Posted by: Tim Bell Comments: 0

Saying Goodbye to the Google+ Hangouts API? Say Hello to WebRTC

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Do you have any applications using the Google+ Hangouts API? If so, here is an important update.

Google recently announced that the Hangouts API is no longer going to be supported. On April 25 2017, most applications using the Hangouts API will stop working, and new ones can no longer be built with the API.

There are some exceptions. The Control Room, Toolbox and Cameraman API based functions will continue to operate with the Google+ Hangouts API after April 25. The API will also continue to work for particular clients such as Dialpad and RingCentral.

Does this mean Google Hangouts is going away?

Hangouts will not disappear — at least not yet. According to TechCrunch, Google plans to keep Hangouts for use in enterprise communications settings. However, the new version of Hangouts will contain fewer options for innovation. There will be no access to an API for Hangouts. Over the next few months, expect Google to start pushing its new video calling service, Duo, to consumers.

In an email to developers, Google explained that the Google+ Hangouts API “was originally intended to support social scenarios for consumer users as part of Google+, whereas Hangouts is turning to focus on enterprise use cases.”

What’s the best course of action?

Unfortunately, developers don’t have much time to switch applications over to a new API to replace Hangouts. April 25 will be here before we know it. If you need to switch to a different service, this is not something you want to hold off any longer.

One option to consider is a solution based on the new Web Real-time Communications (WebRTC) standard. WebRTC is an open source set of APIs and codecs that enable direct, browser-to-browser communication using peer-to-peer architecture. This technology is part of what Hangouts is built upon. However, WebRTC is just a library and not an API service platform. To fully utilize WebRTC, you must build the APIs and infrastructure to support a communications service.

Temasys Communications is a Platform as a Service (PaaS) provider that specializes in WebRTC. Our APIs and SDKs for the Web, iOS and Android make it easy and fast for developers to add real-time communications features to their web or mobile applications. We also manage all the infrastructure needed to support those apps, in the cloud.

Need more flexibility to go beyond peer-to-peer? Temasys offers options for access to TURN services, and other features that extend the basic capabilities of pure WebRTC, including Selective Forwarding (SFU) and Multipoint Control Unit (MCU) capabilities for multi-party calling, recording and archiving services.

With Temasys, developers can truly embed real-time communications in any app, on any device, at any scale.

Ready to take your app beyond the Google+ Hangouts API? Let’s talk. To get started, click here.

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