Zoom PWA gets blurred and virtual backgrounds, Chrome tab audio sharing

Zoom announced last year that it would be Launching a new Progressive Web App (PWA) specifically designed for ChromeOS instead of their soon to be deprecated app on the Chrome Web Store. In this announcement, Zoom promised that this PWA would be bring new features such as a customizable gallery view, auto-selected breakout rooms, live transcription and translation, new background hiding feature, as well as hand raises and reactions.

The PWA was released without much fanfare, as users continued to use the Web Store app they were already used to. In fact, a banner started appearing on the old r appreminding users to use the Zoom app for Chrome PWA from the Google Play Store as the web app would lose support in June 2022.

Now it looks like Zoom is delivering on at least one of its promises for its PWA. We were told about this by a Twitter user @jdeslipwho sent us the tweet below, letting us know that virtual backgrounds now worked on the PWA. Besides, About Chromebooks also reported this new development and the new background blur ability – which were previously unavailable.

Since I hadn’t used Zoom in a while, I hopped on the app to try it out for myself. Immediately after a meeting started, I was greeted by two new feature notifications: sharing audio from a Chrome tab and virtual backgrounds. Sharing audio from a Chrome tab works the same as on Google Meetwhere you can share a chrome tab of your screen, except it mutes you while you share audio. I don’t think Meet can do that right now.

As for the virtual backgrounds, I was able to set up a background blur and change my background to an image from their gallery or an image on my Chromebook. Both looked great and didn’t cause any crashes, but your mileage may vary depending on your Chromebook’s specs.

I’m very excited about the improvements in Zoom PWA so far. In fact, I can start using it more often when I connect with my family overseas instead of trying to train them to use some other solution they don’t already know. the Zoom for Chrome PWA can be found on the Google Play Store and has a help page available on the Zoom site.

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