October 20, 2020

Zoom for Android now supports virtual backgrounds and a bunch of new features


Zoom has grown to become one of the most popular videoconferencing apps, boosted by a sudden need to virtually keep in touch with close ones, co-workers, and clients during the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the app’s most popular features is the ability to add a virtual background, which is a nice way of keeping a modicum of privacy, especially when working from home. Sadly, this particular feature was not available on Android, but a new update just brought the functionality along with a bunch of other useful ones to our handheld devices.

Although Zoom’s Android app now lets you add virtual backgrounds, these can only be still for the time being, as videos aren’t supported yet. Despite this limitation, the feature works well, and Zoom was even able to recognize our green Bugdroid and separate it from the background, as shown above.

On top of this addition, Zoom’s Android app now integrates with your schedule, making it easier to hop into a meeting without having to open your calendar and manually tap your next meeting’s URL. If you like to run calls from your phone, you’ll be happy to know you can now share your device’s audio with participants, a feature that’s handy if you stream videos to your audience. The company has also given attendees the option to select their breakout room themselves, and improved some other features, such as in-meeting chat and some other bug fixes.

If you’re a Chromebook user, you’re out of luck, though, as the latest Android is no longer compatible with Chrome OS anymore. Instead, you’ll have to rely on the more limited Chrome app, at least for now.

The full changelog for version 5.3.52640.0920 lists all of enhancements brought by the update, including the ones mentioned above:

General features
-Calendar Integration sync improvement
-Enhanced scheduling with default settings
-Share Device Audio
-Virtual Background support for Android
Meeting features
-Self-select Breakout Room
Chat features
-Hide chat bots in IM list
-Enhanced Link Preview
-Enhanced Search
-Mark as Unread for images and files
Resolved Issues
-Resolved issue with Breakout rooms not following main session’s settings/restrictions
-Minor bug fixes

ZOOM Cloud Meetings
ZOOM Cloud Meetings

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