WebRTC Chrome Apps – Ready for Prime Time?

October 7th, 2014 Posted by 2014, Blog          


It might come as a surprise, but last year Google Chromebook overtook sales of both Android and Windows tablets, as well as MacBooks, in the US business market. There are many reasons for this:

  • They’re more cost-effective than traditional PCs
  • They’re not burdened by a traditional OS, which makes them extremely fast
  • They can be launched quickly and are easy to use
  • They need little to no maintenance
  • Considered “virus-free” (for now)

Already a Google user? Firing up a Chromebook is super easy, simply by logging into your existing Google account. All your bookmarks, search history, stored docs, email and contacts are ready and waiting for you. Need more? The Chrome ecosystem is expanding faster than anticipated, with hundreds of Chrome apps available on the Chrome Web Store, offering a wide range of tools and services.

This is where WebRTC comes in – a match made in heaven for embedding real-time communications into the Chrome browser or as a stand-alone Chrome app. Using WebRTC, Chromebook users can communicate directly from browser to browser (or app to app) without having to go through a hosted/cloud server. This capability actually transforms Chromebooks into “endpoints” which are fantastic for peer-to-peer communications including voice, video, messaging, screenshare and more.

However, if users want to make calls to a contact without a similar WebRTC endpoint, the call needs to go through a third party server. This is the value that folks like GENBAND, BroadSoft, Metaswitch and others bring to the table for WebRTC apps and services today, especially in a business communications environment. While many industry experts predict that WebRTC will definitely change telecoms as we know it, at the moment we still need to work within existing investments and infrastructure.

Integrating WebRTC apps with back-end gateways and servers provides a number of benefits especially in a business environment – here are just a few for starters:

  • Interoperability with non-WebRTC endpoints
  • The ability to make and receive calls using an existing business telephone number
  • Additional security and reliability

Its still early days for both Chromebooks and WebRTC, but at mPortal we definitely plan to be at the forefront. You can find us next week at the BroadSoft Connections event in Booth #74, where we’ll be giving away a free Chromebook at the end of each day so be sure to drop by.

If you plan to attend, be sure and shoot me an email and we’ll arrange a time to meet up!



If you are interested in learning more about WebRTC, two great resources that we highly recommend are:

CIO2CMO – A blog post by Brad Bush, CMO of GENBAND who is currently focusing on the exciting WebRTC space.

BlogGeek.Me – A more technical perspective by Tsahi Levent-Levi, a technologist and consultant who “blogs for fun” on WebRTC and its potential for disruption.




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