Things to Consider Before Choosing The Best Video Calling APIs and SDKs

We all love videos. It gives us the power to establish a connection with family and friends. And the demand for conferencing tools has never been greater.  That’s why creating an app with a video feature seems promising. Of course, you’ll most likely need a solid video calling API for incorporating video chats on both web and mobile apps. But what solution to choose?

If you are a start-up owner or CTO, working for a worldwide in-house center, find some helpful information here. Let’s get started!

What are SDKs and APIs? 

If some of our readers need to be tech-savvy in terms of programming language, here’s a concise explainer.

An SDK is a set of tools that makes building apps more accessible. Imagine your developers wrote their code from scratch for every app feature. It would be extremely time-consuming and tedious! This is where SDKs come in – with tools like libraries (pieces of code), visual editors (e.g. graphical layout elements), debuggers, and APIs.

An API is an interface allowing different types of software to communicate with each other and exchange data.

Simply put, an API provides a technical infrastructure helping various tools to work together – in our case – for building the video calling feature.

Need for Video Call API and SDK

The Software As A Service market has constantly been evolving and being reinforced with new players. And it’s precisely self-service APIs that drive this market.

The reasons video call APIs and SDKs are in high demand are twofold:

Faster software delivery

The tools dramatically simplify the process of building multi-platform real-time video chats. The robust video chat APIs are easy and quick to implement with low latency. As a rule, using them also means you’ll have fewer bugs.

Saving resources (workforce, money)

With a suitable video call API and SDK, developers can focus on building your app instead of becoming experts in creating specific chat solutions.

You must add a video chat to your website.  Some basic video calling integration procedures might take a few hours while building your communication tool could require a couple of months.

If you need any help with integrating a video solution into your app, feel free to contact us, and we’ll do our best to assist you.

 Increase productivity 

Best video call APIs and SDKs are self-sufficient in terms of most functionalities. This capacity allows developers to focus on what is more important. In addition, the structure of such APIs and SDKs help maintain customer engagement and increase productivity with increased customer trust.

How does Video Chat work?

The video communication will happen between two clients over Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP). It works using the internet through a series of protocols.

First, a video chat service connected to the internet can send requests to the receiving device. Then, once the person receives the call, the audio and video sent to the device are encoded — which is sent back to the other device.

Video chatting can continue for an extended period if the process is repeated continuously.

Video chat API can direct video calls, file sharing, and audio calls. It will help the communication process go in smooth way. Video chatting has existed for a long time, and new technologies have emerged in front of mobile app developers. If you want to develop the best quality video app, you should first know about different types of APIs. Then, you can achieve the best result in creating the top-rated video chat app.

Video Chat SDK and API Features

To create a rich experience for app users, video calling SDK and API providers usually pack their tools with various features. We’ll list some of them here.

Video conferencing formats: You can implement one-to-one, group chats or large-scale broadcast sessions in your tool.

Screen share: When hopping on a call, users of your app can present their screen, draw on it, etc.

In-App Chat Messages: In a video session, your app users can send data and chat messages to each other.

Live Recording: Your app can have a built-in recording function.

Voice feature options: Chat sessions can be video and voice, voice-only or mixed.

As we’ll see below, the functionality provided by various solutions is the first thing we might pay attention to when choosing a video SDK for Android, iOS, or websites.

Basic consideration for choosing a Video Call API 

Video call APIs are the go-to solution for live video streams because of the several advantages and the advanced features that these platforms offer. However, there are a set of basic requisites in the market that make a Video Call API the most wanted.

Browser complexity

You must handle stopping and starting video streams differently in Chrome vs Safari. Your users will sometimes see “frozen” videos if you don’t.

In video-calling APIs, it is not assumed that low-level APIs take care of these cross-platform issues. On the contrary, a low-level API gives you much control over handling a video call’s audio, video, and user interface, which is suitable for large teams.

On the other hand, browser issues make a higher-level API more appealing if you want to focus strategically on your core product development.

Bandwidth management

Most web browsers and mobile devices automatically update themselves, and app developers must discern video calls.

An example is when Chrome changed its ‘autoplay’ in Chrome and Android. As a result, a lot of websites and apps broke. For example, video calls stopped because Chrome required web pages and apps in order to process video and audio content.

So low-level video calling APIs must fix their apps to be compatible with Google’s changes.

But users of full-featured APIs didn’t have to make any changes. A full-featured API manages your video call’s audio and video elements, so you never have to consider the underlying browser and platform changes.

UI and layout design

Traditional video calling APIs need customers to create the video call user interface.

Full-featured APIs have a drop-in video widget where the UI is taken care of. Additionally, the most flexible full-featured APIs allow you to customize the UI. A fully-featured

  • A flexible, full-featured API has created the UI component that is tested across browsers, and you can use a front-end library to customize the display of this component.
  • You must design and build the microphone selector interface with a lower-level API from scratch.

A higher-level API also updates the UI components as part of taking care of the UI code.

HIPAA compliance

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) sets the standard for sensitive patient data protection.

Any information that can be used to identify a patient is considered protected health information and its usage is controlled by the federal laws HIPAA & HITECH.

COVID has normalized the use of remote healthcare away from doctors’ offices to smartphones and online apps.

And APIs guard the movement of swiftly enabling new health services. APIs protect patients’ data now more than ever.

Ensure you know relevant regulations and compliance requirements when developing your apps. For example, healthcare organizations require Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance for patient personal data privacy.

Security

WebRTC sends encrypted media over secure Datagram Transport Layer Security (DTLS) channels and only permits sending encrypted RTP streams via SRTP. However, WebRTC’s signaling layer should be AES encryption, as well as media servers. For additional security, consider hosting your media servers on-premises. This is an excellent option for organizations seeking maximum control and privacy of their data.

Wrapping Up

A Video Chat API should help your team reach its goals. Therefore, it’s key to be clear about its pros and cons at each step, from the back-end builds; design work, front-end dev; QA across browsers and devices; ongoing maintenance; to new builds. An optimized API alone is a fool-proof API that can contribute to your business goals. If you want to know more about how to employ a Video Chat API for your industry, let us know in the comments and we will help you build a future-ready API for your domain.

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Author Name : Kenny Roy

Digital Strategist and Growth Hacking Specialist worked for both startups & big brands, helped them to build a strong brand presence and achieve growth.