The official adoption of WebRTC by Apple is great news. As always, the devil is in the details. Before starting the party let’s see Apple’s approach to WebRTC, first and foremost not making it part of their walled garden and second in areas related to interoperability related to APIs, ORTC vs. WebRTC 1.0, codecs support and HW acceleration.
Give VoIP calls the same priority as operator telephony calls is a strategic decision of Apple to pull the rug out from under the operators’ user experience advantage. As OTT VoIP and operator calls are made equal on iOS10 users will become more indifferent as to which service to use. It makes the embedding of telephony in business communications and collaboration services more natural.
There are 2 main decision criteria for choosing a video codec – technical and business. Tsahi touched the technical part in his post. While I’ll get a bit into the technical aspects as well, in this post I also want to cover some of the business considerations. Let’s put one thing behind us. The difference between H.264 and VP8 from quality perspective is more of a religion than anything else.
WiFi calling is an operator feature where calls are diverted from the cellular network to a local WiFi network. It is important to recognize the fact that WiFi calling is not OTT application calling and these 2 are not interchangeable. Users want to have both. The introduction of Project Fi by Google is a significant threat to MVNOs and Operators.
Anyone who regularly uses VoIP mobile applications has experienced the mobile application priority issue before. This happened to me again last week, I was on Skype (Desktop), other person Skype on mobile, he got a cellular call coming in. Then the magic happened, I was put on hold without any warning and reconnected only once he disconnected the cellular call.
Last week Apple posted a new position on their job board with the title: WebKit Media Engineer – WebRTC (see below full job post). Now that looks like great news. Maybe Apple is working towards adding WebRTC to the Safari browser for iOS and OS X. Before we open the champagne bottle let’s take a closer look at this one.