Because of the Covid-19 emergency lockdowns in many countries stopping folks from meeting up physically, a sudden craze has appeared just this week, for the US based videoconferencing program Zoom. This is bad, it has surged on folks thinking by hearsay that Zoom is more accessible than it is. Then they are going to get caught out on the number of folks who it will exclude, by random technical luck, at a time when even folks with the budgets to rush out + buy a new gadget that will work Zoom face the shops being all shut.
First, everyone thought it would work through browser then they find it forces everyone to download an app. Then, some folks can’t download the app!
As their attempts to enter a meet just bring up a prompt to download the app, they can’t get in at all. It is supposed to work on Android yet won’t work on or download from Google to Galaxy tablets, it won’t download from Apple to tablets at all but will to Ipads or Iphones, laptops without Windows get stuck, and in Chrome as well as Linux browsers it demands you choose the right settings for your system which you may not know, including choose from 10 types of Linux ! before you can download anything, to get Zoom to download the right compatible version.
For folks trying to get in without the app, some have not been able to get this screen, providing in the third line the link “start from your browser.”
In some folks ‘ efforts, either the third line, with its key link “start from your browser“, is missing, or the system overlays that screen with another screen you don’t want, Zoom’s persistent app downloading screen, that won’t give some folks any results.
Folks who do get onto Zoom can easily not yet realise that other folks are stuck in this. Look at all the videoconferencing solutions you can, not only Zoom, because in order not to EXCLUDE, you need one that everyone in your group can work on their devices! Should be common sense yet needs saying, the wave of belief in Zoom needs restraining from the impact of experience.
A SOLUTION that may include many more folks, FOUND ACCIDENTALLY, URGENTLY NEEDS SHARING AROUND, MAKING BETTER KNOWN. It turns out – browsers that have the problems described above + won’t work for geting in by the invitation URL and meeting number method, will work to get in by a simpler! way that is non-standard + not the way Zoom itself has presented. The meeting page itself, the page where the meeting happens, has a URL. That is logical, as it is a page. So every meet’s page has its own URL. It is not the same as the invitation URL! It’s simpler, in the form zoom.us/wc/join/ then 8 or 9 or 10 numbers. Tell folks that URL, as soon as you know it. As soon as the meet’s own page exists. You can go straight to that URL, and straight into the meeting itself just giving a name, no need for password numbers or apps.
But NB avoid another trap, that the host sees a slightly different URL in the words part of it! The link sent to folks MUST NOT BE IN THE FORM zoom.us/meeting/. That does not work, for folks other than the host to get in. It must be in the form zoom.us/wc/join/ followed by the same numbers.
More folks can do that, as it bypasses the hurdles that trip up their browsers doing it the other ways. So, in short, if you have been told a URL containing /j/, a standard Zoom url, usually starting with us2.web.zoom.us/j/, then you simply change the /j/ to /wc/join/. Just that – you are in!
27 Mar 2020
Later discovery NB – This does not work for a tightly private preregistered type of Zoom meetings that can only be attended using a Zoom membership and advance registered place. They have no /j/ address. It only works for the more usual type of Zoom meetings that you are given a URL address to enter by.