This may be the most important new development in browsers in the 21st century. Jonny Evans on Apple’s entry into WebRTC:
WebRTC is a standard that supports browser-based real-time communication. Originally developed by Google the standard is now managed by the W3C. WebRTC enables browser-to-browser applications for voice calling, video chat, and file sharing without the need for any external plug-ins, other than a compatible browser. Another way to put it is that WebRTC will be another big nail in the coffin of that ghastly Flash “standard” that currently despoils online “experiences”. Disruptive Analysis believes WebRTC support will be built into over 6 billion devices by 2019
Is that a good thing?
Light up the hallways, shoot your fireworks, dance skip down the streets of your towns – each time a reason to use Flash disappears the world becomes a very slightly better place. WebRTC will share video at better quality (and eventually at lower bandwidth) than possible using Flash. Soon Flash will be shown up for what it is, a second-rate advertising medium.
Uh oh. Peer-to-peer advertising, meet the 21st century.
In theory at least WebRTC makes it possible to embed audio and visual communications in browsers without need for any plugins. At its simplest this suggests that any device, platform or wearable solution capable of running a Web browser may become a collaborative tool. This opens up opportunities for multi-user Web meetings across platforms and devices at low or very low bandwidth requirements. Anyone who has ever been involved in a critical online meeting will recognize just how useful that can be.
Peer-to-peer communication within a browser window. It’s like FaceTime, Skype, and texting all within the browser.