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Weekly Update - June 12, 2021: YouTube, Meet, Google Photos

This week California businesses will have most COVID-19 distancing and capacity restrictions lifted. Is this a good idea? Locally almost 80% of 12-and-ups have had at least one vaccine dose, so that seems like it should be safe. But I don’t see businesses really getting back to pre-COVID “normal” for a while yet.

This week’s highlights:
  • YouTube announced improvements in copyright takedowns to prevent reuploads, expansion of the Shorts video editor across the Americas and in the UK, and the ability to to add cards, captions and midrolls while your uploaded video is processing.
  • The Google Photos Locked Folder feature that lets you hide certain images is rolling out.
  • Google Meet now lets you replace your background on (selected) Android devices, and will be rolling out video backgrounds on the web.
  • And this week was the Apple WWDC with a few interesting updates, including FaceTime on the web with a demo of it working on an Android phone.
Read on for all the details and more tips and tutorials.


  • The Google Search Central online “Unconference” is June 21. Applications are open until June 14th. What makes it an “unconference” is that attendees actively participate in the event rather than watching talks or panels.


Meetings and Communication

  • More backgrounds in Google Meet: you can now replace your background when you are using an eligible Android device (Samsung Galaxy S9 or later, Pixel 3 or later, or similar). Meet is also starting to roll out the option to replace your background with video on desktop. This is limited to pre-set videos and requires Chrome version M87 or higher.
  • This week was Apple WWDC, and among the announcements were a number of new features for FaceTime. There are audio and video improvements to make the calls seem more “natural”. SharePlay is a new feature that lets people in a FaceTime call share music, video or collaborating in apps. And notably, they have enabled a new web interface, which lets FaceTime work in a browser, including the mobile version of Chrome. And yes, that means FaceTime can be accessed on Android devices.

Photos and Mobile Camera

Social Media


That’s all the updates for this week. Subscribe to get the Weekly Update in your email inbox or favorite feed reader every week. Miss last week’s update? Get it here.

Image: It’s finally the beach time of year. Beach photo by heidi_ziller on Pixabay (free for commercial use, no attribution required)