Video conferencing for work or play
Zoom is the leader in modern-day video communications. It’s an application where you can organize webinars, meetups, or video and audio conferencing with ease. The tool is used for making calls while working from home, but also for virtual social gatherings like happy hour and birthday parties. Zoom has various features that are useful for both business and pleasure.
Zoom Meetings has become the go-to way for individuals and teams to connect virtually. There is a reason why this platform has become the leader of video conferencing, even in a flooded market.
The app is well-designed and rich with features. The interface is clean, and the video-conferencing tool is easy to use. Zoom Meetings offer high-definition audiovisuals and an array of tools for remote teams.
You don’t need to create an account to get started with Zoom meetings. Once you download the app on your Android device, you’ll have the optimized experience. You will need to create an account whenever you want to host a meeting and invite others to join.
Getting started is easy, and you can authenticate through Facebook or Google, making the signup process even faster. When you create an account, you will get a Personal Meeting ID. You can use this PMI to start a meeting anytime. Just send the invite to participants and they can join the call.
Anyone can use Zoom Meetings for free. Initially, the app will warn you that your meetings will only last for forty minutes, but that isn’t always the case. In a lot of instances, Zoom feels generous and allows you to keep the conference going for as long as you like. That said, this doesn’t always happen, sometimes you are cut off at the 40-minute mark.
With the free account, you can host up to 100 people on unlimited meetings. You can see as many as 49 people on a call in the gallery-style view. You’ll also have access to the majority of features.
With a paid account, there’s no limit on time, and you get access to extra administrator controls. There are reports and user management tools. The paid tiers offer access to cloud space for storing recorded calls.
When you schedule a meeting in advance through the Zoom Client for Meetings, you can connect to your calendar and select your desired preferences. If your participants need to join by phone, you can choose locations for displaying dial-in options on the invitation.
If you want, you can choose to password-protect your meetings. Recently, Zoom has enhanced security features. The ID and the password are now more prominent as options are selected on default.
After the company raised some scrutiny over ‘Zoombombing’- incidents where unwanted participants entered a meeting, new features were frozen for 90 days. While the app has end-to-end encryption, Zoom is focused on using more steps to ensure user protection and privacy.
Hosts can also see a new Security button on the interface during any active calls. This toolbar gives you quick access to important features like locking the meeting, enabling a waiting room, and allowing participants access to different controls. The host can also monitor who is on the call and what they’re connection is.
If you are just looking to join in on a conference, you can do so with little effort. Once the app is installed on your phone, you simply click the meeting link on the email invitation. If the meeting is open, you’ll enter within a few seconds.
In some cases, you’ll be sent to a meeting room where you can exchange messages with other attendees before the host lets you in. You can choose to disable participant microphone or cameras at any time.
As long as you’ve joined using your device audio, you’re able to mute and unmute yourself using the buttons on the interface. You can do the same with your camera. Hosts can also control the audio and visuals of the participants throughout the meeting.
Two notable features are Virtual Backgrounds and screen-sharing. If you want to spice up your call, you can play with your backdrop choosing from a variety of options provided by Zoom or upload custom images.
Screen-sharing comes in handy for comparing notes and giving presentations. During this session, everyone will be looking at the same video, PowerPoint, document, or webpage. There is also the option for side-by-side screen-share for collaboration purposes. Desktop sharing supports multiple screens.
Hosts can mark up anything that’s on the screen. With the Whiteboard feature members can use the whiteboard to map out ideas. There’s also instant messaging, which is helpful for taking and sharing notes.
The Breakout Zoom Rooms feature allows you to divide any participants up into small groups. They then can have their own video chat and the whole team can come back to rehash what was discussed.
If the meeting is important, Zoom gives you the option to record the whole thing. You can store the file locally. With a paid plan you can save the meeting to cloud storage so it doesn’t take up space on your device.
Zoom and it’s predecessor Skype bring users a similar feature set. Both of these apps offer screen share, meeting recording, whiteboards, file sharing, and more.
While these video-conferencing tools are similar in many ways, Zoom offers a better service in terms of overall features. Skype doesn’t offer breakout sessions and virtual hand-raising like Zoom does.
Other popular Zoom alternatives include Google Hangouts and Jitsi Meet. Both of these tools offer a fair share of features for video-conferencing, but don’t offer the cornerstone screen-sharing to the extent that Zoom does.
Zoom is so popular around the globe because it’s inherently safe, convenient, and easy to use. The app makes it more comfortable to work remotely and keep in touch with faraway friends and family. It offers simple collaboration tools and robust host controls which makes it an excellent choice for professional and personal use.
Looking forward, Zoom’s main priority should is privacy and security. The app has an established reputation for being reliable, but when it comes to protecting data and safeguarding users against “Zoombombing,’ it isn’t spotless. The latest version gives hosts additional controls over the security of their meetings.
User reviews about ZOOM Cloud Meetings
by Emmanuel Velarde
i will recommend it to my students to use it to conduct a class or meetings or announcemnets etc
also i will recomment it to my co techers to use it during the reading of forms More
by Abbie Olaonipekun
Not getting the hang of it yet. Require a tutorial showing benefits and direct use.