The OpenTok Platform, Now for Safari 11 in Beta

OpenTok.js SDK with support for Safari 11 in beta

NEWS: In the San Francisco Bay area? Come to our Developer Workshop on WebRTC in Safari on June 22 @6pm.

Today we’re rolling out an exciting new beta – the OpenTok.js SDK 2.12. With this release developers can begin building beta projects that are compatible with Safari 11. That’s right, WebRTC is available in Safari in beta.

Given the large number of devices running the Safari browser, this not only provides broader device reach for TokBox customers once it releases to general availability, but introduces a new set of use cases for browser based video chat on iPhones and iPads. On Monday our CEO Scott Lomond wrote about what this development means for WebRTC. Our goal today is to help you understand how you can start leveraging the OpenTok platform and WebRTC in the Safari beta.

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Why We’re Excited About WebRTC Support in iOS 11 and Safari

WebRTC support in iOS 11 and Safari

NEWS: In the San Francisco Bay area? Come to our Developer Workshop on WebRTC in Safari on June 22 @6pm.

I’ve been waiting a long time to be able to publish this blog post. It was easy to miss, but if you were paying close attention to today’s WWDC keynote you would have seen Apple indicating WebRTC support for iOS 11, which will be available later in the year.

From the early days of WebRTC in 2011 until yesterday, the single biggest outstanding question about this standard had been when will it be supported in all major browsers? Supporters could see that WebRTC was loaded with the potential to change how we use communications, but there was always that lingering sense that WebRTC wouldn’t cross over to the mainstream and be used for mission critical applications until it was supported by all browsers. With today’s iOS 11 announcement, Apple has answered this question. WebRTC is here to stay. This is a major turning point for embedded communications.

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New Release: OpenTok iOS, Android & JS 2.11

We are excited to announce the release of the OpenTok 2.11 Client SDKs which were released recently. 

What’s New?

  • Audio tuning API – We have added the ability to set the desired audio bitrate across our client SDKs. OpenTok.js has also added the ability to turn off Automatic Gain Control and Echo cancellation. This is important for certain use-cases like listening to heartbeats which we blogged about recently.
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New Custom Layout Controls for Content Creators

In addition to powering live video experiences, TokBox is also in the business of making it simple to create content. Whether it’s for a social live stream that is delivered to millions of viewers, or a webinar recorded for post-event distribution, the OpenTok platform makes it possible. 

There is no one-size-fits-all video layout that accommodates this wide range of use cases. You wouldn’t use the same UI/UX for a broadcast app as you would a customer service app, right? Developers using our platform need adequate control and flexibility to create UI/UX optimized for their experience. 

For this reason, we’re excited to release new REST APIs to customize video layout for content creators using the Archiving API and Broadcast API for HLS & RTMP. Now developers using these two features can create a custom layout using CSS, or select one of the following prebuilt layouts:

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Google I/O: Kotlin for Android will Simplify User Experience Development

At Google I/O 17 this week, Google unveiled one of the most important Android developer announcements in recent years. There is now an official alternative to Java for Android app development, and that alternative is called Kotlin.

TokBox powers live video experiences within Android applications and we are pleased for this new choice that will make it easier and safer to produce compelling real-time experiences for customers. So in this blog we explore the benefits of Kotlin for app developers, and how Kotlin can be used with the OpenTok Android SDK.

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Build with the OpenTok Platform Starting at $9.99/month

Build with the OpenTok Platform Starting at $9.99/month

Today we’re announcing the reduction of our minimum monthly fee from $50 to just $9.99. This rate includes your first 2,000 subscribed minutes. If you have an application that uses 2,000 minutes or less per month, you’ll save $40 per month with this change.

As the market for live video continues to grow, we want to make sure that the OpenTok platform is accessible to developers and organizations large and small, across the globe. We learned that $50 can be a barrier to entry for developers who are just testing, startups that are in prolonged trials before launch, or are in emerging markets.

We aren’t changing the underlying starting rate of $.005 per subscribed minute. Our goal with this update is to open the door to a broader audience and provide an accessible entry price point. For existing customers this pricing update will be effective for your account as of May 2, 2017. Your next bill will automatically reflect this new rate retroactively – no action is required on your part. 

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The Pre-call Test: Our New Performance Diagnostic Tool

Pre-call Test - OpenTok platform

A new tool to test connectivity, expected call quality, client hardware, and client software

Whether you’re in the healthcare industry or have a social app, it’s likely you’ve had difficulties gathering diagnostic data from end-users. There are components beyond live video and basic app errors that can trip up an experience – network performance, low quality devices and more. In addition, the huge diversity among users’ system configurations means that there is no one-size fits all cause for errors.

We believe a big part of our job as your live video platform provider is to give you the tools you need to understand (in advance) call performance. That’s why we’re excited to introduce the new and improved Pre-call Test (formerly known as the Connectivity Doctor). Using network condition data, the new Pre-call Test tool will help you preemptively diagnose problems that your end-users may encounter as a result of poor connectivity. It will help you answer important questions like, “will my application work where it needs to?” and “what will the call quality be?”

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Building a Snapchat-like app with WebRTC in the browser

Building a Snapchat-like app with WebRTC in the browser

In light of the recent Snapchat IPO I thought it would be interesting to see whether it is possible to build a Snapchat-like app using WebRTC in a browser. The good news is that thanks to some new features in modern browsers (Firefox and Chrome) the answer to that question is yes!

To see a demo of my app running go to http://aullman.github.io/snapchat-killer . You can see the source code at https://github.com/aullman/snapchat-killer

Note: this app only really works properly on Chrome and Firefox for the Desktop.

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Introducing the Windows SDK for the OpenTok Platform

Windows SDK for the OpenTok PlatformToday we’re rolling out our new Windows SDK into public-beta. This means that you can build live video applications and services that work seamlessly across iOS, Android, Web and Windows desktops, laptops, and tablets. With this, TokBox is continuing to broaden our endpoint flexibility for our customers and partners.

SDK Features

The Windows SDK has all the great features that you’ve come to expect from the OpenTok Platform. In addition to being fully interoperable with all our existing client SDKs, it also includes support for:

  • C# API for Windows C# developers
  • .NET 4.6.1
  • OS versions: Windows 7, Windows 8.x and Windows 10
  • x86 and x64 architectures
  • Custom video capturer
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