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Real-time Communication Apps: Implement WebRTC with Ionic
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WebRTC allows you to create an app that enables real-time communication between peers. Combining it with Ionic, you can quickly develop two cross-platform apps with access to the device’s features. Find out what you need to know about WebRTC and Ionic combination.
What is WebRTC?
WebRTC is a technology that enables real-time communication on the web. The technology allows to easily stream compressed voice, video or data on the web directly between devices without the need of using browser plugins.
With WebRTC, you can build, for example, video or audio communications apps, live customer support apps, group video chats, and apps to share confidential files, among others. WebRTC is used in many well-known apps like, for example, WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. It’s available on desktop and mobile, for Google Chrome, Safari (11 and superior), Firefox and Opera.
What is more, WebRTC provides fast and secure data exchange. End-to-end encryption between the peers guarantees high security of transmitted data. Therefore, the solution is also perfect for enterprises. WebRTC allows creating a peer-to-peer chatting app that will work without access to the internet. There’s also no need to use plugins or install additional software, so the user experience is excellent.
WebRTC consists of a few APIs and protocols. Working together, they provide secure browser-based apps for real-time peer-to-peer communication. They are written with HTML5 code. To obtain and communicate streaming data, WebRTC uses following APIs:
- MediaStream (to get access to data streams),
- RTCPeerConnection (for audio and video calling) and
- RTCDataChannel (for streaming generic data).
RTCPeerConnection allows communicating the streaming between peers. Although to control the process of signaling (coordinating communication, sending control messages) it needs an additional mechanism. Developers need to choose an appropriate two-way communication channel, like SIP or XMPP.
WebRTC with Cross-platform Apps
WebRTC can be used with both native and cross-platform apps. In most cases, the user won’t notice the difference, and cross-platform apps can be developed a lot faster. There may be a little gap in performance in case of heavy apps or games, but it doesn’t apply to real-time communication apps.
Although to access the device’s features and make the app look and act like a native one, we need to use additional tools. By choosing them wisely, we can make the development process easier and create our apps with the use of web technologies.
What is Ionic?
The framework offers a rich set of elements and icons that look and feel exactly like native ones. The newest Ionic 4 is also framework agnostic. Therefore, we can create our app with Angular, React, Preact or Vue, and even with no framework at all. What is more, Ionic is built on the top of Cordova, so the access to native device’s features is smooth and comfortable.
Why Ionic and WebRTC Is the Perfect Combination?
WebRTC allows us to create a real-time communication app with the highest security level, excellent sound quality, effective and not interrupted streaming. With the right tools, like RxJS library and XState library, the code maintains clean, and the app is predictable. The ICE technique allows obtaining the fastest possible connection between peers. WebRTC is the most convenient technology for creating real-time communication apps.
On the other hand, Cordova provides easy access to native device’s features, which is essential in that kind of apps, and the Ionic Framework serves to build native-like UI. Since Ionic is built on the top of Cordova, with that one framework, we can manage both things. The development is faster and more comfortable, and we obtain real-time communication apps for Android and iOS with just one code.
Create Your App with WebRTC and Ionic
WebRTC and Ionic are excellent tools to create mobile apps for real-time communication. At Appstronauts, we have experience in creating WebRTC apps, and we will gladly share it with you! Kindly send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org with a short description of your project. Our developers are ready to help.
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