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March 03, 2016

Twilio Allows Developers to Create Videoconferencing Apps that Connect Web, iOS Devices

Twilio has announced that it is possible for developers to create applications that allow users of web browsers and iOS devices to hold videoconference.

In a blog post, the company demonstrated the ability to create applications for both the Web and iOS using the Python and Swift programming languages.

“Twilio Video makes it easy for you connect the people you care about via video on the devices they already own by coding with the programming language you already know,” Matt Makai wrote in the post.

Python has become popular for web development because of its clean syntax and large numbers of libraries available. Swift is a language developed by Apple that attempts to offer a safer alternative to the Objective-C language initially popular for Mac OS X and iOS development.

All the user needs to develop videoconferencing apps for Twilio is a Python quickstart project, a Twilio account, a Twilio access token generator on the server, and Ngrok to provide a tunnel to the Python server.

The iOS portion of the project requires Apple’s Xcode, the Swift quickstart project and CocoaPods to install Twilio’s video dependences.

The technical details are described in the blog post, but the process involves generating Twilio Video credentials, building the web app with Python and then the iOS app with Swift.

Twilio is focusing on interoperability with this project. The demonstrated web app not only connects Google Chrome, but also Firefox. The web and iOS apps can also hold conferences with each other.

With Twilio, developers could fulfill the promise of WebRTC, creating videoconferencing apps that “just work” regardless of the device or browser the user has.

Python already has had a loyal following for its quick development since its debut in the ‘90s. While Swift is a newcomer, being backed by the maker of the most popular mobile devices already gives it an edge. Regardless of the platform, since many programmers are familiar with these languages, they’ll be able to deploy videoconferencing apps quickly.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi
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