Zoom Updates Mac App Installer to Remove Controversial 'Preflight' Installation Method

The popular video conferencing company Zoom has been under scrutiny over the past few days for the method used to install the Mac version of its app, which essentially abused a "preflight" compatibility check to install the app without the user needing to explicitly grant installation permission, as highlighted by developer Felix Seele earlier this week.

zoom preflight install

Screenshot of preflight compatibility check for Zoom; clicking Continue immediately installs the app if the user has admin privileges (via Felix Seele)

Zoom CEO Eric Yuan responded to Seele, noting that while the installation method was "implemented to balance the number of clicks given the limitations of the standard technology," he recognized the issue and promised to "continue to improve."

zoom traditional install

Revised installer with traditional installation process

Zoom has now updated its Mac app installer to no longer use the preflight installation method, instead using a traditional installation authorization process, as noted by The Verge.

“They completely removed the preinstall stuff, so you now need to click through the installer as it ought to be,” explains Seele in a message to The Verge. The fake prompt has also been removed so users have to specifically click through and install Zoom. “I must say that I am impressed,” says Seele. “I expected them to maybe change the dialog, but since the ‘zero-click’ aspect was so important to them, I thought they would stick with the preinstall-trick.”

The Mac app installation issue is hardly Zoom's first controversy, with the company seeing increased attention as its popularity has boomed amid self-isolation. Other recent controversies over just the past week have included its integration with a Facebook SDK that was sending Zoom user data to Facebook and misleading claims of end-to-end encryption.

Tag: Zoom

Top Rated Comments

madmin Avatar
12 months ago

Do I need to delete and reinstall Zoom for more security after this change?
No, you only need to do the first step
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
longofest Avatar
12 months ago
Remember when they installed a web server on macs ('https://www.macrumors.com/2019/07/09/zoom-videoconferencing-app-vulnerability/') without anyone knowing that resulted in a zero day?

Not a fan of Zoom since then. Nothing they have done since then has endeared me any more. I prefer FaceTime, Skype, or pretty much any other method to connect than Zoom.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
konqerror Avatar
12 months ago

Remember when a person could hear you before you picked up a FaceTime call? Bugs happen.
A software bug is one thing, engineering a buggy web server to intentionally bypass a browser security measure, engineering an installer to get around user confirmation prompts, and being deceptive in your advertising and documentation are on a totally different level.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
12 months ago
Always too little too late with Zoom
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Azzin Avatar
12 months ago
I also despise that they claim to use end to end encryption, when in fact, they don’t.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
madmin Avatar
12 months ago

It seems like they made some bad choices, but it also seems like they are recognizing the fact they were bad choices and are quickly taking steps to address them.

It's easy to fault them but perhaps such quick acknowledgement and rapid changes are a good sign.
Let me know when they stop making bazillions auctioning users behavioural surplus on the data markets
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
apple transfer google photos 1

Apple Launches Service for Transferring iCloud Photos and Videos to Google Photos

Wednesday March 3, 2021 12:04 pm PST by
Apple this week introduced a new service that's designed to make it quick and easy for iCloud users to transfer their stored photos and videos to Google Photos. As outlined in an Apple support document, you can go to Apple's privacy website and sign in to see the "Transfer a copy of your data" option. If you select this and go through all the steps, Apple will transfer your iCloud photos and ...
imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
OLED iPad Pro and MacBook Pro

iPad and MacBook Models With OLED Displays Rumored to Launch in 2022

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:19 am PST by
Apple plans to release new iPad and MacBook models with OLED displays in 2022, according to industry sources cited by Taiwanese supply chain publication DigiTimes. The information was shared in the site's paywalled "Before Going to Press" section, so there are no further details yet, but the full report should be released by tomorrow. Apple has gradually increased its adoption of OLED...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...