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.
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.
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?”
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.
Across many industries and use cases, developers on the OpenTok platform are creating live video applications that enable life changing experiences. Whether it is doctor-patient care, online tutoring, high-touch customer service, team collaboration, social interactions, or interactive broadcasting, developers are bringing people together worldwide in ways that were not previously possible.
Our customers are building their businesses on the OpenTok Platform. To meet the needs of increasingly sophisticated applications we’re introducing additional server-side REST APIs that give developers more dynamic control over the OpenTok Platform — the Session Management and Account Management APIs.
Today 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.
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
On Saturday March 11th, TokBox joined Ziggeo to co-host the third annual Video Hack Day at General Assembly in New York City. The one-day hackathon event saw creative web and mobile developers from the New York area and beyond come together and use the latest video technologies to rapidly build innovative and exciting applications.
By all accounts, the event was a resounding success, with over 100 ‘hackers’ submitting projects that ranged from highly practical civic solutions to online dance party platforms (which is not to say that dance isn’t practical). With a tight window of around 10 hours to complete a fully demo-able product, the participating teams were pushed to their limit, and the results were more than impressive.
Last year TokBox introduced the OpenTok Interactive Broadcast API. Ours became the first platform to marry the real-time capability of WebRTC with the reach of HTTP Live Streaming (HLS). The Interactive Broadcast API is helping our customers build large-scale interactive video experiences including live online auctions, Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), webinars, social apps and more.
Over the past 6 months we’ve continued to innovate in the broadcast space, pushing the boundaries of performance while ensuring massive scale. Today we’re proud to announce major enhancements to our Interactive Broadcast API.
At TokBox we’re always trying to find ways to improve your development experience. We pride ourselves on offering clear documentation, helpful tutorials and tools to accelerate the integration of OpenTok. We don’t plan on stopping there.
Now, with the Video Chat Embed, you can take your proof of concept from zero to sixty with a simple copy and paste.
Why is this so powerful? As the market and demand for live video communications grows, two trends are emerging. First, developers with varied coding skill levels want to build with WebRTC. Second, developers want to be able to show off a proof of concept quickly. Enter the Video Chat Embed.
To get started simply login to your TokBox account, click “Video Chat Embeds” in the left navigation and “Create New Embed”.
Make a few configuration choices for your Video Chat Embed – specify what size you would like the frame to be and what website your project will be embedded into. We’ll then generate code for you that can be added to your website in a matter of minutes.
Many of our partners eventually find themselves asking how to tell whether their users tend to experience good quality while using the OpenTok Platform. As time has taught us, this can be a difficult question to answer. The most common source of complaints stem from underwhelming audio/video (A/V) quality between endpoints. These complaints are nearly always rooted in issues with performance of the endpoint network. The correlation between network performance and A/V quality has been accepted as an industry standard. In fact, we have built tools to expose network performance data, as a proxy indicator of subjective quality. While objective data about a network may be easy to collect, it is much more difficult to assign a number to represent the quality of experience that a user subjectively experiences.