Zoom’s latest update includes gesture-activated reactions

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The communications platform Zoom is introducing a series of new updates that span meetings, chat, and even phone calls.

The neatest new feature rolling out today is gesture-activated reactions for iPad. Now, when you raise your hand or give a thumbs up during a meeting it will automatically show the corresponding icons in your video panel. The broader “non-verbal feedback” function needs to be activated first.

For now, “Raise Hand” and “Thumbs Up” is the only gesture-supported reactions, though that could change in the future. The others are “slow down,” “yes” and “no,” while the standard emoji also include clapping hands, heart, tears of joy, open mouth, and party popper (celebration). The gist of non-verbal feedback is to allow participants to communicate with the host while maintaining the flow of a meeting. Using these physical gestures may help novice Zoom users to express themselves without the fear of any mishaps.

As mentioned, this latest update is a big thing, but how much of it you notice depends on the parts of Zoom you actually use normally. For Meetings, there is a new Focus Mode that only shows meeting participants the host, and the content they are sharing. As its name implies, the feature is designed to cut out any distractions. You can now also seamlessly transition a meeting from mobile to desktop Plus, admins can limit screen sharing when a guest joins a meeting.

In addition, Zoom is making the chat sidebar easier to navigate through with public and private channel markers. Now, the display will generally show fewer chats, but you will be able to expand it to see more activity. Zoom is also once again moving the search function to the left side of the screen. Lastly, you can try out the new admin experience — which puts a bunch of management controls in one place — before it becomes the default in October.

As for calls, Zoom Phone users are getting more usage metrics, group call monitoring privileges, and a privacy feature that prevents others from accessing shared line calls.

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