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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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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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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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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TokBox Extends Reach of Interactive Broadcast to Millions

OpenTok Interactive Broadcast APILast 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.

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Introducing Video Chat Embed: Easiest Way to Demo the OpenTok Platform

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”.

OpenTok Video Chat Embed setupMake 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.

 

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What to do with all these (get)Stats?

tokbox-inc_markMany 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.

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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.

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