Technology: How to use Zoom on Android, iPhone, Mac and Windows and other Zoom features 

What is ZOOM: Zoom Video Communications is a remote conferencing services company headquartered in San Jose, California. It provides a remote conferencing service that combines video conferencing, online meetings, chat, and mobile collaboration.

Wondering how to use Zoom? While much of the technology world has been shut down by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, Zoom, a video-conferencing app that had been popular in the corporate world for years, is now dominating the industry.

With people and children at home for an indeterminate amount of time, apps like Zoom are extremely useful. They help businesses continue in their operations and have virtual meetings with team members and clients.

For schools, Zoom allows teachers to continue to deliver their classes to students over the web.

Whether you need an app to do business, educate children, or simply reconnect with friends and family you can’t otherwise see during a period of isolation, Zoom has you covered.

Here’s how to use Zoom on your iPhone, Android device, or Windows or Mac laptop to stay connected while at home.

Getting started with Zoom

Before you get started with Zoom, you need to make sure you have a webcam.

Zoom works across devices, including mobile and computers. You don’t have to worry about this if you’re on a smartphone or tablet, since they already come with front-facing cameras baked in. The same goes for laptops.

However, if you have a desktop (or want better video quality on your laptop), you’ll need to buy yourself a webcam. Popular options include the Logitech C310 and Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000.

Once you have your webcam ready to go, it’s time to sign up for Zoom by visiting the Zoom website.

How to use Zoom on Android, iPhone, Mac and WindowsIf you’re an individual or you have little need for frequent video conferences, the free Zoom Basic package gives you the ability to chat with up to 100 participants and hold unlimited one-on-one meetings. Be aware, however, that you’re limited to 40 minutes in group meetings.

Zoom also offers several plans for businesses that need more functionality. Those plans start at $15 per month for Zoom Pro, which includes the ability to have a 24-hour presentation and user management, among other features, and bumps to the $20-per-month Zoom Business plan for the ability to hold meetings with 300 participants at once.

A version for large enterprises is also available, but customers need to contact Zoom sales to sign up.

Getting Zoom software

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After you enter your e-mail account and password upon signing up for Zoom, you’ll be taken through the process of actually getting the client software. Again, the software you use will be dependent upon the device you’re trying to download Zoom on.

Either way, when you’re brought to your account page, you can click on the Resources tab at the top of your page to find the Zoom client you need. Pick your software (Windows or Mac) and download the Zoom client.

If you’re on mobile, you can go with the Zoom on mac, Zoom app available in Apple’s App Store for iOS or Google Play for Android devices.

How to host a meeting on Zoom

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Once your Zoom app is downloaded to your device of choice, you’ll need to sign in to your account. At that time, you’ll have the option to schedule a meeting. Simply click the “Schedule a New Meeting” button and decide when the meeting should be held, who will be attending, and more.

Once that’s set, Zoom will give you login information for participants and the ability for users to log in via the app or on their phones.

Interestingly, Zoom also comes with a quick sign-in feature for mobile users. So, if someone participating in your call doesn’t have Zoom, they can quickly call the Zoom number and Zoom will automatically get them in by inputting their meeting ID and other information without any delay.

How to join a meeting on Zoom

How to use Zoom on iPhone How to use Zoom on iPhone

If you get an invite from a Zoom user and you don’t happen to be one, you can easily join via phone in the manner outlined above.

You can also download a thin client for Zoom in your browser that allows you to join meetings via video.

Since you already have the Zoom app downloaded to your device, you can also use that app to input the Meeting ID supplied by the host to quickly join. Zoom also creates unique URLs for each of its meetings to easily get to where you need to go.

Extra Zoom features you should try

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One of the great things about Zoom is just how many different features it comes with aside from letting you communicate with your team.

For one, you and others on the call can easily share your screen during use, so you can illustrate a point, discuss how to use certain features, and more. Screen recording is also baked in, so you can record what you’re showing and send it off to other people over time.

Zoom also includes the ability to have chats with people while you’re on a call and even share files, so you can quickly collaborate on documents you’re working on.

If it’s collaboration you’re after, Zoom features the ability to break people out into their own rooms, so they can work on something and come back to the main room at some point in the future. Users in groups can also all annotate on screens and whiteboard on the fly.

If you’re wondering how secure Zoom is, the app features 256-bit AES encryption, as well as SSL encryption.

How to change your Zoom background

Change your Zoom background so it looks like you’re on a tropical beach or in outer space

You can visually get away if you can change your Zoom background. Yes, everyone is Zoom, Zoom, Zooming due to the coronavirus pandemic’s shelter in place and social distancing regulations. And if you’ve been using Zoom, you may be wondering how to change your Zoom background.

Millions of people are using Zoom, the popular video chat and teleconferencing app, to join work from home meetings, participate in online classes and talk to family and friends. Many have discovered the setting that allows you to add a virtual background, which swaps out the real-life background with a video or image. No green screen is required.

The virtual background is a fun way to mix up your Zoom calls. So, your call participants can see you in a tropical beach setting, in front of the Golden Gate Bridge or even in outer space. Zoom offers a few default virtual backgrounds, or you can upload your own image to change your Zoom background to something more personal.

How to change your Zoom background on the desktop app
  1. Download the Zoom app for Mac or Windows
  2. Open the app and sign in.
  3. Click your profile picture, then click on Settings.
  4. In the left menu bar, click on the Virtual Background tab (if you don’t see this tab, log in to the Zoom website, go to Settings and toggle on Virtual Background).
  5. In the Virtual Background tab, select one of Zoom’s defaults or upload your own image.
  6. If you have a green screen set-up, you can select that option.
  7. To add your own image or video, click the + icon to upload from your computer.

How to change your Zoom background on the mobile app

  • Download the Zoom app for iOS to your iPhone or iPad
  • Open the app, sign in and join a meeting.
  • Tap the three dots at the bottom right to open the More menu.
  • Tap Virtual Background.
  • Select one of Zoom’s defaults or upload your own.

Where can I find Zoom backgrounds to upload?

If you don’t have any images of your own to upload as a Zoom background, check out which offers 30-plus free backgrounds.