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Monday, February 4, 2013

Hello Firefox, this is Chrome calling!

For the first time, Chrome and Firefox can “talk” to each other via WebRTC. WebRTC is a new set of technologies that brings clear crisp voice, sharp high-definition (HD) video and low-delay communication to the web browser.

From the very beginning, this joint WebRTC effort was embraced by the open web community, including engineers from the Chrome and Firefox teams. The common goal was to help developers offer rich, secure communications, integrated directly into their web applications.

In order to succeed, a web-based communications platform needs to work across browsers. Thanks to the work and participation of the W3C and IETF communities in developing the platform, Chrome and Firefox can now communicate by using standard technologies such as the Opus and VP8 codecs for audio and video, DTLS-SRTP for encryption, and ICE for networking.

To try this yourself, you’ll need desktop Chrome 25 Beta and Firefox Nightly for Desktop. In Firefox, you'll need to go to about:config and set the media.peerconnection.enabled pref to "true”. Then head over to the WebRTC demo site and start calling.

For developers looking to include this functionality in their own apps, there are a few places you can go to get more information. You can look at the source code of the AppRTC demo, a library that makes writing cross-browser WebRTC apps a snap, and a document detailing some of the minor differences between browsers.

You can read more from Mozilla’s hacks blog here and view our first “Official” call at the video below: