Google Meet extends unlimited meetings until March, possibly without a key feature

It's unclear whether Google is also extending the ability record meetings for free

Credit: Google

Google has unveiled plans to extend the period during which customers could make unlimited calls using Google Meet until March 31, 2021, ending speculation that it would end the free period on September 30.

While that might be good news for those who use Meet casually to keep in touch with friends and family, one feature seems to have disappeared: the ability to record and archive Meet calls to Google Drive, which Google had offered for free as part of its original offer.

Unlimited Google Meet calls will still be available to anyone with a Gmail account, regardless of whether they belong to a G Suite plan.

“As we look ahead to a holiday season with less travel and important milestones like family reunions, PTA meetings and weddings hosted over video, we want to continue helping those who rely on Meet to stay in touch over the coming months,” Google said in a blog post.

Google had extended the premium features of Google Meet to all G Suite and G Suite for Education customers until September 30, a decision Google made in March in response to the pandemic. Consumers, too, could sign up with a Gmail account.

As the deadline neared, there was concern that “unlimited” calls (lasting up to 24 hours) would return to becoming a paid feature for the paid Enterprise tier for Education, and for G Suite customers. G Suite for Education is free, but Google charges US$4/student/month for G Suite Enterprise for Education, and the same amount for faculty and staff. G Suite’s basic plans start at $6 per user per month.

In our overview of what digital classrooms might look like for the 2020 school year, one teacher we interviewed—Bill Vacca, director of Instructional Technology at Mohonasen Central School District in Rotterdam, NY—was not concerned about the end of Meet’s unlimited free calls, possibly because his classes fell below the 60-minute limit that Google normally set for free calls, pre-pandemic.

Vacca was more concerned about losing the ability to record Meet meetings and archive them for students to review. “What they have done is going to bite schools in the butt in the end,” he said at the time.

Google’s blog post doesn’t indicate that the ability to record meetings has been extended, for free. Google representatives didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. We will update this story if we find out more.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Google

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?