WebRTC Expert Feature

January 09, 2014

Devices - A 2013 Review & 2014 Outlook

I always find it interesting when someone puts together an infographic. In this case, RubyMedia put together the infographic at the bottom of this article for FinancesOnline about devices in 2013.  In a number of categories (smartphone, tablet, Laptops, other devices) the infographic tries to identify the 2013 winner, contender, clunker, and potential game changer.  As I looked at this with a WebRTC viewpoint, it occurred to me that there were a couple of messages to take away.

For those with a WebRTC interest, this infographic shows the challenges related to Apple not being truly committed since the choices from a device winner in the smartphone, tablet, and PC category were all Apple devices.

 While Android devices were contenders in both the smartphone and tablet categories, the Laptop category emphasized the importance of Windows.

Both of these illustrate an issue that, outside of the WebRTC community, the view of Apple and Microsoft as dominant platforms continues unabated.  While obvious that the Windows world can use Chrome or Firefox browsers to get WebRTC, the reality is that this requires a user who is knowledgeable enough to understand that they must venture beyond the native IE browser. 

 In a recent WebRTC Outlook survey conducted by WebRTC World, the largest barrier to WebRTC was identified as, "awareness."  This infographic certainly confirms that.

Finally, in the "other gadgets" category, Google Chromecast is identified as the winner.  Congratulations to Google, however, it seems unfortunate that the fact that Chromecast uses WebRTC is not well publicized.  I fully understand that Google is focused on the value delivered on their website, but it would be nice to help drive awareness.

If, awareness is a critical barrier, then we all need to do more to publicize the successes of WebRTC.  In the end, WebRTC will be a technology that operates behind the scenes, no different than HTML, but we need to make developers and product managers of the applications aware of how it can be used to create new value in their applications.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi


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