Google Chrome Dev Now Supports WebRTC for Plugin-Free Audio and Video Chat

WebRTC is destined to become a web standard, to be supported by all browsers

Google has announced an important milestone for the WebRTC standard it is proposing, Google Chrome now supports the technology. The latest dev channel builds integrate WebRTC, meaning that apps that leverage technology, not that there are too many of them at this point, can work in Chrome.

"Since we open sourced WebRTC this past summer, we’ve been working hard with browser vendors to integrate WebRTC technology in their products," Niklas Enbom, a software engineer at Google, wrote.

"Today, we reached an important milestone: WebRTC is now integrated in the Chrome browser available on the dev channel," he announced.

"Building industry-leading voice and video capabilities into the browser makes it easier for web developers to incorporate real time communications in their apps. Instead of relying on custom, OS specific, proprietary plug-ins, they can now easily build and maintain their apps using a few simple JavaScript APIs and have the browser do the heavy lifting," he explained.

WebRTC promises to provide support for audio and video streaming, primarily for communication, in the browser.

Chrome and other browsers that will end up supporting the technology will take care of discovering and configuring the webcam, video camera or microphone. The web apps will simply get access to the streams and developers can focus on the actual features rather than the low level technical details.

Essentially, it will mean that things like Google+ Hangouts, Skype and anything in between will work in any browser that supports WebRTC out of the box, with no need for plugins, addons and so on.

WebRTC is still evolving, but the goal is to make it a web standard. It has some way to go, but Google says that several companies such as Polycom, Vonage,, Firespotter, Siemens, Nimbuzz and PCCW are already working on applications that leverage the technology.

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