The new Zoom PWA for Chrome OS is now on Play Store
Oddly enough, after a year of booming video conferencing apps and Chromebooks, the official Zoom app for Chrome OS and Chrome OS is still a fiasco. Users often complain about missing and relatively simple features, such as viewing a list of contacts and starting direct messages, or the ability to connect to VOIP phones. Zoom has heard your frustration, and it plans to introduce a new progressive web app this week.
A Progressive Web Application (PWA) is essentially a more complex form of a standard website “pinned” as an app, and is essentially a glorified bookmark. But PWAs have come a long way in a short time: Almost every web service Google offers, including Docs and Meet, is presented as a PWA.
The Zoom development team is pushing the updated web functionality as a complete replacement for the old Chrome app on the Chrome Web Store. In a blog post, the company announced that the PWA will include at least some of the advanced capabilities of standalone Zoom software, in particular the ability for participants to join sub-rooms, request remote control, create and launch polls and question-and-answer sessions, and enable or disable video reception.
Even with additional features planned to be added to PWA later this year and the requirement that users be on a newer version of Chrome, the web version will miss some of the more advanced features seen in the Zoom app for Windows and Mac, or even the mobile versions. But it’s a good start. We expect to see a Zoom PWA starting Tuesday, June 29th.
And here it is: PWA, hosted as an installer in the Google Play Store in all places.
Interestingly, PWA is installable on Android, which may explain why it immediately got low review scores. The PWA should be accessible from all desktop platforms at pwa.zoom.us.