Zoom Apps for meetings are here to compete with Microsoft Teams

Zoom App Windows 11 Store
Zoom App Windows 11 Store (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Zoom's latest update brings support for Zoom Apps for meetings.
  • These apps can integrate directly with Zoom meetings to improve productivity.
  • Microsoft Teams recently expanded support for Teams apps built for meetings.
  • Support for Zoom Events also rolls out this week.

Zoom just greatly expanded the capabilities of its meetings by launching Zoom Apps for meetings. Zoom already had integrations with 1,500 apps, but Zoom apps allow people to integrate third-party apps directly with Zoom. There are over 50 Zoom apps available at the moment, including Asana, SurveyMonkey Enterprise, and Dropbox Spaces.

Support for Zoom Apps comes with version 5.7.3 or higher of the desktop client. The update's changelog lists just a single addition, though it is a sizeable one:

Introducing Zoom Apps for meetings - Windows, macOS -Zoom Apps combine your favorite apps with the power of video communications by allowing you to access them directly in your Zoom desktop client and meetings. With Zoom Apps, you can streamline workflows, collaborate with colleagues, and also bring elements of fun and wellness into your interactions with colleagues, friends, and family members.These apps, reviewed and approved by Zoom, are available for installation directly in the desktop client or from the Zoom Marketplace. Once installed, work on projects with the app directly in the Zoom desktop client, or launch a meeting with the opened app and invite others to view and collaborate with you.

The ability to integrate apps directly with Zoom should help the service compete with the likes of Microsoft Teams. Microsoft's offering also lets people integrate apps with meetings, including users on iOS and Android.

Zoom Events is also generally available starting this week. With it, businesses can host sessions, events, and trade shows on Zoom. The consumer-aimed equivalent of Zoom Events, OnZoom, is still in beta.

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).

  • Zoom is not in the same class as Teams, at all. I see how adding apps is a good competitive move by Zoom, but video conferencing is just one relatively minor facet of what Teams does. Teams is, in one app, an entire real-time and asynchronous collaboration tool. It includes Planner for project management, Chat for just about everything you get in Slack, a SharePoint web site for every Team for publishing and sharing information via the web, full MS Office built in to work together in Word, Excel, or PowerPoint, graphs from Power BI, recording and sharing videos via Stream, security-controlled document sharing via OneDrive or SharePoint, with a folder structure mirroring the Team that owns the files, a full VoIP phone system including, Push to Talk feature for connecting with workers in the field or on the factory floor, etc. In other words, it gives you the best of Skype (for calling one or many people), Zoom (for group video chats), Slack (for chat), plus a ton of other features, many found nowhere else, that are put together seamlessly. This is just a small, partial list of the total feature set of Teams. Remarkably, it's also fairly intuitive w/o the typical MS excessive complexity. I would go so far as to say that Teams is the most compelling app that Microsoft has ever released. It's not without its flaws, like if you need to connect to multiple company Teams (tenants for those familiar with the MS terminology) at the same time, you can't or have to use a browser and a different web profile for each additional company/tenant. It has other issues, like the address book syncing from Outlook works for people, but not really for companies, but this is only an issue if you're using Teams as your VoIP phone and need to call those businesses. I don't see any realistic way that Zoom or Slack can ever catch up to Teams, simply because of the breadth of functions included in Teams.
  • Also the search function in MS Teams is diabolically useless. Sharepoint is better for search as you can open a folder / directory from the search results. Whereas on Ms Teams you can't... they load up on the left handside of the screen. There is no right click context menu to open the folder location either. In regards to your other points, yup the integration is amazing - that's if it has been set up correctly.