Introducing Automatic Reconnection on the OpenTok Platform

tokbox-inc_markMobile applications are rapidly becoming the primary channel through which people get things done. At the same time, user experience expectations for mobile applications far exceed expectations for applications delivered through other channels. Users expect value, ease of use and a delightful experience, but too often their expectations are not met.  This is only exasperated in applications with a real-time communication component. Our customers are not immune to this trend; an increasing number of them are building applications with a mobile-first strategy and it is becoming a significant part of the traffic that we see on our platform. In fact, more than 60% of the traffic we see on OpenTok is from customers using our Mobile SDKs.

Not so long ago mobile networks were considered incapable of handling real-time video. High-speed networks coupled with high-end mobile devices have made the mobile-first strategy possible for real-time video. While end-users will most definitely welcome the push for mobile, this brings forth unique challenges for application developers and RTC platform providers like TokBox. The most critical and challenging amongst these is providing consistent Quality of Experience(QoE) on mobile end-points that may have cellular or WiFi connections, and may switch between the two.  There can be significant bandwidth variability particularly when end-users are on the move.

The network dynamics described above are not under our control however we want to do everything that we can to shield application developers from the challenges of the mobile networks. Building mobile apps must not be an exercise completely left to the developer; with the OpenTok platform, developers can take advantage of a robust set of capabilities to deliver reliable, consistent Quality of Experience (QoE) for truly global, truly mobile applications.  

In that spirit we have added support for Automatic Reconnections on the OpenTok platform. Your client can now automatically reconnect to OpenTok sessions after drops in network connectivity or transitions between network interfaces such as Wi-Fi and LTE, allowing you to expand the duration of the communication and provide a better QoE to your customers. The feature kicks in automatically without need for any additional code. Events are dispatched when client disconnects and reconnects to enable developers to add a suitable user experience to handle the interruption caused while reconnecting audio and video. For sample code that demonstrates the use of these events, refer this repo on GitHub

Please refer developer documentation for additional information.