During the height of the global pandemic, Zoom dove into deep competition with Google Meet by providing feature parity and free calls during holidays for millions of people. It quickly rose in popularity, and now, anyone you ask will likely be using it for day to day use instead of Meet. Sure, this largely depends on their preference and demographics as well, but there’s no denying that more people now use Zoom than ever before.
With that said, the company decided last year to deprecate its Chrome Web Store app in favor of its shiny, new Progressive Web App, or “PWA” for short. Over the past few weeks, it’s begun placing a banner at the top of Zoom sessions and lobbies that says the following:
Zoom Chrome app will no longer be supported since June 2022. Use Zoom for Chrome PWA to join meetings. Learn more.
The support page takes you to the Chromium blog where Google has detailed its phasing out of traditional Chrome apps in favor of PWAs. Zoom’s decision to do this wasn’t exactly its own. Sure, PWAs do offer significant benefits over Chrome apps, but it’s just adhering to Google’s own timeline.
Back in June of 2020, Google announced that it was going to be removing these packaged apps and pointing users to web experiences. The web has become quite powerful and honestly, the possibilities are limitless, so it makes sense. As of March 2020, it stopped accepting new public apps to the Web Store, and as of June of last year, it ended general support for them on Windows, Mac, and Linux with the exception of organizations who could continue to use a policy setting to extend support for them through June of this year.
Now, we’re coming up on that last milestone, and the Chrome Web Store will stop accepting new and updated Chrome apps that are both private and unlisted, placing their second foot in the grave for all platforms.
Stated in the blog post is the fact that Google will continue to support Chrome Extensions on all platforms as they’re different from the apps themselves. If you’ve yet to migrate to the Zoom PWA from the Chrome app, you should take a few moments to do so by visiting it on the web or via the Google Play Store and “installing” it. I’ve already created a guide for doing this, and I highly recommend following it!