I just got a beautiful new Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 and just love the big, bright screen. I am a bit baffled by Zoom, however; when I want to start a Zoom call on my Tablet, how do I invite a friend to join me?
I’ve been enjoying my own Samsung Galaxy Tab S9, as it happens, and I agree, with its almost 11″ better-than-HD screen and terrific built-in selfie camera, it’s excellent for video chat. If it were an iPad, that would mean FaceTime, but after the last few years, we’ve all become experts at Zoom too, and I have that and Microsoft Teams both installed on my Tab.
What’s weird about the Zoom interface on an Android tablet is that it still appears to have been designed and had the buttons laid out for an Android phone with a far, far smaller screen. I find that some of the windows are 99% empty, which is a bit surprising after the dense information presentation on my Pixel phone. There are two main ways to share a Zoom call with someone, though, one of which involves you starting up the meeting and then inviting them to join you, the other has you scheduling the meeting in advance. Let’s look at both.
THE EASY WAY: JUST START IT!
To borrow and mangle the Nike slogan, just start it! You can easily start a Zoom call, even if it’s just you and you want to test the camera, figure out the audio settings, or even practice screen sharing. Launch Zoom on your Android tablet and you’ll see this:
After too darn many years of Zoom-powered pandemic socializing, I expect we’re all quite familiar with this four-button home screen, whether you’re on a Mac, Windows PC, Android, or iPhone. To start a new meeting, simply tap on the orange “New Meeting” link.
There are less options than in other version of Zoom, which is curious, but it’s enough for you to decide between getting a unique URL just for this meeting or using your “usual” personal meeting ID. By default, it will be assigned a new, random value. Click “Start a Meeting” and you’ll see yourself on the Galaxy Tab S9!
I’m in my recording studio, which is why the wall is so colorful with its green screen, blue, and wood backdrop. More importantly, it’s the buttons we care about, so notice you can tap on “Switch Camera” if you want to use a different camera (useful when you’re on a call if you want to show someone where you are; switch to the rear-facing camera, show them, then switch back to the front-facing camera). Along the bottom the options are “Join Audio”, “Stop Video”, “Share”, “Participants” and “More”. Tap on “Participants“.
This is where one of those weirdly empty screens appears. I’ve trimmed it down but on the Tab it’s almost completely empty space:
If you have a lot of people, Participants gets interesting (particularly if you’re the host since you can mute them from this screen), but what you want is the “Invite” button on the lower left. Tap on it and a window appears with oodles of options:
You can share the link directly into Messages, Gmail, and Outlook, but I’m a bit more old schools so I tend to tap on “Copy Invite Link“. That can then be pasted into anything, from a message to a Facebook post to a Discord chat. I’ll paste it into a new Gmail message:
And that’s it. Once I send this to my friend they will be able to tap on the link and jump directly into the Zoom call with me. Handy.
OR YOU CAN SCHEDULE YOUR ZOOM CALL
The other possibility is on the very first screen (with the four buttons) you can instead tap on the “Schedule” button, which offers lots of options, including the ability to list desired attendees:
That’s really the easiest solution but you do need to plan ahead at least a few minutes. If you’re still on a free Zoom account, it also helps you maximize your 45 minute time limit on calls too!
Btw, go back to the very first picture I shared. On the right the big box says “No scheduled meetings”. Once I schedule a meeting with a friend or family member, it’ll show up in that box, a super easy way to join the call.
Pro Tip: I’ve been writing about how to get things done online forever. Please check out my extensive Zoom help area while you’re here! I promise it’ll help make you more productive with this useful tool.