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February 06, 2013

A Conversation Between Chrome and Firefox

By David Gitonga
TMCnet Contributing Writer

For the first time Chrome and Mozilla (News - Alert) Firefox browsers can talk to each other. How, you ask? WebRTC, the new technology that brings high definition video communication to the browser, makes all this possible. From the very beginning, WebRTC has been a joint effort among software companies and has been embraced by the open Web community right from its inception. This new milestone proves just how collaboration can enhance existing software tools.

According to the Mozilla blog, the WebRTC RTCPeerConnection interoperability was as a result of a joint collaboration between engineers at Google (News - Alert), Mozilla and the open Web community. This interoperability feature now means that developers can create Firefox WebRTC applications that allow direct video and audio calls to chrome WebRTC apps, all of this without a third-party plug-in install. The functionality is now built-in right within the browsers which should further simplify the work of the developers.

WebRTC is seen as a vision towards interoperability for a truly open, real-time way of communication on the Web. Implementations of WebRTC, since its launch, have shown its capabilities to share almost anything with simple drag-n-drop functionalities into the video chat window. By integrating web-based communication across browsers, we can expect more adoption from the open Web community, which should see the success of this relatively new platform.

In order to truly show how fun and interesting this cross-browser functionality can be, Mozilla made their first official call to the Google team using WebRTC. The conversation between Chrome and Firefox shows a clear, crisp and encrypted call that is taking place behind firewalls.

To try it yourself. You will need Chrome 25 Beta and Firefox Nightly for Desktop. On Firefox, navigate to “about:config” and set the “media.peerconnection.enabled” preference to “true.” From here all you have to do is head over to the WebRTC demo site and start calling.

If this is a little technical for you, don’t worry. You can be sure that we will start seeing a whole class of apps that you can use for making WebRTC calls in no time.

Edited by Amanda Ciccatelli


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