There is an increasing demand for video chat apps nowadays. More importantly, many apps try to integrate video chat functions into their existing applications. All this makes us wonder: what is the technology used in video chat apps?
After all, building a video chat app is no simple deal. It has to go through a number of steps and subsections. Almost all these steps are required when someone wants to integrate video chat functions into an existing app. If you are as curious as we are, you are at the right place.
In this article, we have talked about the core technologies that developers use to build video chat apps and websites. Before we talk about the technologies in video chat apps, we should have an idea about the various types of video chat apps.
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Different Types of Video Chat Apps
Here are the three major types of video chat apps and websites that you can find.
Video Conferencing Apps
These apps are made for video conferencing needs, involving more than a few people. The best examples in this category would be Zoom, Google Meet, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc. Depending on the situation, these apps can accommodate tens, hundreds, or thousands of people. As a result, these apps require a high-end infrastructure on the front-end and back-end. For instance, they must be able to process data from multiple sources and streamline them into a single meeting event.
Video Calling Apps
These apps are made for video calls between two people or between a small group of people. The suitable examples from the category would be WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple FaceTime, etc. As you know, even though these apps have group video chat capabilities, the maximum number of users is very limited. It does not cross 50 in most cases. Therefore, video calling apps do not require such a big infrastructure. Having said that, these apps may need additional infrastructure for increased video quality.
Community apps are different from the other categories in that they are made for entertainment purposes. The best example would be Discord, Houseparty, and Rave. These apps let people engage in casual talks and streaming without requiring technical knowledge. Because streaming is involved, community video apps and websites will need additional APIs and feature hubs. At the end of the day, entertainment should be stable and smooth, right?
Now that you know the different types of video chat apps, we shall check which technologies power these apps on a regular basis.
Which is the Technology Used in Video Chat Apps?
Unfortunately, a single answer is not available for this question. You see, video chat apps are made for many Operating Systems and platforms. For instance, some apps are designed to work on Android or iOS, whereas others have web clients as well. Based on these needs, the technology being used will also change. Let’s look at some examples now.
A typical video chat app with a standard set of features will use the following stack for development:
- Swift, Java, or Kotlin as the core programming language
- MySQL or Oracle for database management and communication
- Amazon S3 or EC 2 for cloud resource allocation and management
- Node.js and Spark as the core frameworks
- Last but not least, WebRTC, RTP, and RTMP as the streaming protocols
Probably the most important technology on the list would be WebRTC, which is the streaming protocol. The protocol plays an important role in enabling data transfer over the internet. There are some technologies to control and optimize the data resource consumption as well.
Device-Specific Stack to Build Video Chat Apps
For instance, if you want to build a video chat app for iOS, you have to use
- Swift as the programming language
- Apple Code as the toolkit
- iOS SDK as the SDK
- WebRTC for streaming protocol
- Additional SDKs and APIs like OpenTok and Twilio
On the other hand, if you want to build the same app on Android, you need
- Java or Kotlin as the programming languages
- Android Studio toolkit
- Android SDK as the Core SDK
- WebRTC as the streaming protocol
In addition to these, multiple technologies are used to set up the UI/UX design of the video chat app. Without a good UI/UX, a video app would not become popular.
By the way, you always have an option to integrate a third-party API into your application instead of creating a video chat app from scratch.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to build a video chat app?
The cost of building a video chat app depends on a number of factors. First, we have to consider for which platforms you are building the app. For instance, if you are building an app for iOS devices, you have to pay a considerable amount to get it published. On the other hand, if you want to create a simple website, it will not be costly. Second, the size of infrastructure would vary based on the load your app needs to handle. Third, depending on the features required, developer costs will also be high or low.
What are the types of video chat apps?
There are mainly three types of video chat apps that you can check: video conferencing apps, video chatting apps, and community apps. These categories require different levels of expertise and development.
What technology is used in video calling?
WebRTC is the most common technology used for video calling. It is a video-based streaming protocol that can make video calling possible.
Is it possible to develop a video chat application for a website?
Yes, it can be done quite easily. If you do not want to develop the video chat application from scratch, you can always integrate an API to get the job done. It can help you save money as well.
The Bottom Line
We hope you have an idea about the technologies used in video chat apps right now. Even though the specific answer keeps varying, you can spot some common tools like WebRTC and HTML5. We should also mention that the costs and efforts for creating these apps are decreasing day by day.