Remote work doesn’t get much more exciting in 2020 than taking a Zoom call from a tropical locale—even if you’re not really there. As an added bonus, Zoom’s popular virtual background feature allows you to conceal your messy, work-at-home room from your colleagues—and it’s now available for use on the Android Zoom app.
Virtual backgrounds arrived as part of the app’s most recent update, which also added handy features like breakout rooms and calendar integrations alongside plenty of bug fixes and smaller tweaks. You can download it now from Google Play.
Not only do virtual backgrounds let you add a personal touch to your Zoom meetings and conceal your clutter, but you can also use them to keep the focus on you or set a more professional tone (as long as you’re using an appropriate image, that is).
How to use Zoom’s virtual backgrounds on Android
- Open the Zoom app and join or start a new meeting.
- Once you’re in the meeting and your video feed is active, tap the screen to bring up the in-call menu.
- Tap “More.”
- Tap “Virtual Background.”
- Slide through the list of available background thumbnails, and tap one to enable it.
- Select the “None” thumbnail if you want to turn off the virtual background.
Virtual backgrounds can be enabled at any time, but they work best when you’re in a well-lit environment and set against a plain wall or green screen, so the app can distinguish between you and your surroundings.
Create custom virtual backgrounds
Unlike the virtual background feature on desktop, Zoom’s Android app only supports static images; you can’t use animated GIFs or videos. The app includes a small selection of default virtual backgrounds like the Golden Gate bridge, a shot of outer space, and nature photos. However, you can also add your own backgrounds—and the process is a lot quicker on Android than it is on your desktop PC.
- While in a meeting, go to More > Virtual Background.
- Tap the “+” thumbnail at the far right of the background selection menu.
- Browse through your phone’s files and select the image you want to turn into a virtual background. The image will be automatically cropped to fit Zoom’s requirements.
- Tap your newly added background to enable it in Zoom.