While some Chromebook users might not know this, Zoom is available as a Progressive Web App for users who operate entry-level Chromebooks. More often than not, these devices do not have the hardware resources to run heavy apps. Hence, most of the services available on Chromebooks are web-based. However, what is Progressive Web App, and why did Zoom launch one for Chromebook users?
To understand what a Progressive Web App is, one should have a basic understanding of different types of apps. First, there are platform-specific apps that provide users with a standalone experience. These apps only work on desktops, laptops or mobile devices that meet the minimum system requirements of the app and do not require an internet connection. However, the drawback of these apps is that their reach is limited. On the flip side, some apps can run on any device that can access the internet, irrespective of its hardware capabilities. Such apps are called web-based apps. For example, Google Docs is a web-based app.
Recently, developers have developed a hybrid version that is as capable as the platform-specific apps, and users can access them through any device with an active internet connection. Such apps are called Progressive Web Apps (PWA). To recall, the popular content streaming service YouTube launched a Progressive Web App in 2021. In a nutshell, PWAs combine the best features of a standalone app and a web-based app. Additionally, developers keep adding new features to PWAs to provide the best user experience as anyone on any device can install them. Additionally, almost all the web browsers such as Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Microsoft Edge and Firefox support PWA features reasonably.
What Is Zoom PWA
Now, the popular video collaboration platform Zoom is available both as a web service and as an installable app for several platforms, including Windows and macOS. Unfortunately, while Zoom has also been available on Chromebooks as a Chrome OS app, users won’t be able to use it from Aug. 2022 because Google will end support for it. Fortunately, Zoom has already taken care of it by launching its PWA in June 2021. As mentioned on the official website, Zoom’s PWA “leverages web-based technology to deliver a native desktop experience.”
Users can install Zoom’s PWA client on Chromebooks without any issue. It is not only faster and more functional but takes lesser space than the regular app as well — an ideal combination for cloud-based devices. To download the Zoom PWA on a Chromebook, users should open the Google Play Store, search for ‘Zoom for Chrome PWA’ and tap on install. Once downloaded, the Zoom PWA will be available as an app on the Chrome OS device, enabling users to log in or join a meeting. The app provides features such as a customizable gallery view, self-select Breakout Rooms, live transcription, live translation, new background masking, meetings reactions and more. Going forward, Zoom PWA will be the only option for Chromebook users.