Two things saw explosive growth in the midst of 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 is shutting down
A notice is currently appearing in the Zoom app for Chromebooks which notifies users that the app is being shut 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 provides 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 notable update in quite some time.
Why is the Zoom app shutting down? In part, because it’s built on an aging technology.
The older 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 phase out Chrome apps on all platforms. For Windows, Mac, and Linux, support ended in June 2021.
As of June 2022, Google is pulling the plug on Chrome apps on Chrome OS, too, 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 that Zoom would end official support for its app.
But as further motivation, Zoom debuted a Progressive Web App for Chromebooks back 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 one that acts more like what Zoom offers on Windows and macOS. The more full-featured app has a familiar UI alongside more advanced features including background blur. Even when we took an early look at the app when it launched, we were pretty happy with the improvements it brought.
But, the Zoom for Chrome PWA didn’t come without some hiccups, some that hurt existing users of the Chromebook app.
When the PWA launched, it didn’t support some features on low-end Chromebooks. Gallery view in particular was an unfortunate loss on anything without at least a quad-core processor. Bugs with broken video feeds were also common at the time. Thankfully, Zoom has made improvements over time, to the point where the PWA is now an excellent experience.
If you’re still using the traditional Zoom app for Chromebooks, it doesn’t sound like it will just stop working immediately, but its time is certainly limited. Eventually, we expect the app will just cease to work.
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