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Digium joins rivals in providing WebRTC mobile app tools

Digium introduces WebRTC mobile app development tools. The communications tech vendor joins a host of companies bringing WebRTC to mobile devices.

Communications technology company Digium has joined a host of other vendors in releasing tools for building WebRTC voice and video calling into a mobile app.

Digium's Respoke mobile software development kit (SDK), released this week, also includes tools for building in instant messaging and pushing notifications from the app to the smartphone's home screen. The SDK is for devices running Google Android or Apple iOS.

In general, the SDK lets developers build user interfaces (UI) on top of the application programming interfaces (APIs) that deliver Digium's communication services. The SDK is available at no charge under an open source license. Companies pay for the services.

For Digium customers, the SDK reduces the UI development time from weeks to days, according to the vendor. The general design of the UI matches that of the Respoke JavaScript library used to build communication services in Web apps accessed through a PC.

Digium is one of many communication vendors providing WebRTC mobile app tools. WebRTC (Web Real-Time Communications) is an open source project centered on providing technology to embed voice, text and video communication capabilities in PC browsers.

WebRTC development shifts to mobile devices

Use of WebRTC has shifted to mobile apps as smartphones have become the computing device of choice for many corporate workers. In the second quarter, smartphone sales increased nearly 11% from the same period a year ago, according to Framingham, Massachusetts-based research firm IDC. On the other hand, PC sales have been declining for several years.

As a result, communication technology vendors have been leveraging WebRTC to get services into mobile devices. But whether a set of tools fits a company's mobile communication plans "really depends on the vendor," said WebRTC consultant Tsahi Levent-Levi.

Development approaches can be quite different, Levent-Levi said. Some vendors, for example, provide mobile-only services, while others treat mobile as a desktop extension.

In 2014, vendors reached a tipping point where development tools hitting the market removed many of the difficulties of using WebRTC in a mobile app, Levent-Levi said in a recent report.

Digium rivals that have released WebRTC development tools include TokBox, Twilio and Tropo, which was acquired by Cisco Systems Inc. in May.

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