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We reported in May that a teardown of version 41.5 of Google Meet showed the app contains text strings suggesting Google will bring the ability to blur your background to the app, a feature increasingly important when people have to work in less organized environments.
Now the official G Suite release roadmap has made the news official, showing that not only is background blur coming, but also custom backgrounds, a fun and increasingly popular feature.
The entry notes:
Blur the background or replace it with an image or video on desktop.
and the same for mobile.
This would bring the app on par with Microsoft Teams and Zoom, the two companies Google is currently trying very hard to compete against. The company recently added Gmail integration, upgraded its gallery view to 16 members, which unfortunately still pales in comparison to the 49 person view Zoom supports and made the service free for unlimited use for up to 100 participants. Google is also bringing its low light camera technology to Meet and will bring an audio tool which suppresses background noise during calls.
It remains to be seen if all this work will help Google catch up with the likes of Zoom, Slack and Teams, but they will never have a better opportunity than now.