Zoom rolls out the ultimate upgrade for Apple M1 Mac owners

A new Zoom designed to run natively on the M1 chip means better family calls this season

Macbook Air
(Image credit: TechRadar)

This holiday season is going to be different from most, so many of us are turning to video apps like Zoom to see our families this year. Fortunately for the MacBook Air crowd, running Zoom just got a little easier.

Zoom has released a native Zoom app for Apple Silicon Macs. Since we know the MacBook Air and Pro M1 chips are fast, we expect this new app to run better than standard Zoom.

Zoom was originally designed without Apple Silicon in mind of course, but this native app utilizes the ARM-based CPU found in Macs that use the M1 chip. The standard Zoom app runs off of Apple's Rosetta 2 emulator, so this new one ought to have better performance.

Namely, you should expect a better battery life when running Zoom. According to a post on the MacRumors forum, one user ran the regular Zoom app for a 2.5-hour call, consuming 17% of their battery over the course of the conversation. After a second call at only 36 minutes, the battery drained by another 7%. Mathematically, this breaks down to Zoom eating up 10-13% battery life per hour. Integration with the M1 chip should reduce that consumption by a marginal amount.

Those with an Apple Silicon Mac should also note that you need to download a separate installer from Zoom's website. The one you may already have installed on your machine isn't the same thing. 

For everyone running Zoom, there's a new update to check out regardless of which version you have installed. This adds the ability to virtually raise your hand during a conversation so as to not interrupt the speaker, as well as new reactions, better cloud contact integration and security integrations, and SMS/MMS support.

These new updates, along with the new Silicon-first version of the app, should work in Zoom's favor, considering all the other video chat competitors out there. For example, a series of Microsoft Teams updates is adding custom layouts, breakout rooms, and "Together mode," which takes everyone in the call to special screens designed to emulate real-world meeting places like auditoriums and coffee shops. Google, meanwhile, has rolled out a handy Meet feature that allows you to jump straight into your meetings from Gmail, both in-browser and on your phone.

Also of note, the web version of WhatsApp is reportedly adding voice and video calls in a future update. So you have plenty of options for connecting with others this holiday season.

Source: Tom's Guide