have up to 250 participants per call, live streaming for up to 100,000 viewers within a domain, and the ability to record meetings and save them to Google Drive.
The good news is that Google’s hangout is not the only online platform offering free services of this nature to users. Zoom, a competitor to Google has also lifted time limits on its products for users in China.
According to Zoom’s CEO Eric Yuan, who grew up in China’s Shandong Province, wrote in a blog post that he wanted to help those who are deeply impacted by the virus as it continues to disrupt daily affairs, from offices to classrooms.
As concerns over the coronavirus spread, more white-collar workers are working from home and in areas where schools have been closed, educators are struggling to keep students up to date. Google says they are seeing students and teachers in Hong Kong and Vietnam use Hangouts Meet and other classroom tools because schools are closed.
Analysts say that cloud software tools that help people stay connected could benefit from increased usage.
Zoom has reportedly seen a large increase in usage since the spread of coronavirus began. Zoom has already brought in more new active users this year than last year due to coronavirus, Wall Street firm Bernstein Research estimates, according to CNBC
However, In Ghana, an educational tech company is also calling on students and parents to access their site, https://www.seekapor.com/ for the country’s syllabus and other educational material while ensuring the final year students in Basic schools also sign up for their apor -a past questions platform (http://www.seekapor.com/apor/) for free during this period. The site has seen an increase in hits indicating that parents and students are taking advantage of the opportunity.
Tech companies all over the world are committed to supporting learners and workers during this challenging time by providing systems that enable them to socially distance themselves while performing their duties as well. The power of I.T is being re-emphasised during these times.
Reference: Business Insider
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