The Trouble With Chromebooks
A number of users have experienced difficulty using Chromebooks to participate in Zoom meetings. For one thing, they’re unable to enter Breakout Rooms by choice, or even to be manually assigned to them by a meeting host.
The Zoom Support team has advised us that this issue and others stem from the comparatively primitive nature of the Chrome Operating System, in combination with Chromebook’s reliance on the “bare minimum” of hardware and materials. This strategy allows the devices to be offered at a price point lower than the average cell phone, but as a consequence the average cell phone has twice the computing power of a Chromebook.
Individual user experiences will vary since there are so many different companies producing Chromebooks, all using different iterations of hardware. Some will work better than others, but as Zoom adds new features, the app becomes increasingly CPU/GPU intensive, especially in larger meetings.
The chart on this page shows how few of Zoom’s meeting features are supported in Chrome OS compared to other operating systems.
Google is ending support for Chrome apps on Windows, Mac, Linux and ChromeOS devices in the coming months, and Zoom will be unable to update their Chromebook store app after this December. The Android version of the Zoom app is likewise not supported on Chromebooks.
As a result, Chromebook users should follow these procedures in order to participate in Zoom meetings:
- uninstall the Zoom client from the Chromebook
- use a browser to log in at vcu.zoom.us
- click on the “join” link provided for the meeting (or use “Start” to host your own)
- choose the “Join Via Browswer” option. This will allow you to join and launch Zoom calls without installing the client.
Zoom features may differ somewhat when using the web client, but you should have access to most of the features you need. You will not have the ability to choose your own Breakout Room, but the host can assign you one manually.
You also have the option to use your iOS or Android smartphone or tablet to participate in meetings via the Zoom Mobile app. Please note that with this approach, you can be assigned to Breakout Rooms, but you can’t launch your own Rooms as host.