Around updates
Around updates
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Product Updates: January 2022 Edition 🔮


What’s New 🚨

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Workspaces (BETA)

With Workspaces, admins can now view and manage your organization’s rooms and members in a single place. Workspaces is available to any organization using a Google Workspace account and allows you to:

  • Manage all of your organization's rooms and members, including the ability to set room permissions and user permissions (i.e. admins or members)
  • Create organization-wide rooms (e.g. All-Hands) so members never need to search for a meeting link
  • Automatically add new members to any rooms you choose

Where to find it: Click “+ Create Workspace” in the bottom of the lobby window to get started.

Resources: How To Use Workspaces


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1:1 Mode (with squircles!)

Going forward, 1:1s in Campfire Mode might look just a little different. Namely, our friendly circles are now larger and more square. The reason? One of our goals is to help remote teams feel more connected and we’ve often heard from users that when meeting with one other person (like a one-on-one), it would enhance conversations to see someone’s facial expressions and body language more clearly.

Based off this feedback, we’ve created 1:1 Mode to make this experience better. With larger and 2x higher resolution video, as well as a squircle shape that captures more body language (like hand gestures), we can hopefully bring you that little bit closer together, even if you’re working on opposite ends of the globe.

Where to find it: You can try this out by going into Campfire Mode in a meeting with one other person.


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Timer

Interested in a way to keep your meetings more on track? Try out our new Timer, which is inspired by agile meeting best practices and can help encourage more focus and efficiency. For example, during a daily standup or status report, you can set a timer to establish a maximum amount of time for each participant’s update. For other meetings, having a visible countdown of the total meeting time can be very effective at keeping everyone on task.

Where to find it: Click the dropdown arrow beside the hand-raise icon and choose one of our ready-made timer lengths. Once the timer has started, you can click on the time remaining indicator to add time increments or cancel the current timer.

Note: The ability to set a custom time length is coming in the future. We’d also love to hear your feedback on how we could make this feature more useful! You can share your thoughts in a 2-min survey here.


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Video Scrolling for Larger Meetings

Last month, we introduced Video Scrolling for Floating Mode so you could easily view all participant’s video circles without the need to resize the floating window. We’ve now added Video Scrolling to the Campfire, Notes and Image Sharing Modes so during larger meetings—where the number of participants exceeds the available real estate—you can still navigate through all the video circles and see everyone.

This is part of a larger effort to make Around better for larger meetings like all-hands, along with other features including:

  • Support for up to 50 participants in a meeting
  • Attendee List: View all participants at a glance, along with their name, avatar, local time zone and options for interaction (like Pin for me).
  • Reactions Feed: Shows GIF and emoji reactions for every participant whose video circle isn't currently visible.

Note: Have you had a chance to try out Around in larger meetings and have feedback to share? Or a feature you'd like to see? Let us know here.

Quality and Performance Updates 🌟

Improvements

  • The meeting window UI has been adjusted slightly, including relocating the Vibes & Games button to the bottom-right of the window and the Minimal Mode toggle to the top-left.
  • Your two most recently used GIF or emoji reactions now appear to the right of the reactions bar and can be selected with a single click, allowing you to react even more quickly.
  • It is no longer necessary to remove all room members to delete a room. Instead, a room admin can open the room menu and select “Delete Room” from the lobby.
  • You can now update your profile picture without needing to relaunch the meeting for it to take effect.
  • Draw in more places! You can now use annotations when sharing a specific window.
  • For users with an external audio interface: Around now accepts both mono and stereo microphones. In the case of stereo, signals from both channels will be downmixed to mono.
  • Browser: When sharing your screen, you will now see a floating video window just like in the app.
  • iOS: You can now view other user’s annotations during a screen share.
  • Android: Video is now available on our mobile app, complete with our signature friendly circles, background cropping, and colorful filters.

Looking ahead: As we continue to explore new ways to help your team feel connected, we'd love to hear about your experience with Vibes and Games. You can share your thoughts in a 2-min survey here.

Fixes

Here are some of the highlights:

  • Fixed an issue where a Google Calendar meeting room for a recurring event would be deleted if a single instance of the recurring event was cancelled
  • Various reliability and quality fixes for Echo Prevention

What’s Coming 🚴‍♀️

All things come to those who wait, and the next big thing coming to the Around app is recording! Our team is rigorously testing and adding the final touches and we can’t wait to hear what you think once it’s available.

That's all for now! Ping us at support@around.co if you run into any issues or just want to say Nnọọ. 👋