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.

Availability

First we need to note that Apple has made Safari 11 available to Apple developers first via developer.apple.com. The release of Safari 11 and general availability will not happen until the later this year. As such, you have a few months to test and get ready before your end-users will be able to use it.

Limitations

Apple have done a great job bringing a complex and powerful system such as WebRTC to Safari both on desktop and mobile devices. However, as it is just the first version there are a number of limitations that need to be noted. The first is the lack of VP8 codec support. This provides an interoperability challenge with older applications and potentially devices too. We are in the process of updating our platform and SDKs to fully support the H.264 codec. Interoperability between OpenTok based mobile applications and the Safari 11 browser will require an SDK update for the devices. Another limitation to note is the lack of screen-sharing support. While a participant on a video call using Safari 11 will not be able to share their screen, they will be able to see the screen shared by a participant using a different browser.

How to get started

We have set up a special environment on the OpenTok platform to allow you to evaluate Safari 11 and test your web applications while waiting for Apple to launch the new browser to general availability. This evaluation environment will initially support Safari 11, Chrome and Firefox, but we will be expanding the number of endpoints during the beta period. To use this evaluation environment, go to your account in the TokBox Account Portal and create a “Safari Beta” project. In addition you will need to use the 2.12 beta version of our JavaScript SDK in your application.

Conclusion

Safari 11 on iPhones and iPads means that end-users no longer need to download an application in order to experience high quality video chat. The elimination of this friction opens up a number of new uses cases in the area of retail, collaboration and customer support. We are excited to see what you build!

Learn more.