The best Zoom alternative is now Google Meet

Google Meet is now free, and exceedingly simple to use. Google Meet's been around for a while, in one form or another, but starting here in May of 2020, global pandemic and the rise of the at-home worker's made for a unique set of circumstances. Now Google Meet is simpler than it's ever been, and it's free for basically everyone to use, in a snap.

Google Meet will appear starting this week in Gmail – users will be able to tap in through their web browser and drop right in on a Google Meet video conference. The Google Meet user interface also appears as an app for Android and an app for iOS, for iPhone and iPad – you'll be able to use the lot for free, thanks to Google's most recent update.

As a presenter, a user can create meeting codes – to invite users – and decide who's allowed in on a meeting once a meeting is in session. The system allows the sharing of audio via microphones, video via webcams and all smartphone and tablet cameras, both front and back.

Users can also choose to present, which means they'll be presenting their desktop screen. If you choose to share your screen, all users in the meeting will see what's being shown on the presenters screen as well as their chosen input for audio.

The only bit that's really missing from the one-two-punch combo of Zoom is the inclusion of virtual backgrounds. Google Meet does not have a virtual background feature. You'll be forced to stick with your average everyday wall, which is a major bummer. If that's your deal-breaker, you might just want to see our most recent list of most-searched backgrounds for Zoom, as of the Spring of 2020.

Otherwise head over to the Apple app store for iOS devices like iPhone or iPad. If you're using an Android device, you'll want to drop in on Google Play. Or just hit up the Google Meet homepage from a desktop web browser.