A future Safari web browser update will bring cross-platform real-time video and audio chatting to iOS and Mac OS X. In theory, this means users will be able to easily chat with Android phone users, or Windows users.
As reported on enterprise computing blog No Jitter, developers behind the Webkit browser engine have agreed to incorporate WebRTC components. WebRTC is an open source, real-time video and audio standard, created by Google. Webkit is the final major browsing engine to sign-up, following Microsoft and Mozilla’s adoption of the technology.
WebRTC has the potential to replace Apple’s FaceTime system, both technologically and in spirit. During the introduction of FaceTime Steve Jobs promised to make FaceTime an open standard, which would have allowed cross-device communications. However, Apple has mysteriously not made good on this promise, with theories as to why ranging from patent issues to resistance from standards bodies.
However, with the adoption of WebRTC, Apple has the chance to embrace true cross-platform video and audio communications with only minor adaptation of its existing software.