The VCU Zoom Blog

Announcements, Alerts, Tips and Pointers

Released on April 15, Zoom version 6.0 brings with it more numerous and significant changes than the typical update, including an overall change to the look and feel of the user interface and a new name for the application itself, now rebranded as “Zoom Workplace.”

The overall visual environment has been overhauled with newly available color schemes and redesigned icons. The new color schemes, including bloom (blue), agave (green), rose (red) and classic (black) are available when running your client in light mode and can be selected through the app settings.

To select a color scheme, go into your application settings and under the “General” tab, select the color you want.

Alternatively, you can change the color scheme with a meeting in progress, by using the drop-down “View” menu at the top right of the app window.

As noted, the customized color schemes only work when “Light” mode is selected. If you prefer, however, you can select “Dark Mode” as a sort of “color scheme” in itself.

The In-Meeting Toolbar

The in-meeting experience has been updated with a more simplified toolbar you can customize by dragging-and-dropping icons to add, rearrange or remove meeting features based on your needs and preferences. For instance, if you make frequent use of polls but rarely require breakout rooms, you can place the “Polls” icon on your taskbar and file the “Breakout Rooms” option under the “More” icon. That way, “Breakout Rooms” is still available, but the icon isn’t cluttering up your taskbar.

Note that the in-meeting “Security” tab has been re-labeled ‘Host Tools’ but still uses the familiar “shield” shaped icon. It and the other icons reflect slightly updated graphic designs but remain intuitive.

Multi-Speaker View

The new multi-speaker enhances the meeting experience by dynamically adapting the meeting’s video layout to accentuate current and recent speakers, highlighting and enlarging their video tiles over others, while still providing the view of other participants in a smaller gallery view.

NOTE: A meeting needs to include five or more participants for this feature to take effect. When there are two to four participants, all can be displayed at equal size normally.

Meeting Wallpapers

The new Meeting Wallpapers feature allows meeting hosts and co-hosts to customize their meeting view by adding more color and customization options. With this feature, you can choose a wallpaper background from a library provided by Zoom and the VCU Zoom admins. The wallpaper will display behind the participant video tiles and shares. With an image selected, you can also adjust the blending levels between participant videos and the wallpaper image. That is, the opacity of the participants’ backgrounds can be adjusted to blend them into the meeting wallpaper image, with the participants themselves remaining at 100% opacity.

To access the wallpaper option, click on “View” at the top of the Meeting window and choose “Set Meeting Wallpaper.”

Improved Voiceprint for Personalized Audio Isolation

If you’re working in an open environment or one with constant background noise, the Personalized audio isolation audio profile can help Zoom recognize and isolate your voice for clearer audio. You “train” it by making a short voice recording of yourself reading a predefined script. Zoom will store and use your voiceprint for this purpose, until you delete it, which you can do at any time in your audio settings.

To use this feature, open your Audio settings and enable “personalized audio isolation.” Then make your recording in as quiet an environment as you can manage.

Zoom will store and use your voiceprint solely for the purpose of improved meeting audio, until you delete it, which you can do at any time in your audio settings.

Portrait Lighting

The new “portrait lighting” setting allows Zoom to dim your background while brightening you in the foreground, making you stand out even more in your meetings. This is available through in-app video settings and has hardware prerequisites similar to using virtual backgrounds without a green screen.

Important Notes

Please note that while some of these features, like the custom color schemes and enhanced in-meeting toolbar, are specific to your Zoom installation, others, like Meeting Wallpapers and Multi-Speaker View, will require all your meeting attendants to update to version 6.0 to get the full effect.

Also, note that this and future releases will no longer support certain older operating systems. Support is ending for:

  • x86 and x86_64 Android devices – Android
    With this release, Android users will need a device with an ARM processor. Devices with older x86 and x86_64 architectures will no longer be supported and will have 5.17.10 (or any additional patches in the 5.17.X branch) as the last version available.
  •  iOS 11 and 12 – iOS
    With this release, iOS users will need to be on iOS version 13 or higher. Devices still using iOS 11 or 12 will no longer be supported and will have 5.17.10 (or any additional patches in the 5.17.X branch) as the last version available.
  • Windows 7 and 8 – Windows
    With this release, Windows users will need to be on Windows 10 or higher. Devices still using Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 will no longer be supported and will have 5.17.10 (or any additional patches in the 5.17.X branch) as the last version available.

These and other enhancements to the Zoom application have the potential to add a lot to your meetings. You’re encouraged to try them out by updating to version 6.0 today. As always if you have any questions or concerns about this or other Zoom features, feel free to reach out to us at zoom@vcu.edu.

Categories announcements, features