Two things have seen explosive growth amid the COVID-19 pandemic: Chromebooks and Zoom. Now the video calling app is shutting down its Chromebook app to make way for something better.
Zoom app for Chromebooks closes
A notice currently appears in the Zoom app for Chromebooks notifying users that the app will be shutting down in August 2022.
This app will no longer be officially supported after August 2022. Please use the new Zoom for Chrome PWA to join meetings on ChromeOS.
The app has been available for several years and offers simple access to Zoom meetings but without any additional functionality. It’s severely limited when it comes to most features and hasn’t seen a noticeable update in quite some time.
Why does the Zoom app close? Partly because it relies on aging technology.
The old app is a “traditional” Chrome app, which hasn’t been particularly relevant for a few years now. Most notably, Google announced in August 2020 that it would be phasing out Chrome apps across all platforms. For Windows, Mac, and Linux, support ended in June 2021.
As of June 2022, Google is also removing Chrome apps from Chrome OS, with new apps no longer being accepted and all existing apps becoming private and unlisted in the Chrome Web Store.
With that in mind, it makes sense for Zoom to end official support for its app.
But as an added incentive, Zoom launched a Progressive Web App for Chromebooks in 2021, which has seen several major updates over the past year.
Long live the Zoom PWA
The Zoom for Chrome PWA is a better equipped version of what the original app was and acts more like what Zoom offers on Windows and macOS. The most comprehensive app has a familiar user interface as well as more advanced features including background blur. Even when we took a look at the app when it launched, we were pretty happy with the improvements.
But, the Zoom for Chrome PWA didn’t come without a few hiccups, some of which hurt existing users of the Chromebook app.
When the PWA launched, it didn’t support certain features on low-end Chromebooks. The Gallery View in particular was an unfortunate loss on anything that didn’t have at least a quad-core processor. Bugs with broken video streams were also common at the time. Luckily, Zoom has made improvements over time, to the point that the PWA is now a great experience.
If you’re still using the traditional Zoom app for Chromebooks, it doesn’t look like it’ll stop working immediately, but it’s certainly time-limited. Eventually, we expect the app to stop working.
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