Hookflash for Android – Improved RTC Video Support

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We are always working hard to improve the tools we build for our developer partners and customers. Today we are happy to announce improved support for RTC (Real-time Communications) Video.

We’ve had video for a couple of weeks now but we held off on releasing it due to some lingering issues, until today. We have knocked down a few larger bugs (video and other aspects) in the last week and there are plenty more to come.  The Hookflash android reference app now has video calling capabilities as does the Hookflash / Open Peer android SDK.

 

Android reference app can be found here
iOS reference app can be found here

Developers sign up here

Improved support for Push Notifications on iOS and Android

In this update, notifications become more fluid and work across conversations on both iOS and Android.

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Real-time messaging on mobile requires “suspended application” support for notifying the user that a new message has arrived when the application is not in focus. Receiving a message as part of a conversation is not much good unless the user is aware the message exists. The push notification allows the user to understand that the message has been received when not looking at the application at the time the message arrives. This new release makes greater use of this functionality on both Android and iOS.

Android reference app can be found here.
iOS reference app can be found here.

Developers, add real-time messaging, voice and video to your app today! Sign up for free here: http://fly.hookflash.me/

Hookflash JavaScript API for Cordova / Phonegap on iOS

Today we are happy to announce availability of Hookflash for Cordova / PhoneGap (alpha).

Hookflash for Cordova - iOSNow Cordova / Phonegap developers can leverage the new Hookflash JS API via Open Peer Cordova Plugin to create RTC (Real-time Communications) applications for iOS quickly and easily.

Social identity & custom identity models are supported. Use our OAUTH API to integrate your own identity model.

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Use HTML5 and JavaScript to add messaging, voice and video to existing Phonegap iOS applications, or build something new!

 

Free developer account, no credit card required, sign up here. The Cordova plugin can now be found in the Cordova plugin registry here.  The plugin source is available on Github.

 

Hookflash for Android

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Today we are shipping our android reference app, sdk and sdk sample app, now in alpha.

Our Hookflash SDK for Android is openly available on Github, today we are releasing a new sample app in code and a Hookflash reference app in the Play Store.

We have run preliminary tests between the iOS app in the iTunes App Store and Android app in the Play Store. Messaging & voice works well, video on iOS has been there for some time now. As you can see from the screenshot video still needs a bit of tweaking on android, as so it has been  temporarily disabled in the reference app.

We are looking forward to working with mobile developers on Android now in addition to iOS. Never has it been so easy to create a scalable mobile messenger with RTC (Real-time Communications) features that other messenger platforms would die for! So come and create something cool! Developers, join up and get started for free today!

Not a developer? No problem, we provide a white label service as well. Send us a note with your project ideas.

Most new mobile messenger apps are tied to age old oligopolies

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Name one popular messenger app that has launched in last 2 years that does not ask you for your mobile phone number when signing up. You will be hard pressed to do so. Ok, I might be exaggerating a wee bit but I think you get the point.

If we think about this for a minute it starts to sound a bit odd. New messaging apps mandate that you have a mobile number where you can receive a SMS message so you can join their OTT (Over The Top) community? That’s a bit weird isn’t it? Why not ask them to sign in with identities not tied to a cell phone? Email is certainly more prolific than connected cell phones, right?

So, why is this?

Onboarding is the process used to describe bringing a new user from the discovery process to an active user inside the app/service.

Our smartphone OSs (android, iOS) have made it very easy for devs to take the user’s mobile number and entire address book and upload that to their cloud, which most apps do today. Once in the cloud that data can be used to connect you with others that have done the same thing. Depending on your level of paranoia this can get a bit creepy or you have simply accepted it as the new normal.

To replicate the simplicity of this onboarding process in other forms is not so easy and not near as effective, it would seem.

Other developers defer to the largest social networks as a method for authenticating users, we have done this for our reference apps. Although, there have been plenty of reasons why users may not be interested in signing into your app using their social identity; privacy issues, hijacked accounts to name a couple. Also, why would you as a developer hand over your entire user base to a social network?

Virality is how easily the app spreads through the network.  If the virality of your app hits a point where users are simply adding the app to keep up with their buddies, network effect kicks in, but that generally does not happen for the majority of the apps produced.

SMS messages have a much higher open rate than email and other forms of messaging, for various reasons, which makes SMS a great way to send app invites. It’s also dead easy for the app vendor to enable. If you are on a mobile phone, the dev need not come up with a 3rd party system to send invites, they just use your phone’s own capabilities to send the invites. Less expense for them, open rates increase due to the fact that it looks like its coming from you.

Social messaging has abysmal open rates. Much of the time Social Messages relies on notifications and push messages that are usually ignored or turned off by the user, current company included.

So what options do devs have when creating a messenger app or messenger feature in a app (text messaging, real-time voice or video) where we do not want to rely on phone companies for that initial base of users?

Why not a combination of all the above?

The future lies within federated identity models that allow your users to sign in with whatever ID they prefer and communicate without being pigeon holed into handing over their phone number if they do not feel comfortable doing so.

Developers have their reasons for choosing one ID model versus another, some reasons I have captured in this article. Thankfully, there is no reason to force users into making choices they are not comfortable making. Supporting multiple IDs in a federated model that will allow your LinkedIn authenticated user to communicate with the Phone number authenticated users, exists today.

Imagine a world  where devs can tie custom IDs (your own 3rd party ID model) to social and traditional IDs like phone numbers to electrify a mobile communications paradise. A world where we need not hand the keys of the entire user base over to a social network.

Yep, its real, if you want more information, send us a note we’ll be happy to fill you in.

 

PS. If you feel compelled to weigh in on Net Neutrality and safeguarding the Open Internet, its not too late. Do so here: Email Chairman Tom Wheeler at the FCC, some of the recent comments of the more than 650,000 comments already received.

RTC (Real-time Communications) iOS SDK Update & Hookflash API Pricing

Open Peer - Mobile RTC ToolkitNew releases of Hookflash RTC (real-time communications) mobile toolkits for iOS and Android are now available.

For leading mobile developers, customers and partners; Hookflash mobile toolkits provide an easy, cost effective way to integrate a choice of real-time Text Messaging, High-Quality Voice and Video Chat directly into mobile applications, adding scalable, private, valuable communications functionality for customers and user communities.

“The Hookflash iOS Software Development Kit and accompanying sample app is a stable beta release ready for early customers to integrate into their own apps or to white label.” says Erik Lagerway, Co-founder at Hookflash. “Hookflash Cloud Service beta release is home to more than 275 developers from all across the globe, building interesting and exciting apps ranging from enterprise mobile to banking, gaming and medical applications. I am always excited to hear about how our technology is being leveraged in new ways, it’s what gets me out of bed in the morning!”

Hookflash Mobile Software Development Kits and the Hookflash Cloud Service API are available free of charge (see commercial pricing below) for development, testing and non-commercial purposes (no Credit Card required on signup). If you are a non-profit enterprise organization or recognized charity, contact us, we’d like to help you communicate better for free.

Commercial pricing for the Hookflash Cloud Service API is now also available. See Pricing for details.

Hookflash is setting a new standard in the world of telecommunications; offering API transactional pricing for Voice and Video traffic. Traditionally, until now, Voice and Video calls have been charged on a metered, per minute basis. The Hookflash pricing model provides what leading developers, service providers and enterprise customers expect and require from modern APIs.

At $0 .001 (1/10 of 1 cent) per API call Hookflash enables integrated high quality messaging, voice and video chat for developers and enterprise customers in a way that has not been available until now.

“Hookflash is doing for real-time communications what Amazon Web Services (AWS) has done for Cloud Services, metered minutes are a thing of the past, the future of Real-time Communications is in API services and pricing models that scale” explained Trent Johnsen, CEO.

A Hookflash reference app built on the Hookflash Mobile SDK, “Hookflash Messenger” integrated with Facebook as an example of directory and identity is available in the  iTunes App store here.

A Hookflash Android reference app will follow soon. The Hookflash Android RTC SDK is available now in early beta, with limited documentation.

The previous reference application, “Hookflash for iPad” with LinkedIn directory and identity features has been removed from the iTunes app store to make way for the latest iOS reference application.

Developer sign up: http://fly.hookflash.me
Open Peer RTC iOS toolkit: https://github.com/openpeer/opios
Open Peer RTC Android toolkit (early beta): https://github.com/openpeer/opandroid
Developer documentation: http://docs.hookflash.com

About: Hookflash powers a new generation of integrated, Open, Over-the-Top, Internet messaging, voice and video chat for Mobile and the Web with the new standard for secure signalling and identity; Open Peer.

For additional information please visit Hookflash.com. Follow us on Twitter: @Hookflash.

1-855-Hookflash (466-5352)  or “info@hookflash.com”.

ORTC – JavaScript powered RTC

The ORTC API (http://ortc.org) was conceptualized by Robin Raymond – Chief Architect, Hookflash Inc.  It’s no secret that we have been opposed to SDP in the WebRTC 1.0 spec, but instead of derailing progress there we decided to create a W3C Community Group where we could apply our passion. We are getting closer on a Public Draft of that API and when I look at the progress we have made since forming the Community Group a mere 9 months ago, I am satisfied we are moving at a good pace. Our list of participants continues to grow and its great to see ORTC on the list of considered technologies in the Internet Explorer group at Microsoft!

We are hopeful that we make some material progress at this next meeting, I know we are all itching to get this API implementable so we can build ORTC into some cool apps.

The next ORTC Community Group Meeting is scheduled for April 17, 2014 at 10am Pacific. Agenda and meeting details to follow.

Hookflash Advances Enterprise Real-time Communications for Web and Mobile with ORTC

Vancouver BC, Canada (PRWEB) November 01, 2013

Hookflash joins over 20 technology companies and thought leaders from around the globe this Sunday, November 3, 2013, to review “ORTC” the new Object RTC API (Object Real-Time Communications Application Programming Interface). Hookflash Chief Architect Robin Raymond will provide an introduction and overview of the new ORTC API, as well as demos and sample application reviews. This event will be streamed live: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ortc-live.

“The work that Hookflash is doing on the Object Real-time Communications API (ORTC) positions them at the forefront of WebRTC,” comments Microsoft executive Albert Kooiman, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Lync. “ORTC is a very appealing approach for developers looking to produce interoperable WebRTC applications quickly, by presenting a simpler and more familiar Javascript Object model that leverages the skills of mainstream web developers, instead of the more complex Offer/Answer approach. To see open source code that enables this is real progress. We believe that ORTC (and the establishment of the W3C ORCA Community Group to evolve it) is a major step forward and we support Hookflash in their efforts.”

The W3C Object RTC (ORCA) Community Grouphttp://www.w3.org/community/orca/ was formed in July 2013 to develop an alternative JavaScript API for real-time communications by a group of people looking for alternatives to SDP Offer/Answer in WebRTC. The Community Group published its first draft specification on October 11, 2013.

Hookflash Co-founder, Erik Lagerway explains “Microsoft has expressed concerns regarding the current WebRTC specification. If the current WebRTC specification isn’t included in Internet Explorer, it creates a massive gap in the Enterprise and global marketplace. Hookflash is providing both ORTC, WebRTC and mobile compatibility in Hookflash toolkits to deliver Voice, Video and Messaging without plugins to Internet Explorer (assuming integration of ORTC), Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, iOS and android. This makes Hookflash the first company to fill that gap for Enterprise, developers and consumers. But it doesn’t end there,” says Lagerway, “The optimal solution for web developers and customers will be to have all the browser vendors integrate support for ORTC directly. Since ORTC supports both Object and SDP Offer/Answer models, everyone wins.”

Hookflash will be making another announcement on Sunday during the ORTC Walkthroughhttp://blog.webrtc.is/2013/10/28/ortc-walk-through-ietf-88/, regarding the availability of source code for ORTC/WebRTC implementations. This event will be streamed live: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ortc-live.

Hookflash enables real-time social, mobile, and web communications with “Open Peer” for integration of voice, video, messaging with federated identity into world leading software, enterprise, applications, networks, mobile and computing devices. Hookflash and Open Peer are trademarks of Hookflash Inc.

Developers can register at (http://fly.hookflash.me) to start using the Open Peer SDKs today.

For more information and an Open Peer/WebRTC White Paper please visit Hookflash http://hookflash.com.

Press Contact: Trent Johnsen
Hookflash
Press(at)hookflash(dot)com
855-HOOKFLASH (466-5352) ext 1

OTT: That’s just over the top!

A 3-hour, executive format meeting where up to 100 telecom experts discuss how Over The Top, OTT, content and services are changing the ecosystem and creating opportunities.

The rise of OTT content and services has been a bittersweet affair for network operators. On the one hand, OTT content is what has driven the demand for mobile data subscriptions which have provided the only growing data source in an era of dropping voice revenues. OTOH, OTT content soaks up most of the networks capacity, and increases CapEx and OpEx for carriers.

Making matters worse, network operators are being cut out of “owning” the customer relationship, being the provider of new services, and building churn-reducing loyalty. Resistance is mostly futile, so entrenched players need to select, partner, and compete. Companies are looking for areas they can be a top player, and compete to win a portion of the OTT business. Partnerships are key to this strategy, so in today’s meeting, we will examine strategies such as that of Telefónica Digital, look at a variety of potential operator partners like Cloudscaling, and look at carrier-consortium efforts such as Joyn. We’re going to examine this from both a mobile and fixed perspective.

We will be there, will you?