Google Meet Is Making It Easier to Switch Between Devices. Here's How

Sometimes you take a call on your phone and need to switch to your laptop. Here's how to do it.

Ian Sherr Contributor and Former Editor at Large / News
Ian Sherr (he/him/his) grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area, so he's always had a connection to the tech world. As an editor at large at CNET, he wrote about Apple, Microsoft, VR, video games and internet troubles. Aside from writing, he tinkers with tech at home, is a longtime fencer -- the kind with swords -- and began woodworking during the pandemic.
Ian Sherr
2 min read
Google Meet video chat app logo on an Android phone

Google is adding a "Switch here" option to its Google Meet service, allowing easy transitions between devices.

James Martin/CNET

Google Meet, the company's business-focused video calling service, is adding a new feature that should be popular with people on the go. Soon, you'll be able to switch between devices during a meeting without hanging up and rejoining.

The new feature will be free for business and personal Google account users as it rolls out over the next couple of weeks.

"In today's world, getting our work done can happen from many locations, across many devices," Google said in a blog post Wednesday announcing the change, promising calls will "smoothly transfer between devices while on a Google Meet call."

Google's new feature for its Google Meet service marks another way the company is hoping to stand out amid meeting-service providers including Zoom and Microsoft's Teams. Video meetings have existed for years but truly became popular in March 2020, when the World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, leading millions of people to live, learn and work from home.

Read more: Best Video Chat Apps: FaceTime, Zoom, Meet and More

Google Meet's new transfer feature borrows from one of Apple's most popular technologies for its FaceTime video chat service, allowing the iPhone, iPad and Mac to hand off FaceTime video calls between one another. Apple's been expanding its handoff features over the past decade, allowing Macs, iPads and Apple Watches to start and receive calls through a connected iPhone as well.

Google hasn't just borrowed ideas from Apple for its video-chat software though. Google made its Zoom rival Meet free to consumers in 2020 and added features to support business-focused videoconference hardware as well as better screen sharing and collaboration. Google even added a Brady Bunch-style mode so groups could more easily see one another.

How it works

Switching calls in Google Meet appears straightforward. If you're already on a Google Meet call using your phone, all you have to do is go to meet.google.com while logged into the same account.

From there, select the meeting you're in, and the "Switch here" button should be on the screen. 

In its online instructions, Google said when you transfer the meeting, the original device will be disconnected. But there's a way to keep both devices in the meeting too. 

If you prefer to merely switch which device's microphones, speakers and cameras are being used, while keeping both devices connected, "Other joining options" will be on the meeting screen as well. From there, you'll be presented with a new choice, "Join here too."