Chrome for Android now ships with WebRTC

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 21 Aug 2013


Google has just released a new stable version of Chrome, version 29. For some strange reason, neither my Mac nor my Android phone seem to be aware of the update, but I have a feeling this problem with correct itself in just a few days. Anyway, what’s new? You know that little box on top where you type URLs and Google searches? Google calls that the omnibox, and it’s been improved. It should be snappier and provide more relevant results, which is always a plus.

The most important feature, however, is the addition of WebRTC support. The RTC in WebRTC stand for Real Time Communication, and it essentially allows you to have a Skype like experience without the need to install any applications. In fact, you don’t even need to go through a third party service. You and someone using another WebRTC enabled browser establish a point to point connection.

Will WebRTC disrupt companies like WhatsApp, Skype, even Google themselves? It’s far too early to tell, but my gut says the answer the no. New technologies don’t necessarily kill old use cases, they simply create new use cases that make the old use cases a bit less useful.