Zoom Update Adds ‘Raise Hand’, ‘Thumbs Up’ Gesture on iPad, Focus Mode, Mobile to Desktop Call Switching, More

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Zoom has added some new features with its latest update this week for desktop, iPad, and Zoom Phone. These include a new Focus Mode, the ability to transfer meetings from mobile to desktop, limiting screen-sharing for meetings with external participants, and automatic reactions from gesture recognition for iPad users, who can now use ‘Raise Hand' and ‘Thumbs Up' reaction to make the video call feel more organic. The feature-rich update also brings chat sidebar enhancements as well as a new admin experience.

To improve the video-calling experience, which will likely remain crucial for the foreseeable future, Zoom has added several new features with its latest update. Focus Mode has been designed with educators in mind and allows participants to only be able to see themselves, the host/ co-hosts, and the content they are sharing. Hosts and co-hosts can also choose to view all the participants simultaneously in a gallery view.

Zoom users can now also transfer their calls from desktop to mobile phones and back without disconnecting. Admins can now apply restrictions to specific users or groups to stop them from screen-sharing when a participant joins a meeting as a ‘guest'. Users will still be able to share their screens when there are no guest participants.

iPad users can now make use of new gestures like ‘Raise Hand' and ‘Thumbs Up' during a Zoom call. The Raise Hand virtual gesture shows an icon on your window — visible to other participants — indicating that you have a question or something to share and that you need to be unmuted.

The Zoom Chat sidebar changes include markers that identify if a channel is private or public. It now shows fewer chats and channels per group. The chat sidebar can be expanded to see more channels and chats.

In terms of Zoom Phone updates, those with shared lines can enable a privacy feature that prevents others from barging, listening, taking over a call, picking up a held call, or whispering. This feature requires client version 5.7.6 or higher and will not work with desk phones. Admins will now be able to see more metrics associated with call queues — they can view the top 10 extensions by call usage such as inbound, outbound, and internal calls, or details on minutes usage.

Can Nothing Ear 1 — the first product from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei's new outfit — be an AirPods killer? We discussed this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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