Top Features and Best Practices for Voice Chat Applications

7 min read
Frank L.
Frank L.
Published February 16, 2024

The rise of real-time communication technologies, such as video and voice calls, disrupts email and text messaging.

When integrating voice chat into an app, a reliable and scalable solution can place you ahead of your competition. However, if you're building your app in-house, it can take years to make voice chat experiences that have excellent performance and are feature-rich.

Here, we'll highlight the benefits of a voice chat app in modern businesses and the key features you should look to integrate. We'll also list the top voice app software, best practices, and steps to follow when developing your app.

What Is a Voice Chat App?

A voice chat app is a software application that allows users to have real-time conversations through voice messages. With this feature enabled, users can have live group voice chats, make private audio calls, send voice notes, and even set up automated voice notifications.

Voice chats use VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol. With this technology, digital voice signals can be transmitted globally across any device with an internet connection. Businesses can add voice chat to their apps using an SDK or API to connect to a real-time communication service or build the feature from scratch.

One benefit of implementing voice calling apps is it makes real-time communication more accessible for users. But there are many more benefits.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Voice Chat App for Your Business?

Voice chat can help your app stand out from competitors by attracting users who like its ease and benefits.

Voice notes can increase user engagement. For example, if you have a gaming app, implementing game voice chat would allow players to communicate with each other in real-time completely hands-free.

It can also help increase app adoption and reduce churn. For instance, some of your users may find voice messaging more convenient. It's a natural selling point for your company if most competing apps don't provide voice channel support.

Voice chat services can improve app accessibility, convenience, and collaboration. It is handy for applications that need quick responses. For example, incorporating voice notes into collaborative tools facilitates ideation, feedback sharing, and improved teamwork, all of which contribute to making time-sensitive decisions swiftly.

What Are the Key Features of a Voice Chat App?

Voice chat apps generally comprise several functionalities to streamline voice-based communication. Depending on the app's purpose, design, and target audience, these features may differ between different applications. 

Voice and Text Features

Most voice-based apps offer text messaging to promote a seamless communication experience. To showcase this, about 76% of companies saw user satisfaction increase by double by integrating their applications with a chat API.

Combining voice and text allows users to easily switch between speaking and typing, depending on their preference. Multimodal interaction expands the app's functionality and provides flexibility and a quality voice chat experience. 

Moderation Properties

Moderation tools are crucial for group and community chats. They allow admins and moderators to manage and control conversations. Moderation helps prevent inappropriate, offensive, or harmful content from being added to or shared through your app.

Content moderation helps ensure compliance with content guidelines and regulations and maintains a positive user experience. With this feature, moderators can help find and remove spam or useless content, ensuring users have meaningful conversations in the voice app.

AI-powered moderation tools also improve and enhance the user experience so people can use the voice app without worrying about seeing offensive or harmful content.

End-To-End Encryption

End-to-end encryption (E2EE) uses many layers of security to keep outsiders from listening in on user conversations. Voice calling apps with E2EE are secure, meaning conversations are visible only to the sender and the recipient.

User data and privacy protection are subject to stringent regulations in specific industries. Using E2EE can help ensure these regulations are followed, thus avoiding potential legal issues and fines. A combination of strong encryption and security features ensures the safety and privacy of user data and audio conversations.

Search and Contact Management

Most apps come with search functionality so users can easily search for contacts or previous conversations, enhancing their experience. Contact management lets voice app users store and organize their contacts, making it easy to start a conversation, send a message, or make a phone call.

With contact management, you can set up alerts or reminders for meetings, events, or appointments important to specific contacts. This addition makes the voice app more helpful in completing work and staying organized.

Social Media Integration and Sharing

With social media integration, users can effortlessly share their experiences on their social media accounts. Social media sharing acts as organic promotion and can increase user acquisition by enticing friends and followers to try the app.

Moreover, social media integration streamlines user onboarding and login. Users who sign in using their existing social media credentials rather than creating a new account get a more frictionless and convenient user experience.

Integrating social media lets your app users get recommendations for more personalized content suggestions or even use social connections, making your app's social features even better.

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A push-to-talk (PTT) feature allows users to control when their microphone is active. PTT makes privacy better by ensuring users only send a voice chat when they deliberately click a button. PTT also makes coordinating group conversations easier without continuous open channels.

Steps To Build a Voice Chat App

Whether you want to develop from scratch or use an API, there are a few key steps you can take to make your app more immersive. 

1. Conduct Market Research

Find out precisely what your target audience prefers and needs. Figure out what other voice chat apps are already out there and see if there are any gaps that your app can fill. Evaluate them based on their characteristics, pros, cons, and user reviews.

Next, research and evaluate voice calling SDKs and currently available APIs. Note their features, price, and integration options.

2. Define Key Requirements

Define a list of features and functionalities to help you create an impressive voice chat app. Then, define your unique selling point and development objectives.

3. Select a Technology or a Platform

Find reputable voice chat app providers that meet your needs. Sign up for a demo or free account with the specified API provider. Next, get the SDKs or API keys to authenticate your app with the voice API.

Your API provider will most likely provide comprehensive documentation to help you figure out how to add voice chat to your app. You might also get access to great developer tools and support that will help you make in-app video calling in days instead of months.

4. Set Up Your Development Environment

Establish a development environment that satisfies the API requirements for that platform, whether it's for iOS, Android, or web apps. Set up any SDKs or libraries that the voice chat app providers delivered to you.

5. Implement Your Application's Features

Integrate voice chat capabilities into your application using the API documentation. Add features your team defined during the research phase. Consider additional features for your app, like text chats, social media sharing, or moderation tools, depending on your unique use case.

6. Conduct Testing

Thoroughly test your application to guarantee the voice chat feature operates as intended. You can start by evaluating the app's functionality in different network scenarios.

Test your app performance on different screen sizes and devices to make sure it runs smoothly. What's more, you should pay attention to the latency, the audio quality, and the overall user experience. Finally, launch your application once you're content with its functionality and performance.

7. Perform Monitoring and Maintenance

Evaluate your app's functionality once it's launched and fix any performance issues you encounter. Listen to user feedback and implement their suggestions to enhance the user experience. Continue to fix issues that arise and add new features to retain your users.

Building a Voice Chat App Best Practices

As you develop your voice chat app, whether through an API or from scratch, here are some best practices you can apply:

  • Prioritize audio quality: Select advanced audio codecs that can compress sound well without losing quality. Options like Opus and AAC are very popular. You can also use a voice-calling API to reduce the development process time. Using an API will allow you to develop a custom voice chat app with superior audio quality, reliability, and scalability compared to other solutions.

  • Ensure compliance with regulations: Depending on your app's use case and target audience, make sure it follows the proper data protection and privacy laws, like GDPR or HIPAA. Prioritize voice chat APIs that meet CCPA, SOC2, HIPAA, ISO 27001, and GDPR standards for secure and compliant interactions.

  • Reduce latency: To reduce latency, use audio codecs that work well and ensure your server responds quickly. Setting up networks with low latency and servers makes conversations feel more natural and responsive. When you build using API built on an edge network, you get the most reliable and low-latency network possible.

  • Uphold user authentication and privacy: Safeguard user data and privacy by using secure user authentication. Additionally, you should encrypt communication channels to prevent eavesdropping.

Top Voice Chat Apps and Software

Several voice chat apps are currently on the market today. The following are among the most widely used ones:

  • Discord: A voice chat platform with a large user base, especially in the gaming community. It offers features such as built-in DDoS protection and bot and game integration.

  • Mumble: An open-source, gamer-focused voice chat app with minimal latency. It has customizable features and excellent audio quality.

  • TeamSpeak 3: A voice chat app made mostly for video game communities. It comes with an effective and versatile administrative control permission system that lets you set whatever control you want and manage your servers easily.

These voice-calling apps are great options if you're not looking to integrate voice chat functionality into your applications. However, to build a custom solution, you can opt for APIs to integrate simple calling and feature-rich experiences like Discord.

By leveraging an API provider's global edge network, your video calls and live streams will be faster and more reliable. Integrating audio rooms features using an API provides scalability that allows you to accommodate thousands of call participants and even millions of users.

What's more, you can also get comprehensive developer support options to help you integrate more quickly and confidently.

Developing Your Voice Chat App

Investing in cutting-edge technologies like voice chat applications can help businesses gain a competitive advantage. Your team must prioritize innovation, quality live communication experience, and other special features to cut through the noise and offer a unique experience.

If you'd like to get a taste of what's possible with our Chat platform, we have comprehensive tutorials available.

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