Product Lead for Education

How to Use Zoom on a Chromebook With Our New Progressive Web App (PWA)

How to Use Zoom on a Chromebook With Our New Progressive Web App (PWA)

We’re excited to announce we’re launching a new Zoom progressive web application (PWA) for Chrome OS! This will improve the Zoom experience for Chromebook users, and give them access to even more Zoom features on Chrome OS devices.

What’s a Progressive Web App (PWA) & why do I need it?

At Zoom, we want to ensure users can have a productive experience, regardless of which device they may be using. That’s why we built our application as a Progressive Web App (PWA), which leverages web-based technology to deliver a native desktop experience.

We’ve partnered with Google to create the best possible application experience on Chrome OS, and are excited to offer a PWA client that gives you even more features and improved performance. 

PWAs are web apps that can be installed on your OS to provide an app-like experience while using the same technology as your web browser and Chrome OS. PWAs are usually faster and more functional than a regular app, and take up less storage — which is great for cloud-based devices.

As Zoom centrally updates our web client, the PWA will also receive updates automatically to get the latest and greatest Zoom features. 

If you’re a systems administrator, you can still remotely install and manage the PWA, providing centralized configuration and security options.

Read on to see how Chromebook users can get started using the new PWA come June 29!

Downloading & installing the Zoom PWA

The new PWA will be installable from the Google Play store (click the link, or search for ‘Zoom PWA’ or ‘Zoom for Chrome PWA’ in the Play store), and will appear as an application on your Chrome OS device. 

Download the app, then either log in or join a meeting — and you’re up and running. You can also install the new app directly from your web browser navigation bar as well as via central admin management.

Though customers who have Chrome Enterprise and Chrome Education Upgrade will have access to the legacy native app through January 2022, it’s best to switch to the new Zoom PWA client as soon as possible. 

Zoom functionality on a Chromebook

Our PWA offers much of the same great Zoom functionality as you would experience on a Windows or Mac desktop, and has even more features than the previous Zoom app for Chromebook:

  • 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

We’ll also be introducing a wide range of new features releasing over the next 3-6 months that will further accelerate what Zoom can do on Chrome and web.

Teachers hosting a Zoom class from a Chromebook can:

  • Access the Security icon in the meeting controls to lock the meeting, enable the Waiting Room, and remove participants
  • Share their entire screen or just a single application window
  • Record the session to the cloud (if using a paid Zoom account)
  • Create and assign Breakout Rooms
  • Share audio with your screen shares (expected this summer) 
  • Use a whiteboard when sharing your screen (expected this fall)

Students using Zoom on Chromebooks can:

  • View a teacher’s shared screen and share their own if enabled
  • Use nonverbal feedback like Thumbs Up and Thumbs Down
  • Raise their hand to ask a question
  • Chat with the teacher
  • Join Breakout Rooms created by the teacher

Students and other participants also still won’t have the Annotate option on shared screens.

Additional tips & resources

The new Zoom PWA requires the most recent Chrome browser and OS update — Chrome 91.x — to offer the full range of performance and feature upgrades. We strongly encourage users to update their Chrome OS for the best possible experience. 

A few other tips for anyone using Zoom’s Chromebook app:

  • Always upgrade to the latest version of Chrome OS for the best performance.
  • Reduce the number of open tabs and apps to avoid spreading out your CPU usage.
  • Avoid connecting multiple monitors to minimize CPU load constraints.
  • For additional Chromebook support, access the Chromebook Help Center.

Check out the Zoom for Education page or our Education blog for more tips and resources on using Zoom for teaching, learning, and connecting your educational community.

Editor’s note: This article was originally published April 23, 2020, and has been updated with the latest information about using Zoom on Chrome devices.

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