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What is Video Calls API and Do You Need One?

by Innov8tiv.com

Video calls and video conferences are now the norms in our day-to-day lives. Even before the Covid-19 pandemic, many people have frequently used video calls to communicate with colleagues and loved ones, but we can’t deny the fact that the pandemic has accelerated the adoption of video calls all over the world.

Most of us rely on platforms like Apple Facetime, Skype, and Zoom to perform our video calls, but many businesses and even individuals are now looking to build their own video calls solution with custom branding and features.

Integrating a video calls API can provide a more cost-effective and accessible option for businesses and individuals in having their own video calls and video conferencing solution. Yet, what actually is a video calls API?

Video Calls API: Definition

API stands for Application Programming Interface, and it is a programming code or software that acts as a bridge, as an interface between two or more programs (applications). API will define the interaction between these two applications.

In the specific case of video calls API, the API bridges a ready-made video calls solution with another application, allowing the latter application to gain the video calls and video conferencing features from the former app. This allows businesses to add video call functionalities to an existing app or a brand new app with the company’s logo, brand colors, and unique functions/features.

In short, a video calls API offers an easy and affordable way to get a fully customizable video calls API without needing to deal with the often lengthy and difficult software development process. 

What Can We Expect from a Video Calls API

Different video calls API from different vendors might offer different sets of features. Video chat and video conference API will provide the following features:

  • High-definition video resolution: 1080p HD video resolution for a sharp and clear picture while occupying less bandwidth. 
    • Adaptive resolution: automatically adjust the video resolution according to the specific network conditions to ensure a smooth, stutter-free user experience. 
  • Clear audio streaming: High-definition audio up to 192 kbps, allowing reliable delivery of clear sounds that are also disruption-free. 
    • AI technologies: AI-powered personal assistant features that can automate transcription and use Auto Tags and Smart Search for fast access to valuable information extracted from your meetings, video calls, and video conferences.
  • Reliability: Iotum’s patented voice call API and video chat technology allows reliable communications even in low bandwidth and less than ideal network scenarios
  • Customizability: allowing video call and collaboration on any device that is customizable and scalable. 

Why Do You Need a Video Calls API?

A video calls API allows a customer-facing application to get video calls and video conferencing features due to the API interactions, but to really understand the importance of this feature, we have to discuss the different options we have when building a video calls application.

Generally, we have three different options if we want to have video calls function in our application:

  1. Building the application from scratch

If we have the means to develop our own application, then this option will provide the most freedom and versatility in customization. You can add any features you’d like, use your own logo, brand colors, and other design elements. 

However, hiring or outsourcing a software developer, or a team of software developers, can be very expensive, and not to mention it can take a long time to develop the video calls solution from scratch and to test the solution before deployment. 

Depending on the industry you are in and your location, your app might need to meet the compliance requirements and regulations before it can be launched. 

2. Using third-party solutions

There are various off-the-shelf video call solutions available on the market, like Skype or Zoom. They are fairly affordable (and there are free versions)  and are also relatively easy to use. 

However, in this option, you’ll be limited by the third-party solutions’ limitations and features. You can’t, for example, add your own logo to the application and you won’t be able to add extra features. 

3. Integrating voice calls API

Integrating voice calls API to your existing application allows you to get the best of both worlds: you get the customizability and versatility of building your own video calls application from scratch, but you can eliminate the hassle of the lengthy development process and managing your own app. 

With voice calls API, you can use your own brand elements and logo in your app, and you can also customize features according to your needs and to meet compliance requirements and regulations. 

Features To Consider When Choosing Your Video Calls API

Here are several key factors to consider when choosing between different video call APIs:

  • Compatibility with your existing ecosystem

Check whether the video calls API can integrate well with your existing ecosystem. Also, if your application needs to support different platforms (iOS and Android), then check whether the API offers cross-platform support.

  • Ease of use

The more intuitive and user-friendly the interface is, the easier you’ll be able to train your team to use the video calls application.

  • HIPAA compliance

For telehealth applications in the medicare industry, the video call API has to be HIPAA-compliant. With Iotum, for example, you can use the video call API to perform remote diagnostics while allowing online video-based prescriptions while ensuring your patient’s data privacy. 

Conclusion

A video calls API can provide a more accessible and cost-effective method for businesses to get video call functionalities in their app without the hassle of developing the application from scratch and hosting the application.

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