Quick Thoughts on Zoom 3.5

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Version 3.5 of Zoom makes it in before the New Year, with some interesting new capabilities, including Mac support for iPad/iPhone screenshare. This innovative feature was first made available on PC back in version 3.0. Please see the video above for a quick demo we recorded at that time.

This is a “.5” update, so no major overhauls here. My take-away after briefing with Nick Chong at Zoom, is that Zoom getting in early on one new, potentially very hot, feature concept (below), and giving their users a few workflow / experience improvements as a nice Christmas bonus.

Webinars With Full Audience Interactivity
Zoom is adding the ability to “promote” webinar viewers to full members of the panel appearing on video. This obviously creates a more interactive dynamic (like a talk show) than the typical, text based, Q&A at the end of most webinars. Blue Jeans recently announced this type of capability in their new Primetime offering (please check out my full take on the exciting potential of this new capability). I expect this will be a hot trend, and many competitors will have similar announcements in 2015, but only two (as far as I am aware), had the prescience to get it working in 2014.

Other New Features
The full list is found in their Press Release, and will be appreciated by users. The ability to record directly to the cloud opens up their very popular recording feature to mobile users, and adds convenience to desktop users (easier sharing via streaming, etc). The existing iOS screenshare to PC (please see the video above), has been a great way for app developers to demo their work. Adding Mac support to this feature is a no-brainer. The ability to share fullscreen HD video, without requiring an upload, is unique to Zoom, according to Nick.

Zoom has also added the ability to share files directly during meetings, saving users several steps during collab sessions. Far end camera control, dial out to room systems, and “ad-hoc” support adds to Zoom’s room system bona fides, as they continue to improve their ZoomPresence offering (which is enjoying increasing traction in the market). Other “catch up” features, such as webinar polling, round out the 3.5 release.

All in all, a nice grouping of updates, with at least one capability that has major game-changing potential. 2015 is going to be interesting!

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About Author

David Maldow is the Founder & CEO of Let's Do Video and has been covering the visual collaboration industry, and related technologies, for over a decade. His background includes 5 years at Wainhouse Research, where he managed the Video Test Lab and evaluated many of the leading solutions at the time. David has authored hundreds of articles and thought pieces both at Telepresence Options, where he was managing partner for several years, as well as here at Let's Do Video. David often speaks at industry events and webinars as well as hosting the LDV Video Podcast.

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