Where does WebRTC fit in Mobile Applications?

19/01/2015

WebRTC and mobile apps are best friends.

There’s an interesting symbiosis between WebRTC and mobile applications needing real time communications. On one hand, WebRTC is focused on web browsers, and that isn’t where our mobile consumption is these days. On the other hand, mobile applications who need real time communications – end up adopting WebRTC.

Why does that happen, and how are vendors leveraging WebRTC in their mobile applications?

That’s the topic of a report I just published titled WebRTC Adoption in Mobile Apps.

WebRTC Adoption in Mobile Apps

In 2012, I’ve written that mobile is one of the weakest links of WebRTC:

Google have decided to focus on the desktop before supporting WebRTC on Android.

It is a reasonable move, especially when you look at the number and variety of demos running on WebRTC already.

The only problem is that the smartphone is where such a technology is really lacking – for the desktop we still have Flash. Not the best solution, but we can live with it. For mobile developers have nothing to work with.

20 months later, WebRTC got to the tipping point in mobile, where porting it to iOS or Android was no longer a serious challenge. In 2014, we have seen many mobile applications and services adopting WebRTC: Gruveo, Talko, Wire and Switch.co to name a few.

Today, there are many different approaches to get WebRTC to work inside a mobile application – each with its own advantages and challenges. I took the time this last December, when Europe and the US shutdown for Christmas, and dived deeper into this specific area. Going through relevant posts, analyzing various options and talking to vendors who took the plunge towards mobile. The result is this report.

If you are thinking of adding WebRTC to your mobile application or need to learn this domain, then this report is for you.

UPDATE: This report is kinda old and irrelevant now. If you wish to get WebRTC on mobile and have questions, contact me directly.

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