Zoom's forced app is irresponsible

by @edent | # # # # | 6 comments | Read ~425 times.

Due to COVID19, I'm using a wide range of video conferencing services. Those of us who have work-supplied laptops usually have locked-down hardware. No unauthorised apps can be installed.

That's not a problem for Google Hangouts - it just works in any browser. No need to install plugins or apps. Voice and video just work.

But Zoom - one of the most used VC services - falsely claims that users need to install an app to use it. I've had frustrated colleagues express their displeasure that they can't install an app and, therefore, have to dial in on a phone and can't see any slides.

Here's the thing. Zoom supports web browsers. It just hides it really well. Only after attempting to download the app, and then waiting for a few seconds, do you get this tiny message saying you can join in the browser:

Screenshot of the Zoom Website.

That's annoying and, frankly, irresponsible. People urgently need to get on calls and Zoom is deliberately making it hard to do. WebRTC works. It works really well across browsers. I'm sure the Zoom app is marvellous. But it is useless if people can't install it.

If you want to share a direct link to a call, use this:

https://whatever.zoom.us/wc/join/123456?pwd=

Replace the whatever with your company name and 123456 with your Zoom's conference ID.

6 thoughts on “Zoom's forced app is irresponsible

  1. @Edent great tip on the link format for joining a call from the browser. Thanks!

  2. Woot, I didn’t even realise they have a Web version until now 😠

  3. Lee says:

    While you say Zoom works cross-browser – it doesn’t actually work well in anything except Chrome and Edge. Current macOS production releases of Safari and Firefox will support video, but not audio (except in webinars).

    https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/214629443-Zoom-Web-Client

  4. Zoom also have info on joining a meeting in your browser, here:

    https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Meeting

    [caveat; I have never had cause to follow the advice on that page, so cannot vouch for it]

  5. Hey @edent github.com/arkadiyt/zoom-… may be of interest to you in relation to shkspr.mobi/blog/2020/03/z… (if you've not already seen it) as a way to auto-redirect to the browser client, not the native client (jvt.me/mf2/2020/04/pl…)

  6. Doug says:

    As a note on this - people need to enable this setting via https://zoom.us/profile/setting at the bottom of "In Meeting (Advanced)" there is a setting for Show a "Join from your browser" link - that link to open in browser will only show if that is toggled on.

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