JioMeet Thread

Dark Sorrow

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JioMeet is here to take on Zoom: 5 things to know about Indian alternative

Reliance earlier this week rolled out its new video conferencing platform ‘JioMeet’. The launch comes at a time people around the world are relying on digital tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet to communicate and collaborate.

JioMeet was announced earlier this year but it was rolled out for all users across the country this week. You can access JioMeet on your iOS or Android smartphone. As of now, the official website shows the video conferencing solution as ‘coming soon’.

JioMeet is set to be the top Indian alternative to the likes of Zoom and other above-mentioned video conferencing platforms. If you’re planning to use the app, here are five things you need to know.

Signing up

As said earlier, Reliance JioMeet is available for all users. This means you can access the platform even if you are not a Reliance Jio subscriber. You can sign up using your email ID or phone number. For more, read our tutorial on how to download and install JioMeet.

100 participants

Just like Zoom and other platforms, Reliance’s JioMeet allows you to host 100 participants in one go. This is likely to appeal to end-users who are using video conferencing applications, originally intended for enterprise, for talking to a larger number of people simultaneously. WhatsApp, Google Duo and other mobile-focused apps don’t have this kind of flexibility.

Interface

If you’ve used Zoom or any other video conferencing platform, you will find JioMeet’s interface a lot familiar. The home screen has “new meeting”, “join”, “schedule”, “share screen” and other important shortcuts. During a session, you can view the conversation in an active speaker layout. Reliance claims users get HD audio and video quality on JioMeet.

Unlimited, uninterrupted

The biggest USP of Reliance JioMeet video conferencing platform is that it does not cap the timing of a meeting. You can host a meeting for up to 24 hours. There is no limit on the number of meetings you host in a day.

Others

Just like Zoom, you can also enable “waiting room” to ensure no one can join the session without your consent. There is also a “safe driving mode” to alert the caller that you’re driving. JioMeet supports up to 5 devices for multi-login.

 

Dark Sorrow

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India’s Reliance Jio Platforms, which recently concluded a $15.2 billion fundraise run, is ready to enter a new business: Video conferencing.

On Thursday evening, the firm — backed by Mukesh Ambani, India’s richest man — formally launched JioMeet, its video-conference service that looks uncannily like Zoom.

Like Zoom and Google Meet, JioMeet offers unlimited number of free calls in high definition (720p) to users and supports as many as 100 participants on a call. But interestingly, it appears to not impose a short time limit on a call’s duration. Jio Platforms says a free call can be uninterrupted for “up to 24 hours” long. The service currently has no paid plans and it’s unclear if Jio Platforms, which has a reputation of giving away services for free for years, plans to change that.


Jio Platforms, which began beta testing JioMeet in May this year, said the video conferencing service offers “enterprise-grade” host controls. These include: password protection on each call, multi-device login support (up to five devices), and ability to share screen and collaborate.

Other features include the ability to switch “seemingly” from one device to another, and a ‘Safe Driving Mode’ for when a participant is in commute. Hosts can also enable a ‘waiting room’ to ensure participants have to ask for permission to enter a call.

The company did not provide any more details, including whether people outside of India could use the service. On its website, JioMeet claims all the meetings are “encrypted” but does not elaborate whether these calls are end-to-end encrypted.

The launch of JioMeet today comes as tens of millions of people in India are working from home and using video conferencing services for work and to stay in touch with friends.

Zoom, currently the most popular video conference service in India, on Android had about 35 million monthly active users in the third week of June, up from about 4 million users during the same period in March, according to mobile insights firm App Annie, data of which an industry executive shared with TechCrunch. (Android powers nearly 99% of smartphones in India.)




Reliance Jio Platforms is taking on Zoom with JioMeet, which looks a lot like Zoom


In a call with analysts earlier this year, Jio executives had described JioMeet as a platform that they think would some day have features to enable doctors to consult their patients, prescribe them medicine, and have a system in place to let them buy medicines online and get test results digitally. Similarly, they said JioMeet will allow teachers to host virtual classrooms for their students, with the ability to record sessions, assign and accept homework, and conduct tests digitally.

JioPlatforms, which is India’s top telecom operator with about 400 million customers, operates a number of digital services including JioMusic, a music streaming service; JioCinema, which offers thousands of TV shows and movies; and JioTV, which allows users to watch more than 500 TV channels. All of these services are available at no additional charge to Jio Platforms subscribers. It costs less than $2 a month to be a Jio subscriber.

The launch of JioMeet — available for use through Chrome and Firefox browsers on desktop, as well as via standalone apps for macOS, Windows, iOS, and Android, and an Outlook plugin — coincides with a nationwide ban on 59 Chinese services including TikTok, ShareIt, Alibaba Group’s UC Browser and Tencent’s WeChat. New Delhi banned these services on Monday evening citing security concerns.
 

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