Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Show HN: My WebRTC app – needs road test (coms.global)
13 points by CraigDunn 10 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 13 comments





Hello everyone! - this is my first time here, so I hope you're all well and that some of you will have time to test my app.

I've built a WebRTC-based messenger and video-calling app which is now published (for early access) and testing on the Play Store - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=global.coms.tw... is the url for Android people.

3 years ago, when my last corporate gig ended, I was at a loose end until I dove into WebRTC, which I though was sooooo cool :). So I set about building a Skype alternative since I'd used that every day at work.

Being also privacy a security conscious I've steered away from ads and cookies and any kind of surveillance, activity monitoring, logging - things of that nature. This is a "communicate and leave no trace" kind of tool.

You'll have to make a username and password to test, but that's it. Then it's a matter of connecting with a friend who's also joined and doing some messaging and video calls.

User "Coms Support" - that's me - is in everyone's contact list and available as much as possible. I live now in Thailand, so my timezone is ICT, which is GMT+7, EST+11 or PST+14. I work from dawn 'til late, so there's a good chance you'll find me online at a time that suits you.

I look forward to chatting! - and thanks much for your time :)

Craig.


Do you plan on monetizing the app? How?

That's the 64,000 dollar question isn't it? Tt's difficult to do while rejecting surveillance advertising (that would completely defeat the app's privacy principles, so I won't do it). I'm looking into SIP - if I can enable the app to call regular telephones from the web, that would be a premium feature that could be charged for. There are further functionality enhancements, like large group calls, which require extended infrastructure and would have to be charged for, but using TURN and SFUs violates the P2P E2EE principle too - and Zoom does it for free - so the question is very difficult to answer. If you have any ideas yourself I'd totally love to hear them! :)

seems nice, but you need a better UI my friend.

hmm, right! All designers welcome :)

This looks really nice in the backend side, it's clear that you put a lot of care in the hole security and permissions configuration.

But even as the backend is nice i think there is a big room for improvement in the front-end, i don't have android so i've checked the your website and the screenshots of your app.

Your icons are too big, the interface looks something like from middle 90's with lot's of tables and rectangular shapes. Your "call" button is a lot different fom the rest of the UI. It's clear for me that it is not your area of expertise so it's really fine actually. The main problem for this is for your users, the first thing they will see is the UI and not much the backend and the features you built, so for a product it's nice to have a nice UI for it to become successful.

If you have money you can try to hire some designers to help you (at least freelancers) Ben awad is a youtuber/developer who is also creating an app and one things you can see from his journey is that he hired designers with his co-founder to help make the app beautiful (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ViYUp7jsJNM)

If you still need some inspiration and tools: - You can try Figma for designing and prototyping, it's free. - Dribbble for inspiration - Freecodecamp for courses and tutorial on UI/UX design.

I think this is what you will probably need. Besides that, it looks nice and really promising, just need some polishing.


Thanks! Yep, you're 100% correct that design is not my expertise, I just do what looks fine to me, but I have a coder's brain. Thanks much for those contact suggestions. I do have contact with some designers and one in particular who has offered some help in return for tech. assistance, so this issue is being addressed. I very much appreciate your feedback - thanks!

Everyone - thanks for checking it out, please do continue! It's most useful of course if you have someone to call or message, so here's how to make a contact - Go to "Contacts" and click/tap "New Contact". Enter Craig (that's me) or the Coms username of a friend, then hit "Send". Wait for that contact-request to be accepted, then you'll find that name in your Contacts and it'll show up in Messenger and in the Video Call window. Anything that's not clear, please do ask about it here - I certainly do need to know :)

> Apple does not support webRTC technology for video calls in this browser. Please switch to Safari.

Despite visiting the website from Safari, the above message is shown for some reason.

WebRTC has been supported by WebKit since the past few years, so your information is outdated &/or the library being used for abstraction is not up-to-date.

Are you handling users behind a NAT using a TURN server too?


Ah! Thanks for pointing that out. It's true that browsers other than Safari on Apple devices cannot do WebRTC, and that's what that message is for. Browser identification clearly needs a correction, so thanks, I'll get to it :)

> Are you handling users behind a NAT using a TURN server too?

Most NAT's do not need TURN, only STUN. TURN is basically a worst-case solution.


TURN is only used if STUN fails - I see from my analytics at the turn server provider that not even one session has been handle that way :)

That should be fixed now - thanks again :)



Guidelines | FAQ | Lists | API | Security | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: