Although originally conceived for serious meetings, Zoom has quickly become the buzzword for video conferencing, no matter the purpose, and Zoom knows that too well. Proof of that is how it’s waiving its 40-minute limit for free accounts on certain holidays, expecting and hoping its service will be used for virtual family and friends gatherings. One other step it’s taking is to roll out a native version of its app for Apple’s shiny new M1 Macs so extend your chatting time by a few more hours.
To be clear, Zoom has long been available on the M1 Mac and MacBooks but only indirectly. The macOS app was, of course, developed for Intel-based Macs but it can run on Apple Silicon M1 via the Rosetta translation later. In an update coming December 21, a new “native” version of Zoom will be available for this new generation of Apple computers.
The full benefits of a native M1 Zoom app might not exactly be that discernible. It could run faster, though there have been no reports of sluggishness of the x86 app on M1 Macs. In fact, the app’s performance has been commendable, draining the battery only in sips per hour of use. A native M1 version would reduce power usage even further, at least that’s the theory.
The announcement definitely comes at an opportune moment when Zoom will see its use spike up again these coming days. In fact, it is encouraging that use by doing away with the free account limit at least in days surrounding Christmas and New Year.
The December 21 update won’t just be about the Apple M1, though. It will also allow calling contacts that have been imported via contact integration. Those with Zoom Phone Pro licenses will also be able to send and receive SMS/MMS on their phones directly.