When deploying a multi-platform software solution, getting adoption for mobile apps might be the toughest challenge. Embedding messaging and meeting into your mobile apps helps a lot, it makes the experience much more engaging and improve the stickiness. But you also want consistency across devices. Web applications that work well on a desktop browser may result in a subpar user experience when used on a mobile device. For example, there could be students attending virtual classes or patients connecting to remote healthcare consultations through a third-party app, where some users join from a tablet or other mobile device, and others on a laptop. In these kinds of scenarios, having the flexibility to program a mobile app that keeps a consistent user experience with web and desktop apps is crucial.
We know developers have asked Webex for more flexibility in our mobile SDKs and we heard it loud and clear! As such, we have refactored and modernized our Webex Android and iOS SDKs to bring all-new unified mobile SDKs, that are more powerful and efficient. We now will be able to deliver new features into the mobile SDKs at an unprecedented pace – starting with a few big ones that will be highlighted here. The increase in feature velocity will be mainly due to the Unified Mobile SDKs now sharing the same codebase as the Webex mobile app. Thanks to this shared foundation, whenever a new feature is rolled-out to the Cisco Webex mobile app, expect it to be made available in the SDK soon thereafter.
With the foundations unification comes also the combination of much more features. Developers of third-party apps can embed Webex messaging, Webex meetings and now – Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) calling capabilities. This new calling feature permits a mobile app to register with the customer on-premise CUCM deployment and embed softphone functionality inside the native app interface. With CUCM calling workflows handled right there, users will no longer need to jump over to another app to make and control calls. All the same calling capabilities from the Webex client can now be part of your app. End-users can dial, put on-hold, resume, transfer, add a participant into a video conference, and much more even when on internet. Mobile remote access allows calls without the need for a VPN.
Another great feature being introduced to the new mobile SDKs is multi-stream video support. Now apps can display several individual video streams independently, giving developers more flexibility on how they render the participant windows, to optimize for smaller screens on mobile devices. The SDK gives the choice between the previous composited view, where a single speaker is the prominent video and the participant videos are overlaid on top, or the new multi-streaming views, for custom sized participant video windows, tailored for your desired mobile interface. For example, an app can keep the largest video window for the main speaker (such as a teacher) but have smaller windows for the other participants around the educational content.
For user interactions before or after the meeting, we have also improved messaging in the new Webex mobile SDKs, which is now on a more robust and speedier infrastructure. Besides the overall performance enhancements, the ability for users to edit their own messages within an SDK-built application is now included.
The new Unified Mobile SDKs not only benefits the end user of Webex empowered apps – developers will also enjoy building with the latest version of our toolkit. There are a couple of other great enhancements to note particularly. First, SQLite is now bundled for automatic data caching. This is great for apps that have a lot of data that must sorted in diverse ways, as it is often easier to load the data into an SQLite cache rather than to try to code the same operations manually. Second, the mobile SDKs now support Kotlin for Android, joining Swift support for iOS. Kotlin facilitates highly efficient development by cutting down the number of lines of code and streamlining various methods, making life a little easier.
Watch the success two developers have had using Webex APIs/SDKs:
To get going with the Webex Unified Mobile SDKs, the best place to start is the Webex for Developers portal, and discover how easy it is start embedding Webex into mobile business applications.
To make things even easier, we created open-source apps that developers can inspect, draw inspiration from, or utilize as templates.
If developers have previously created Webex empowered mobile apps with an earlier SDK version, we created a very helpful migration guides to help the app transition smoothly to the new SDK.
In any case, we are always here to help and eager to hear from developers! Our experts are standing by waiting to assist with any questions, feedback or issues that make come up.
Join us for a live demo session hosted by the Webex team to see it in action!
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