Plugin-free Video Conferencing Now in Chrome Beta Android
Google is growing ever so closer in bringing the Chrome desktop experience to Android. The company said that the latest browser beta release for the mobile platform now supports WebRTC and the Web Audio API. That means web developers can create real-time communications applications that can be used within the Chrome browser on Android devices without the need for a plugin.
"WebRTC enables real-time communication such as video-conferencing in the browser," the Chrome team said on Tuesday. "It consists of three independent components: getUserMedia, which provides access to the user’s webcam and microphone; PeerConnection, which sets up calls with the ability to traverse NATs and firewalls; and DataChannels, which establishes peer-to-peer data communication between browsers."
These three features have resided in Chrome for Desktop for quite some time, but now they're also baked into the latest beta for Chrome on Android. Developers essentially have a whole new audience based on smartphones and tablets that can access the same apps they've developed for Chrome on desktop. Watching Google's I/O presentation and making calls within the browser are just two examples.
The new features in Google's Chrome beta, which is located on Google Play here, is one step closer to bringing a unified experience across multiple form factors and operating systems. Video conferences using a browser and no additional-plugins or space-eating stand-alone apps, even on a smartphone, is a huge step forward. It will be interesting to see what developers do with these new tools.