WebRTC Tutorials: 34 Essential Learning Resources

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Recent trends have inspired many industries to integrate audio and video calling technology within their websites and apps to connect users remotely.

This would not have been possible without WebRTC technology. If you’d like to add this engaging feature to your app but aren’t sure where to start, we’ve rounded up our top resources to help you get started.

What is WebRTC?

Web Real-Time Communications (WebRTC) is an open-source project that enables real-time voice, messaging, and video communications capabilities between web browsers and devices. WebRTC application programming interfaces (APIs) written in one of many languages, like JavaScript, enable developers to create peer-to-peer communications (P2P) and real-time data transfers without needing custom interfaces, extra plugins, or special software for browser integration. WebRTC makes real-time audio and video communication possible by simply opening a webpage.

Top WebRTC Resources for Beginners

Eight different mediums of resources are listed below to help you along in your WebRTC journey.

Video Tutorials

  1. WebRTC Crash Course — This video covers WebRTC, its pros and cons, and demos NAT, STUN, TURN, ICE, SDP, and Signaling.
  2. WebRTC Tutorial: How Does WebRTC Work? — This video tutorial explains what WebRTC is, how it works, why it’s useful, and the challenges this new technology faces.
  3. Real-Time Communication with WebRTC: Google I/O 2013 — In this recorded session from Google, you’ll learn how to start building a WebRTC app, how to use a MediaStream, resolution constraints, how to set up signaling, which servers you’ll need, interoperability, and more.
  4. WebRTC in 100 Seconds: Build a Video Chat App From Scratch — A concise instructional guide on how to build a fully functioning WebRTC app with P2P, offer, and answer signaling.
  5. WebRTC Full Course & More — A comprehensive video tutorial focusing on the audio and visual UX of your WebRTC app.
  6. RTCWeb Explained — The video explains the influence of the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) on the standardization of interactive voice, video, and data in web browsers.

Educational WebRTC Content

  1. Getting Started with WebRTC— An introduction to WebRTC, its history, and core functionalities.
  2. Learn WebRTC — This tutorial explains how to build real-time applications such as real-time advertising, multiplayer games, live broadcasting, e-learning, and more.
  3. Build the Backend Services Needed for a WebRTC App — This article teaches how to build a signaling service and manage real-world connectivity with STUN and TURN servers.
  4. Real-Time Communication with WebRTC — This tutorial covers WebRTC basics and providers the reader with sample code to create their own demo.
  5. Capture Audio & Visual in HTML5 — This tutorial introduces a new WebRTC API, [navigator.getUserMedia()][getusermedia-spec], which allows web apps to access a user's camera and microphone.
  6. Peer-to-Peer Communication with WebRTC — This article explains how peer-to-peer connections are created and managed using WebRTC and its RTCPeerConnection interface.
  7. WebRTC Articles — A repository for WebRTC blogs that dive deep into niche aspects of the streaming protocol.
  8. iOS and Android Documentation — A repository of mobile documentation, demos, and more for iOS and Android WebRTC development.

Slideshows

  1. WebRTC Overview Google Developers Slides — The slides from the Real-Time Communication with WebRTC: Google I/O 2013 video tutorial above.
  2. A Practical Guide to WebRTC — Lessons on building real-world WebRTC apps, focusing on iOS, Android, and multi-party conferencing.

Demos & Examples

  1. Simple RTCDataChannel Example — An interactive demo of a basic WebRTC datachannel.
  2. Data Channel File Transfer Sample — This page shows how to transfer a file via WebRTC datachannels.
  3. Library of WebRTC Demos — A repository of pre-recorded and interactive demos for various WebRTC functions.

Books

  1. WebRTC: APIs and RTCWEB Protocols of the HTML5 Real-Time Web — This third-edition e-book features a step-by-step intro to WebRTC and covers concepts like local media, signaling, and P2P with separate runnable demos.
  2. Getting Started with WebRTC — This book provides practical information you’ll need to quickly understand what WebRTC is, how it works, and how to add it to web applications.
  3. Real-Time Communication with WebRTC — If you are a developer looking to learn WebRTC in a way that enables you to use it without getting too deep into the details, then this is the book for you.

Online Courses

  1. WebRTC Fundamentals — An educational course that offers a 10-day free trial and access to an expanded library of 7,000+ supplemental WebRTC learning material.

Standards & Protocols

  1. RTCWEB Protocols — A repository of documented protocols on various WebRTC-related subjects.
  2. WebRTC Standards — A peer-reviewed document outlining the current standards of WebRTC

WebRTC Newsletters - Stay Up To Date!

  1. WebRTC Weekly — A weekly & brief newsletter with all the latest news and activities on WebRTC.
  2. BlogGeek.me — A weekly email of curated content from across the web related specifically to WebRTC.
  3. SimpleWebRTC — A newsletter from a WebRTC vendor that aims to help subscribers make good business decisions with the technology.
  4. WebRTC World — A free WebRTC eNewsletter for all up-to-date news and related conference details.

WebRTC Forums - Need More Help?

  1. WebRTC Google Groups — Use your Google account to contribute to WebRTC-related discussions or pose your own question.
  2. WebRTC Facebook Forum — Log into Facebook to join this group for discussion on RTCweb/WebRTC architecture, ideas, applications, and protocols.
  3. WebRTC GitHub Forum — Use your GitHub account to join WebRTC-related forums or start a discussion of your own.
  4. WebRTC Twitter — Log into Twitter to follow this WebRTC-centric account and like, share, and comment on its posts.
  5. WebRTC StackOverflow Forum — Join StackOverflow to answer questions WebRTC users may have or to post your own.

How Does WebRTC Work?

WebRTC leverages JavaScript, APIs, and Hypertext Markup Language to easily embed communications technologies within most major web browsers. WebRTC APIs are the key to accessing and recording video, maintaining P2P connections, and enabling bidirectional data transfers through multiple channels.

WebRTC Use Cases

WebRTC facilitates real-time P2P communication through the internet, here are a few of the top ways individuals and businesses leverage this technology today.

  • Entertainment: video app users can make group voice and video calls to catch up with one another, host television watch parties, etc.
  • Customer Support: companies can better serve their users by offering personalized video and voice customer support lines.
  • Live Commerce: retailers can offer customers a more dynamic, engaging experience with live video shopping streams while increasing product and brand awareness.
  • Live Events: organizations can reach a broader audience by broadcasting events over video live streams and increasing engagement with interactive text-based features.
  • Telemedicine: healthcare providers can offer safe, in-office quality medical care to patients from anywhere in the world with appointments over video.
  • EdTech: students can bring the classroom to them from anywhere thanks to remote learning technology supported by voice and video calling.
  • Dating Apps: users can screen potential matches they meet on dating apps to help them decide whether or not they’d like to go on a date in person.
  • Gaming: studios can level up their games by providing players with in-game chat and video to game with their friends as if they were in the same room.

The Pros and Cons of WebRTC

Advantages of WebRTC include:

  • Adjusts the quality of the communication stream if network conditions change.
  • Supported by major web browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Android, and Safari.
  • Does not require third-party components or plugins and is free as open source software.

Disadvantages of WebRTC include:

  • Users must establish their P2P browser connection, creating a bandwidth issue and limiting scalability.
  • There are expensive maintenance costs when media must be relayed through a TURN or SFU server.
  • Content distributors who wish to stream with a professional encoder and camera might find the adaptive bitrate streaming abilities of WebRTC limited.

Start Developing Your Video App with WebRTC

Voice, video, and text-based communication have revolutionized how app and Internet users connect. WebRTC technology allows engineers to easily add these modern capabilities to their applications. The WebRTC tutorials, demos, and videos listed above can serve as resources to lean on as you develop your first video app. Happy coding!