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July 17, 2013

Chrome Beta for Android Receives WebRTC Support

It's not too surprising that Google has been on the ball in terms of WebRTC support. After all, the company open sourced the Web-based, real-time communications technology back in May 2011. A little over a year later, in November 2012, WebRTC made its way to a final build of Google's desktop browser, Chrome, in version 23. However, WebRTC support for the mobile version of Chrome has taken a little longer.

The wait is now over, though as Google has brought WebRTC support to Android devices via Chrome — although not through the stable Chrome app, but rather the Chrome beta channel.

This new update, version 29 of Chrome beta for Android, indeed adds support for WebRTC to the browser, which should enable Web-based voice calling, video chat and file sharing from directly within the Chrome beta app. As such, if you're able to run the beta build of Chrome on your Android device, you should be able to test out mobile-to-PC or mobile-to-mobile browser-based video chatting right now.

Image via Android Police

The Chrome beta channel was launched in January of this year and is available only to Android devices running version 4.0 or greater. The app allows users to check out the latest features Chrome has to offer on Android, but often at the cost of speed and reliability. That said, since the Chrome beta app also receives the latest performance improvements, many users have reported generally superior speed as compared to the stable Chrome app.

Indeed, Chrome beta 29 also features faster page loading, in addition to "lots of under the hood changes for stability and performance," according to Android Police.

Still, in terms of WebRTC performance, it would be unreasonable to expect flawless performance in this beta state and so users shouldn't rely on this new capability too much. So have fun chatting through your browser on Android, but don't be too surprised if you experience the odd dropped session.

Edited by Rachel Ramsey
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