Webex Meetings Update Aims to Improve Intuitive Joining

With an update that makes it easier for new users and existing users alike to quickly jump into a meeting, Cisco’s Webex is looking to address one of the few areas where it’s not rated at the very top of the pack when compared against web conferencing software competition.

Version 39.8 is out and the top-billed featured is the ability to join Webex Meetings with greater ease and speed. In a Youtube video showcasing the new join experience, Rai Johnson, senior product manager, Webex Meetings, explains that invitations to join meetings will look the same across all platforms. When users have the desktop app installed, Webex will be launched after clicking the big green button, while new users will have a light-weight client downloaded. Launching it will not only install Webex but also connect to the desired meeting. From there, users will find themselves in a preview window, where they see if their audio and video setup is working well before joining.

If users don’t appreciate the extra step of a preview window, they can simply turn off that step in the settings menu.

Other new features come with the update as well. Slack integration is improved, so users can see and schedule Webex meetings in the collaboration app as well as launch the meetings. The aim with the new integration is to make it so “you never have to leave Slack to have a great meeting experience with Webex,” according to the Webex blog.

Mobile users get a couple of new bells and whistles. iOS users can select a virtual background from one of two favorite stored backgrounds. Android users can now start a whiteboard session in meetings, which brings Android to parity with iOS in that regard. Both iOS and Android users gain the ability to select and move annotations, undo the last annotation, and mute or unmute audio while annotating.

Source: SoftwareReviews Web Conferencing Data Quadrant, Published April 20, 2020.

Our Take

Cisco’s Webex Meetings is already the best user-reviewed web conferencing product in our SoftwareReviews.com quadrant, firmly in the leader’s quadrant with the highest-overall rating for both capabilities and user satisfaction. Across different specific ratings, Webex Meetings usually ranks in the top two, including “business value created” and “breadth of features.” One area where it slips to fourth is usability and intuitiveness. With a score of 83% in that area, it’s hardly suffering for its user interface, but this update to improve intuitiveness around joining meetings shows that Cisco is committed to excellence for its product and insists on being on top of the pack across each aspect of product evaluation.