Fix the darn bug of annotation displaying at the wrong place!

ZOOM tech support refused to elevate the bug to the developer instead blaming users for using an imperfect network! The Internet is imperfect. It’s useless to blame a ZOOM bug on the imperfect Internet. IT’s clearly a bug in ZOOM client where it displays annotation in the wrong place. Simply by changing it from full screen to windowed mode and back, it works again for a little while then the problem comes back again. Similarly, leave ZOOM meeting and come back immediately, it works ok again for a while.

Hi @mathemafix
Thanks for reaching out to us.
Are you referring to the Zoom Client? Would you mind sharing a screenshot of the issue you are having?

Please look at my video recordings of the problem. This problem has a long history for years! I saw it 3-4 years ago mainly on the Android version of ZOOM client and it is now everywhere and getting worse if not better (probably due to more traffic burden on the Internet, more ZOOM users putting load on ZOOM servers …) It is getting worse than ever on the Apple iPad. It is fairly common on Windows clients. I wasted over 1 year of working with ZOOM technical support and got ZERO help.

ZOOM technical support just did nothing really. Just blamed it on an unstable Internet connection yet video and voice work perfectly, only the annotation is broken after about 20 minutes of use until one stop share screen, then share again or simply switch between full screen mode and windowed mode to buy a bit more time and it will return in about 10-20 minutes. I teach students onliine so I experience this problem almost every day at my end and/or at the students’ end.

Here are three videos capturing a screen running Windows ZOOM client showing how the drawings just jumped around.

www youtube com / watch ? v=OrstZ5ASOc0
www youtube com / watch ? v=uI4sbk27Y2A
www youtube com / watch ? v=BBspJlIfdFw

This forum does not allow me to put links to video media!!! So, I added the space to try to fool it.

Description (one of the email exchanges with ZOOM support)

Tutor Mathemafix

May 18, 2023, 21:37 GMT+10

There is a bug in ZOOM annotation that has been around for years. It is getting worse recently. It is about you drawing at one spot and then the thing is cleared and appears a bit away from it. It is very annoying. What I mean is you draw a dot at location x, it will disappear and then reappear at location x + 5 instead (or a bit further). This always happened on Android, often on Chromebook, occasionally on iPad, and rarely on Windows. Now, it is happening very often on iPad.

The way I understand it is that when the annotator draws something, it is immediately displayed on the device. It is also sent to the ZOOM server to be displayed on other connected devices. But a copy is also sent back to the original device. At this point, the original device erases what is on its screen (for the object) and redraws it. The reason why it disappears and reappears in a fraction of a second later is because of the slow traffic on the Internet. When the Internet is really fast, it happens so quickly that the annotator won’t see the disappearance and reappearance. The trouble is, sometimes, the drawing is redrawn away from the original location! It could be between 2-4 mm away from the original location making it impossible to teach students using drawings and writing on the screen. To get around it, one must stop sharing and share again for it to work correctly again for about 20-30 minutes.

I gave up annotation on Android long ago because of this problem. Similarly, Chromebook annotation is horrible so I gave up on it too. I keep using iPad but now my students with iPad have this problem most of the time. The way to work around it is when it happens, leave the meeting and rejoin again. The problem will go away for a while. It may come back within 30 minutes. It rarely happens on Windows (about 1 out of 20 sessions). On iPad, it happens in 7 out of 10 sessions.

Please tell your developer to test the software fully on various platforms and fix this bug. It is very annoying for tutors who use annotation extensively to teach students.

There is also another problem with annotation that I reported long ago and it was never fixed. I use 2 devices, one with a digital pen for writing and the other for displaying. Both run Windows. The problem happens in about 1 in 20 sessions. I write on the screen, and it is displayed on the device I write on immediately and the devices that my students use at various locations on the Internet, but it is delayed for several seconds before it is displayed on my other Windows device on my local home network! As I use a reliable NBN connection in Sydney, this has nothing with my Internet speed. All video and audio work perfectly. Only the annotation seems to be flaky. I randomly have the same issues across many different Windows machines and iPad at different times so this has nothing to do with hardware or OS … All the problems with annotation in ZOOM are random and it is hard to reproduce when you want to show them but they show up frequently enough to make the product unreliable for tutoring purposes.

Thanks for sharing more details about the issue you are seeing, I will make sure to pass this feedback to the appropriate team so they can take a closer look into this.