So, you want to add video chat features to your new app, but you’re working with a 5-person team that is already overwhelmed. They simply do not have the time to build code for these new features, but your app would lose serious customer appeal if you didn’t include video chat.
So, what do you do? You ask the “build vs. buy”, choose “buy” (because it IS more affordable and efficient) and decide on using a video calling SDK that will reduce your team’s labor while also giving your software pristine video chat capabilities.
Simple, right? Well, there is the question of picking the right video chat SDK for the job. That is easier said than done because there are way too many video chat SDKs to choose from. In this article, we’ll help you with an initial round of selections by highlighting the top 5 video chat SDKs in the market.
Think of this as the starting point for your research. But first, a quick intro.
Have you ever used a DIY meal kit, like the ones offered by Hello Fresh? You get all the ingredients and have to put them together uniquely to make a meal.
An SDK (software development kit) is exactly that but with software development. You get a set of tools designed to implement certain features, functionalities, and capabilities within any software ecosystem. You get pieces of code that can be plugged in, optimized, and customized to let dev teams incorporate certain features, but in ways specific to the software requirements and brand identity.
For example, a video chat SDK comes with code designed to quickly build features like video chat (1-on-1 and group calls, screen sharing, whiteboards, noise cancellation, etc.). But devs who use a certain SDK can also (ideally) tweak the code so that, say, active video calls all have the brand logo visible in them.
The SDK gives devs the baseline code for the features they want to build, while also letting them have a reasonable amount of freedom over what the feature will look like, when it is actually used by the software’s target audience.
- Dyte SDK
- MirrorFly SDK
- Apphitect SDK
- Zoom SDK
- Jitsi Meet SDK
- Twilio SDK
- Agora SDK
- Sinch SDK
- Cometchat SDK
- Vonage SDK
The Dyte SDK is used to set up video chat features for businesses and organizations. It can be customized completely to match client specifications for business meetings, virtual webinars, remote medical consults, customer support, and so much more. Dyte’s ChatSDK is highly intuitive, with in-built features for easy scalability, integration with third-party software, real-time collaboration, dependable customer support, and more.
With Dyte, you get, by default, crystal-clear video and audio quality. High customization levels mean that devs can tailor the Chat SDK to their platform’s needs with minimal work.
Scalability is also built-in since the SDK can support up to 10,000 participants. It’s also bewilderingly easy to integrate Dyte with your apps, by virtue of its open APIs and sample apps ready for immediate deployment.
- Complete and seamless customizability
- In-built scalability for up to 10,000 participants
- Real-time collaboration, file sharing, and whiteboards
- AI-powered chat
- Interactive live streaming
- 24/7 customer support
- SOC 2 & HIPAA compliant
Curious about Dyte’s suitability for your development needs? Just talk to us, and let’s set you up with a seamless interactive experience.
- Mobile SDKs are in beta, as of writing this article.
You start with 10,000 free minutes…every month. If you exhaust these minutes, you pay $0.004 per user per minute, with recordings and RTMP-out available at $0.010 and $0.015 per minute, respectively.
Here’s a deep dive into Dyte’s pricing.
Mirrorfly is a secure, scalable, in-app video, voice, and chat SDK provider targeting devs and enterprises. They claim to provide (and are well-known for) over 150+ features often demanded by modern app users. Additionally, users have reported an average response time of 3 ms, which is fairly impressive.
Built on WebRTC tech, MirrorFly SDKs lets you create self-hosted chat solutions for intra-team as well as customer interaction. Their SDKs are scalable and customizable. You can also hire a developer from their team for API integration and product demo team.
- Runs on Android, iOS, and web apps
- Supports 1000+ participants in virtual meetings
- 99.99% uptime SLA
- Compliant with HIPAA, GDPR, and OWASP
- Allows recording of live broadcasts and streams
- Provides end-to-end security
- There have been reports of delays in bug resolution by the Mirrorfly team.
- Doesn’t perform as well in low bandwidth conditions.
Interested users must contact MirrorFly directly for information on their pricing.
Apphyticen provides video chat solutions to enterprises & SMEs. This SDK allows 100% customizations on call and chat functions.
Enabled by WebRTC, Apphitect’s multi-platform SDK provides features like 1-on-1 video calling, group calling, video/audio conferencing, super scalability, load balancing, HD voice, and video quality, etc. to ensure seamless execution of meetings, webinars, presentations, and other virtual communication requirements – all available at a one-time license cost.
- Multiple device & platform support
- Load Balancing
- Scalable servers
- Video quality adaptation in response to network conditions
- Complete customizability
- Support FOR UDP, TCP, HTTP as media transport
- Does not enable the inclusion of unlimited participants in white-label video calls.
Interested parties have to contact sales to know about Apphitect’s pricing.
The world’s most popular video communication platform also provides SDKs for developers to implement audio-video communication within their apps. Zoom offers two kinds – Meeting SDKs and Video SDKs.
The Meeting SDK basically lets you use and display the Zoom client within a third-party website or app to facilitate video calls. Devs can use the SDK's “custom UI” feature to customize the UI of the Zoom client. The web version of the SDK also offers z “component view” that displays with Meeting SDK among website components, along with the default client view.
The Video SDK offers a set of features – audio, video, screen sharing, chat, data streams, etc. – as a service. It comes with a cluster of server-side APIs and webhooks to build all or some of these features, as a project requires.
- Easy for devs to import libraries and packages to quickly implement the SDK.
- Supports 7 major languages
- Provides open translation extensibility
- Fully customizable UI
- Best suited for basic user cases with host-participant dynamic. If you need modified permission for different peers (multiple hosts in a meeting, for eg.), implementing the same may require added development effort.
- The SDK’s file size is quite large, especially compared to its peers.
Zoom has multiple pricing plans, depending on your project needs. It is best to look at their pricing page to get started.
Check out how Zoom compares with Dyte’s SDKs
Unlike the other SDKs on this list, Jitsi Meet is fully open-source. This SDK is used for implementing video conferencing abilities into a new app. It has multiple platform support, and comes in two variations – meet.jit.si which hosts the free-for-use Jitsi Meet instance, and the Jitsi Videobridge which enables Jitsi’s multi-peer video features.
Jitsi Meet is especially well-known for its robust and active community, which is a pride among open-source communities everywhere. Not only can you ask questions and get detailed & helpful answers, but you can also ask for paid help from folks who already have extensive experience of working with the SDK.
- Open source with impressive community support.
- Relatively easy setup, thanks to its one-click installation
- User-friendly UI and setup steps.
- Uses industry standards security mechanisms to ensure that user data remains strictly confidential.
- Supports multiple clients – Mac, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS.
According to Jitsi’s DevOps Guide, “Building a scalable infrastructure is not a task for beginning Jitsi Administrators. The instructions (of the guide) assume that you have installed a single node version successfully, and that you are comfortable installing, configuring, and debugging Linux software.”
In other words, achieving peak scalability with Jitsi Meet might not be the easiest thing in the world.
As mentioned above, Jitsi Meet is open-source and free of cost. However, if you do want to opt for a paid option, you can go for 8x8 Jitsi as a Service(JaaS). Pricing for JaaS is based on the number of monthly active users (MAU).
Check out our comparison of Jitsi vs. Agora vs. Dyte for a deep dive.
Twilio offers both APIs and SDKs to facilitate the integration of video calling capabilities into applications. These call sessions are also equipped with virtual video backgrounds and customizable layout options. They also provide quality control tools such as the Network Quality API, required for monitoring network performance and bandwidth utilization among participants in a video chat.
The SDK supports Web, iOS, and Android platforms. You get chats, video, and programmable chats for real-time communication.
- Breakout rooms for video conferences
- Quick and easy integrations
- Extensive documentation for integration and usage
- GDPR and HIPAA compliant
- Virtual Video backgrounds and animations available
- Free trial credits for P2P and group video calls.
- Enables selective recording – you can choose which specific participant to record in a call (such as only recording the speaker in a webinar).
- Steep learning curve.
- Expensive pricing.
- Requires significant programming skill.
- No programmable alert system.
Pricing starts at $4 per 1,000 minutes. Recordings cost $0.004 per participant minute. Recording compositions costs $0.01 per composed minute, and you pay $0.00167 GB/day for storage after the first 10 GB is exhausted.
And, if you need a deeper exploration, read our detailed breakdown of Twilio’s pricing in 2023.
Check out how Twilio compares to Dyte’s Video Calling APIs.
Agora provides SDKs that allow integration of audio-video communication, with features such as augmented reality (AR) facial masks, and sound effects. You can stream video in quality ranging from 96p to 1080p, with tools to optimize bandwidth. The SDK also comes with built-in corrections for stutters, lags, or jitters during video calls.
The SDK supports Android, iOS, Web, Unity, and desktop. You can configure AR effects, voice effects, AI-run content moderation, and noise cancellation.
The SDK can be used to implement video calling, voice calling, interactive live streaming, and recording abilities.
- Multi-platform support.
- Adaptive video resolution technology to adjust video based on a user’s network conditions.
- AR Facial Masks.
- Whiteboards, Screen Sharing.
- HD Quality Video Streaming.
- Noise cancellation.
- Compatible with Flutter and React Native.
- Supplemental Enhancement Information (SEI)
- Given its usage-based pricing model, Agora can be quite expensive at scale.
- Integration can require significant developer effort.
Agora’s API pricing is based on usage. What you pay depends on what video quality you want on your app, the number of meeting participants, and the duration of the video call (with said video quality).
Agora’s pricing model can be a little complicated (especially if this is your first time using a video calling API), so take a moment to look at their pricing page. You can also have a look at our detailed breakdown of Agora’s pricing model. \
Check out how Agora compares to Dyte’s Video Calling APIs.
You get an instant messaging SDK for iOS, Android, and web apps, along with customization and support for SIP, VoIP, and PSTN connectivity.
- Multi platform support
- Low latency
- Custom Video Filters and Masks
- Instant Messaging
- SMS Verification
- Quality of Service tools to monitor call performance
- Users have reported that documentation & support are inadequate.
- Comes with a steep learning curve.
Sinch actually features different prices for different locations (countries, continents) and functions, so it’s best to reach out to their sales team and discuss your particular requirements.
Cometchat's video chat SDKs are available for iOS, Android, and the web. They come with extensive documentation, hands-on demos and pre-built code snippets for integrating 1-on-1 and group voice and video calls into applications.
You can run text messages, group video conferences, and more with this SDK which is adaptable for web and mobile video chat apps. You can integrate Cometchat into any app written in React, iOS, Android, Flutter, and 12+ other languages.
- Indicators to notify that a participant is present online and/or typing a message
- Drag & drop chat widgets
- White-labeled message translation
- Facilities for automated moderation
- Automatic scaling to accommodate the total number of users in any call
- HIPAA compliant
- Customers have report slow support responses.
- The UI can be confusing, especially if customers have a time crunch.
Cometchat’s pricing depends on the number of MAU (monthly active users) your app intends to serve. Check out their pricing page to get a sense of what you’ll pay based on your MAU count.
- Compliant with GDPR, PCI, and HIPAA compliance
- SIP interconnects
- Video stream customization
- HLS and RTMP streaming
- Video analytics
- Inadequate written documentation.
- Reportedly, delivery is not excellent in certain countries.
- Dashboard not too user-friendly.
Pricing is varied based on which SDK you’d like to use. It is best to check the Vonage’s pricing page.
||10,000 free minutes…every month. If you exhaust these minutes, you pay $0.004 per user per minute, with recordings and RTMP-out available at $0.010 and $0.015 per minute, respectively.|
||Multiple pricing options on pricing page.|
||Contact vendor directly.|
||According to Jitsi’s DevOps Guide, “Building a scalable infrastructure is not a task for beginning Jitsi Administrators. The instructions (of the guide) assume that you have installed a single node version successfully, and that you are comfortable installing, configuring, and debugging Linux software.”||Jitsi Meet is open-source and free of cost. If you want a paid option, you can go for 8x8 Jitsi as a Service(JaaS). Pricing for JaaS is based on the number of monthly active users (MAU).|
||$4 per 1,000 minutes. Recordings cost $0.004 per participant minute. Recording compositions costs $0.01 per composed minute, and you pay $0.00167 GB/day for storage after the first 10 GB is exhausted.|
||Agora’s API pricing is based on usage. What you pay depends on what video quality you want on your app, the number of meeting participants, and the duration of the video call (with said video quality).|
||Sinch features different prices for different locations (countries, continents) and functions..|
||Cometchat’s pricing depends on the number of MAU (monthly active users) your app intends to serve. Check out their pricing page to get a sense of what you’ll pay based on your MAU count.|
||Pricing is varied based on which SDK you’d like to use.|
So, now that you know the top contenders in the video chat SDK market, your next step is to go deeper into each one. All the contenders here come with the must-have features of any ideal video chat SDK – group & one-on-one voice and video chat, screen sharing, live broadcasting, call quality improvement, etc. However the dev effort required to integrate each Chat SDK differs, as does its efficacy in the specific software ecosystem that you (the reader) are working with or intend to work with.
Let us help you get started. If you’re curious about what Dyte is capable of, here are some resources to start off your research:
Interested? Let’s talk and figure out what Dyte can do to make your life easier and your software development more profitable.