Zoom, the popular video conferencing app that only gained more popularity during the pandemic, has reportedly discontinued its ChromeOS web app, causing problems for some. If Zoom stopped working on your Chromebook, it’s because there’s a new web-based app you need to use.
Earlier this year, Zoom announced a new progressive web app (PWA) for Chromebooks designed to offer a better experience and more features. Unfortunately, this was still undergoing a beta test, wasn’t available to everyone, and had a few problems to sort out. However, it looks like this month Zoom is switching things over, and that’s causing students, teachers, family members, and more to have problems joining meetings.
Lately, we’re seeing reports that the company has quietly discontinued the default Zoom app for ChromeOS, blocking users from joining meetings entirely. Now, users see this pop-up when they try to join a Zoom:
“Zoom client must be upgraded to join this meeting.”
To join meetings on a Chromebook, you need to download the new Zoom PWA app from the web or through this link on the Google Play Store. Or, after you get the failed to join notice, look for a small blue link near the bottom of the Zoom page that says, “Join via the Zoom for Chrome PWA.” Remember that this isn’t an app in the traditional sense and operates more like a website. It’s essentially a web version of the Zoom app.
Progressive Web Apps are similar to websites but can be “installed” like an app. They allow you to open them in their own window, instead of a new browser tab, but they still work like anything else you’d open in your browser. For example, the Zoom PWA still allows for opening links, notification badges, updates, and more while offering better performance and, oftentimes, more features.
If you’re getting the “Zoom client must be upgraded” error when you try to join a Zoom call on your Chromebook, this is why. Get the new Zoom PWA, and you’ll be able to join meetings again.
It’s worth noting that this won’t solve all your potential problems right now. While the Zoom progressive web app should deliver an improved experience, more features, and faster performance, the new PWA-version of Zoom is still a work in progress. Users are reporting a lot of problems or bugs.
To make matters worse, when someone sends users a link to join a meeting, it doesn’t open in the new app and still directs to the discontinued ChromeOS app. It’s a bit confusing, but hopefully, everything will work as expected once the transition is complete.