The pandemic has changed the way of functioning for everyone. Everything is going digital. From classrooms to offices, you might not be able to realize how fast this transition has occurred. One of the first apps introduced for group meetings was zoom. In this blog, we will be talking about what is zoom and how to use it?
What is Zoom?
Zoom is a video conferencing app, but do you know what is video conferencing? “Video conferencing is a system that enables people in various places around the world to have a meeting by seeing and hearing each other on a screen.” In the simplest of terms, it is a connection between two or more parties sitting anywhere in this world, having a smartphone and a stable internet connection. They can be connected both via audio and video.
Zoom is very much popular for its ease of use, high quality HD video and audio, and collaboration facilities such as text chat and screen sharing. Attendees can also join a Zoom meeting without signing into the app, but must sign up for an account to host a video conference.
There are two main versions of Zoom: Basic and Premium.
While the basic version is absolutely free, the premium version provides many features at a permissible cost.The Zoom app is available on all major desktop and mobile operating systems, including Windows, macOS, Android and iOS.
How to use Zoom video conferencing?
Many of us have already attended some meetings on zoom. What makes it so popular, is its easy to use platform,user friendly interface. Users can even Chat and applaud using zoom.
So what are the requirements for using zoom? Well just add a webcam to your desktop PC, or turn to your webcam-enabled laptop, and stable internet connection, this indeed is more than sufficient for a zoom call.
Free or Paid?
Zoom is available free of charge to anyone that might like to use it, and the basic free version offers all the facilities most people will need. However, as with anything, you get what you pay for, because the free version has its limitations.
Free Zoom offers video conferencing for up to 100 participants, provided the meeting runs for no longer than 40 minutes, at which point attendees are automatically removed from the conference. In case you have to continue, you will need to call up another meeting.
It also supports unlimited one-on-one meetings, screen sharing, chat, virtual backgrounds, whiteboard and more.
The paid version, meanwhile, effectively removes time limits for group video conferences (pushing the cap to 24 hours), and also allows the host to record meetings to cloud or on-device storage and schedule repeat meetings.
Mobile OR Desktop?
Well, this question has popped up in all our minds, what is the difference between zoom mobile app and desktop version, also which one should we prefer?
The biggest hassle of having a con call on mobile is the small screen – Zoom for iOS and Android contains less interactive versions of the chat and screen sharing facilities.
The mobile version also only allows four participants to appear on screen at once (as opposed to a maximum of 49 on desktop in gallery mode) and presenting complex charts and documents is made challenging by the small screen.
For large scale business meetings with colleagues or calls with multiple friends, Zoom for desktop is the only sensible choice. Follow the given steps for smooth zoom video, without any hassle.
1. Sign up for Zoom
Visit the official Zoom website at https://zoom.us/ and click the ‘Sign up, it’s free’ button to the upper right of the page. Enter your email address and wait for a confirmation email to arrive – you need to click the account activation link it contains. After that you will go through the process of securing your account with a password.
2. Download Zoom software
Click the link to continue to your newly created account and then click the Resources menu to the upper right of the page before selecting ‘Download Zoom Client’. The primary software you need to download is listed at the top of the page; there are also browser extensions for Firefox and Chrome.
3. Connect your camera
Most of the laptops have a built-in webcam, this is not the case with desktop computers. Some monitors feature integrated cameras, but it may well be the case that you need to add a webcam to your setup. Just get a decent webcam and check if it works with windows
4. Host a meeting
Follow the installation of Zoom Client for Meetings and when this is complete, click the Sign In button before entering your email address and password. Click the ‘New meeting’ button to start hosting a new video conference, and you should see the footage from your webcam displayed, you will need to test your speakers and microphone.
5. Schedule a meeting
On the first screen of the Zoom application, click the ‘Schedule’ button and fill in the details such as a date, time and topic, and choose the calendar through which the meeting will be organised – Outlook, Google Calendar, or something else – and click the ‘Schedule’ button again.
6. Join a meeting
There are several ways to join a meeting. If you receive an email or calendar invite to a meeting, you just need to click the link it contains to start taking part. You can also click the Join button on the main Zoom screen and enter a Meeting ID or Personal Link Name that has been shared with you. You can choose whether to connect using video, audio or both, as can anyone else involved in the meeting.
7. Screen recording and sharing
If you are the host of a meeting, you can click the Record button at the bottom of the screen to record the video of a meeting. Other participants can only initiate recording with the permission of the host. Zoom also offers numerous options via the Share Screen button.
Advantages of using Zoom
- Quality image and audio: With a good network, you can expect optimum video and audio quality from zoom.
- Easy to use: Very much user friendly, much less hassle then other apps
- Allows for virtual backgrounds: if you are upset with your background during important meetings, then this feature will surely light you up. Using virtual background, you can easily add any picture as your background
- Offers a variety of meeting settings.
Disadvantages of using Zoom
- Billing service: Many premium account holders have trouble regarding the billing cycle and service
- Customer service:Though zoom proclaims to provide great customer support, many users do not feel the same, the response to issues is less and inadequate support is seen in many cases.