Photo by Pixabay from Pexels/Zoom

With social distancing becoming the norm during the Coronavirus pandemic, it's certainly added a new chapter in how we communicate. Zoom is one of those particular tools that folks defaulted to because it was already on their work computer. The good news is that it's an excellent app for video chatting with several people at a time. And if you're logging in from a Chromebook, there are a few ways to install the app.

Note that since these are not the desktop versions of Zoom, they're not as full-featured as their Mac and PC counterparts. For instance, both the Chrome version and Android app version of Zoom don't offer the nifty custom background feature, where you can upload a scene of your liking to help cover up the real-life mess you might have exhibited behind you.

Chrome Web Store

Zoom offers a native extension for the Chrome browser in the web store, and it installs seamlessly on Chrome OS. Once you've installed it, launch the app and type in your login credentials. You don't need an account to join a video call with Zoom, though you'll need a Meeting ID or Personal Link Name to get connected.

When you launch the Zoom extension in Chrome OS, you'll be able to join a meeting or start your own. 

Zoom on Chrome OS will work with others dialing in from a Mac or PC app.

The Chrome extension offers similar functionality to that of the desktop version. You can start a call or invite and boot participants. You can share your entire screen or a specific app that's already open on the Chrome desktop. Zoom for Chrome also offers meeting analytics, cloud recording, text chat, and mute on entry.

When you're finished with your Zoom call, close the window or close out of the meeting in the Chrome notifications panel.

Zoom
Zoom
Developer: https://zoom.us
Price: Free

Play Store

The smartphone-calibrated version of Zoom works on Chrome OS, though it can be tedious to use.

Zoom offers several variations of its app in the Play Store, but the main one to download is the ZOOM Cloud Meetings app. The Android app works much like its Chrome counterpart. You can hop on a call, mute yourself upon arrival, or start a new meeting. The app works over WiFi, 4G/LTE, and 3G, and there's even a safe driving mode for conferencing while you're on the road. You'll have to give the app permission to display over other apps for screen sharing, however. When you're finished with your Zoom call, end the call from the Chrome OS notification shade or by closing out of the app.

Running the Zoom app on Android can be a bit tedious. The app is best suited for smartphones rather than Chrome OS, and when you expand the window, the app acts as if it's functioning on an Android tablet. If you're planning to participate in Zoom calls from your Chromebook, the extension available in the Chrome web store is your best bet.

ZOOM Cloud Meetings
ZOOM Cloud Meetings
Developer: zoom.us
Price: Free