If you're on the go and need to host a quick video meeting with multiple mobile users, what do you do? You could use Google+ Hangouts — if everyone has a Google+ account. If not, you can try ZOOM Cloud Meetings. With this easy-to-use tool, you can host screen share meetings or standard video meetings.
Zoom is a service that includes a solid Android app and allows you to host 40-minute meetings for up to 25 participants for free. If you need larger or longer meetings, check out the Zoom price plan. But for those needing smaller meetings, the free plan is great.
There is one caveat to using Zoom. On the desktop, the service is limited to Windows and Mac only (not even Chromebooks get to enjoy the Zoom experience). If you're on the go, however, your Android platform will be just fine — and starting/joining a meeting is incredibly simple!
Before you start using ZOOM Cloud Meetings, you'll want to hop on over to the Zoom website and sign up for an account. Once you've completed that, it's time to install the app and invite people to meetings. Anyone you invite into a meeting will either need a supported desktop platform or the Android app installed on their Android smartphone or tablet.
Installation of the app
To install the Android mobile app, do the following:
- Open the Google Play Store on your Android device
- Search for ZOOM Cloud Meetings
- Locate and tap the entry by zoom.us
- Tap Install
- Read the permissions listing
- If the permissions listing is acceptable, tap Accept
- Allow the installation to complete
Once it's installed, you'll find the launcher on either the home screen or the app drawer (or both). Tap the launcher, and then log into your ZOOM Cloud Meetings account.
Starting a meeting
When you open the ZOOM Cloud Meetings app, you can quickly start a meeting by tapping the Meet Now button found on the main window (Figure A).
Zoom Cloud Meeting running on a Verizon-branded HTC M8.
Once you've started a meeting, you should see yourself in the meeting window. Tap the screen to reveal a toolbar that includes the Invite button (Figure B).
In a meeting with Jack Wallen.
Tap the Invite button, and you can easily invite users via SMS, Gmail, email, and any other supported service you have installed on the device. The easiest method is either SMS or email. The invitee will then receive the invitation, which includes a link to the video meeting. When mobile users open the link, they'll be asked if the link is to be opened using a web browser or the ZOOM Cloud Meetings app. They must open it using the app, or they'll receive an unsupported platform warning in the web browser (which is why they need to install the app prior to tapping the link.)
Once you have people in the meeting (Figure C), you can easily switch between viewing different attendees by tapping on their icon at the bottom of the screen.
Me, myself, and I in a meeting.
If you tap the screen, and then tap the Attendees button, you'll see a list of people attending the meeting. From here you can:
- Chat privately with them
- Make them the host
- Kick them out of the meeting
To leave a meeting, all you have to do is tap the screen and then tap the exit button in the top right corner. ZOOM Cloud Meetings also allows you to schedule meetings. To do this, tap the Schedule button from the main window, fill out the necessary information (Figure D), and then tap Schedule.
Scheduling ZOOM Cloud Meetings.
After tapping the Schedule button, you'll then add invitees (via Gmail or email). Once the invitation is sent, you can either edit the meeting or return to the main window and view your upcoming meetings by tapping the Upcoming button.
If you're looking for one of the best ways to hold video meetings with multiple users while you're on the go, you can't go wrong with ZOOM Cloud Meetings. The service is outstanding, and the app is very easy to use.
What is your video meeting service/app of choice when you're on the go? Share your favorite in the discussion thread below.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website jackwallen.com.