During the pandemic, while the world was on lockdown, video conferencing apps exploded and gained popularity as schools and businesses depended on them to stay connected. Zoom was one of the apps that gained so much popularity. The Video conference app has compulsorily withdrawn support for its original Chrome OS extension as the only option is the Zoom Progressive Web App (PWA).
Although the PWA version of Zoom for Chrome OS seems unreliable right now, as it is reportedly facing issues. Chromebook users have no choice other than to attend video or organize video conferences through Zoom’s PWA. The issues the PWA version of Zoom for Chrome OS is currently facing include; the gallery view option is no longer supported on most Chromebooks, some users facing problems with microphone settings, and some complaining that the app sometimes makes them sign out of accounts at random.
Earlier in June, the dedicated app for Chromebook was launched. The Zoom PWA functions just like any normal app would but won’t perform all functions natively. All its features and functionalities are delivered through the Web. The original app has reportedly been taken down from the Chrome Web Store and may only be accessible via a direct link. According to the report, as soon as the user opens Zoom’s Chrome OS extension, they receive a notice which says that “Zoom client must be upgraded to join this meeting.”
For Chrome OS users who are interested in installing the PWA, it’s a simple as installing an Android app. The functions you get are just like the Zoom app on other platforms. On Windows or Mac desktop, it offers features like customizable gallery views, self-select breakout rooms, live transcriptions, live translations with assigned interpreters, background masking feature for privacy, and raised hand and meeting reactions. Zoom claims that PWAs are much faster and more functional than a regular app. One factor that makes it a good fit for cloud-based devices is because it reportedly takes up less storage.
Chrome OS users are advised to download the Zoom PWA from the Web or Google Play to host or join meetings. For now, the app has 3.5 stars rating on Google. According to user reviews that appeared in the store, the Gallery View option no longer has support for most Chromebooks, while some are facing problems with microphone settings. Some users have complained that the app randomly signs them out of their accounts. Zoom is yet to officially make an announcement for the discontinuation of its original Chrome OS extension.