Here we can see “How to use the new Zoom app on a Chromebook”
Zoom rose to popularity at the start of the continued COVID-19 pandemic. So if you employ video meetings at college or work, there’s an honest chance you now use Zoom. Both Windows and macOS have reliable Zoom apps that include all of the software’s available features. However, those folks on Chrome OS were forced to use a hobbled version of Zoom with minimal capabilities until now. But just last week, Zoom released a replacement Progressive Web App (PWA) intended to exchange the present Zoom Chrome app within the Chrome Web Store. This new PWA brings welcome improvements and helps align Zoom on Chrome OS with the features available on other operating systems.
If you’re not conversant in PWAs, let’s mention them for a second. Essentially, these are web apps that act more like traditional apps that you’d install on a Chromebook. You get an independent window not connected to the Chrome browser, like Android apps. But at their core, they’re built completely on web technologies, a bit like the other web app you’d run in Chrome.
Google continues to expand the functionality of PWAs in Chrome OS. you’ll now set PWAs because the default app surely links. There’s even a choice to keep all information from a given PWA during a tabbed interface, very similar to you’d within the browser. Overall, the new interface should bring a much-improved Zoom experience to those using Chromebooks.
Installing the Zoom PWA on Chrome OS
The Zoom PWA is out there as an installer on the Google Play Store. It’s worth noting you would like to get on Chrome 91 to put in the Zoom PWA. Then to put in the PWA, you would also like to confirm your Chromebook supports the Play Store. If you would like help with using Android apps on Chrome OS, inspect our full guide.
After you’ve checked this, tap the link within the app box below to navigate the Zoom PWA listing. Installing the app works an equivalent as the other Android app, and therefore the icon will be available in your app list soon after installation. You would possibly want to think about pinning the app to your dock if you’ll use it frequently.
With the PWA, Zoom added most of the features that were previously missing within the Chrome app. a number of the new features you get include:
- Customizable Gallery View (on supported machines)
- Self-select Breakout Rooms
- Live transcription
- Live translation (with assigned interpreters)
- A new background masking feature for privacy
- Raised hand and meeting reactions
Many of those features are vital for those working in education. The Breakout Rooms functionality may be a big deal for splitting students into groups. The raised hand is another feature I exploit tons when holding lectures or office hours via Zoom.
There are still a couple of key features for education that are missing, however. The Chrome PWA still lacks the functionality for employing a whiteboard during screen sharing sessions. This is often one of the features I exploit foremost as a mathematics professor. Zoom says this feature will come to the PWA this fall, hopefully aligning with the arrival of the new school year for many universities.
Zoom also mentions that several new features will roll call in the upcoming 3-6 months on their blog post. It looks like this is often an enormous step toward all of the desktop client features migrating to Chrome OS eventually. If you’re using the legacy Chrome app for Zoom, you should upgrade to the PWA as soon as possible. The legacy app will be supported through January 2022, but the reduced functionality and inferior interface are enough reasons to form the switch now.
Overall, it seems that Zoom did a superb job developing their new Chrome PWA. Developed in partnership with Google, the UI is slick, and therefore the app runs quite smoothly on every Chromebook I’ve tested. It does seem strange that the app has only a 3-star rating within the Play Store, but this is often possible thanks to users not understanding it’s specifically for Chrome use. If you would like to use the PWA on another platform, you’ll also do that quite easily by visiting zoom.pwa.us in any browser.