2020 has brought an onslaught of uncertainties where people across the globe are being advised to maintain physical distances from each other. Such unique circumstances have forced the majority of the population and businesses to transfer to an online working approach.
To ensure that work gets done smoothly, many are increasingly becoming reliant on conference calls. Having said that, studies report that working and speaking with co-workers without actually seeing them can be a cause for distraction.
This paves the way for apps like Zoom that have proven to excellent platforms for businesses to conduct their meetings.
On the lighter note, apps like Zoom are also being increasingly used to remain in touch with friends and family members, conducting online classes to ensure that communication channels are always open.
Lets see how we can create a video chat app like Zoom.
Why Has Zoom Shot To Fame In Recent Times?
Web conferencing tools are available in plenty. That said, not every platform is suited to conduct group meetings involving a large number of employees.
While most support up to 10 members, you will struggle to find applications that can include higher employee numbers than that.
There isn’t a ‘one size, fits all’ solution that will ensure that your video meetings go smoothly.
But in recent times, Zoom as a video conferencing app has shot to fame as the application has been able to meet the operational demands for both businesses and personal individuals.
By enabling HD video conferencing and supporting up to 1000 participants in a single session, Zoom capitalized on the growing needs of the market that was looking for platforms to conduct online meetings.
Start-ups and entrepreneurs, inspired by the skyrocketing demand for video conferencing platforms are viewing this as a viable opportunity for investment. Many are keen to create an app like Zoom too.
So, the question is, how to create an app like Zoom from scratch? Let’s find out.
Read Also : 24 Best Video Chat Apps 2020
Start With selecting a Platform
Before you commence with the application development, you need to decide on the type of target platform that you will be using. This is essential as it helps in determining the cost outlay and the tools required in the development process.
Ask yourself this key question. Where do you want your application to run – Smartphones, Tablets, Laptops, Desktops? You can choose one or even all of these platforms to host your application.
Alternatively, you can opt to use WebRTC which does not restrict you to a particular platform only as it can support all of them. That said, you should go with an approach that is best suited to your app’s requirements, the resources available at your disposal, and the budgetary allocations.
In the current scenario, your available options are to go native or web-based.
If you choose to go the native route, you need to select which platform will you be deploying the application on. Officially, Android and iOS are supported by their respective programming languages, namely, Java and Swift/Objective-C.
So, you will have to create a separate application for both iOS and Android platforms.
A web-based application is what most developers think of first. Since WebRTC APIs come included with all major browsers, the app can be accessed on any device that has any one of these browsers installed.
Developing your video conferencing app is convenient on the web-based application as many desktop platforms offer it as a default inclusion with the system.
It is said to be ideal for those apps that are looking to enter both general computers and laptop markets. But it has been said to work well on mobile devices too.
If you wish to give more power to your app as an individual entity for respective platforms, opting for the native route makes more sense. Also, if your objective is to support legacy devices, native is the way to go as it is not supported by WebRTC APIs.
Progressive Web App
Progressive Web App or PWA is a concept that has been recently gaining in popularity. This combines the best of web and native which you may wish to consider as a third strategy when creating an app like Zoom.
Define Your Video Chat App Features
Now that you have your target platform sorted, the next step is to make a list of features and functionalities that will be highlighted through your application.
A lot will depend on the requirements of your application and the budget allocations.
Here is a list of recommended features that can be included in your video- conferencing application.
#1. Pre-call Video Preview
Allow your app users to check the camera before joining in on a video call. Enable them to disable video, if they wish to do so.
While enabling video is a must for online meeting applications like Zoom, you also need to integrate a chat feature as an add-on channel of communication that users can utilize during a call.
When creating a Zoom clone application, having a feature that allows users to exchange files during the online meeting offers convenience. That said, you must ensure that the app provides a secure platform to store and transport these files.
#4. Multi-party Conference
An online meeting app will only be successful with the users if it allows more than two users to join in the call. A multi-party conference feature is a tough task to accomplish but is the heart and soul of any video-conferencing application.
Enabling more than 10 users to join in the call will require adequate backend support and reinforcements to ensure that the app works smoothly.
#5. Desktop Sharing
Integrating a desktop sharing feature is a key functionality that comes in handy when users are connecting from remote work locations and wish to share the content of their screens during the online meeting.
This is especially useful in cases where technical support is needed and an expert can guide users to get a specific task accomplished.
Recording during an online meeting can be advantageous for very many reasons. Having said that, if you consider offering this feature then make sure that you provide storage for these recordings too.
Although, you can allow the user to save the recording on the Cloud or locally on their device too. You should also think about security measures to ensure that access is not granted to unauthorized users.
#7. Filters or Icons
If your Zoom clone application is being used in an informal capacity, then having a feature that allows users to add funny filters and icons during a call can help to attract a larger user base.
This will encourage more private calls to be initiated even though your target market primarily caters to a business audience.
If your application is being used by educational purposes, then a Whiteboard feature helps the initiator, or in this case, the teacher to impart a class through a tool that adds graphics to an idea.
#9. Live Streaming
Thanks to social media live streaming as a feature has become extremely popular. It allows a specific user to live stream audio, video, or both to a particular group in real-time.
From a business context, it can be helpful in live streaming conferences and meetings to a large group of audiences or help the government to gain access to disaster zones or rescue missions.
#10. Virtual Hand-raising
During an online meeting especially when there is a large group of members, having a virtual hand-raising feature enables a user to convey their wish to speak or voice concern by signaling to the host.
This is usually through a virtual emoji that is designed in the format of raising a hand. This feature prevents multiple users from speaking at once, thus ensuring that the meeting progresses coherently and seamlessly.
As the online meeting ensues, the host can create a poll that is shared with the participants. This Poll feature enables the host to collect participant responses about a specific issue or topic.
#12. Mute Participants
When the host of a meeting wants to ensure that users do not speak out of turn, he or she can make use of the ‘Mute Participants’ feature. This mutes the mic of one or more of the online meeting participants according to the desire of the host.
Know the Technology Stack
With a well-defined platform and the list of features out of the way, you need to know on how actually to create an app like Zoom.
Here is the recommended technology stack.
- Programming Languages – Java, Kotlin
- Toolkits – Android Studio
- SDK – Android SDK
- Video Chat – WebRTC
- Programming Languages – Swift
- Toolkits – Apple Code
- SDK – iOS SDK
- Video Chat – WebRTC
SDK and API
- WebRTC uses 3 APIs
- RTC PeerConnection
- RTC DataChannel
- Third-party APIs
The Development Process
Take a look at the steps that you cannot ignore when developing your video conferencing app.
Step 1 – Back-end Development
To create your video conferencing app like Zoom, you need to figure out how to create the server part that contributes to the proper functioning of the platform. This has to be done right at the very onset.
A ready-made BaaS solution can be used for some select apps. That said, a video conferencing application is quite complex and may require more robust technologies such as building a server from scratch.
Step 2 – UI/UX Design
The design of the app is the next step. You must design the app user interface and experience making it attractive for popular usage to the end consumer.
The navigation should be simple and convenient to understand. The user should be able to quickly grasp the functioning and performance of individual features and functionalities.
Your team should consist of the following experts:
- Project Manager – 1
- Tech Lead – 1
- iOS Developers – 2
- Android Developers – 2
- Backend Developer – 1
- UX/UI Engineer – 1
- QA Engineer – 1
If you are building an MVP app, here is a stage-wise break-up of man-hours that you may expect to invest in the development process.
|Stages||MVP Hours||Full Feature Hours|
|Business analysis + UX||50—70||80—100|
|UI/UX||40—60 for each platform||80—120 for each platform|
|iOS/Android development||400—450 for each platform||500—700 for each platform|
|QA||50—60 for each platform||80—100 for each platform|
With a limited set of features, you are looking at a time investment of approximately 1200 to 1450 man-hours, whereas if you go with a full-blown, feature-rich version, the man-hours may range anywhere between 1750 to 2400 hours.
How Much Does It Cost To Create An App Like Zoom ?
Basis these two ranges, here is a rough cost estimate to create an app like Zoom.
|Country||Average hourly rate||MVP||Full feature set|
|USA||$80||$96 000 – 116 000||$140 000 – 192 000|
|UK||$70||$ 84 000 – 101500||$ 122 500 – 168 000|
|Western Europe (Germany)||$60||$ 72 000 – 87 000||$ 105 000 – 144 000|
|Eastern Europe (Ukraine)||$30||$36 000 – 43 500||$52 500 -72 000|
|India||$25||$ 30 000 – 36 250||$ 43 750 – 60 000|
This is only an estimate and the actual cost will depend on several factors such as the final list of app features, the constitution of your app development team, their location, total man-hours put in the process, etc.
Zoom has set itself as a benchmark in the video conferencing app space. Having said there, there are still a lot of lee-ways available for more players to make their presence felt in the domain.
The benefits and subsequent returns to create a video chat app like zoom are crystal clear. Plus, the trends promise it a long life.
So, what are you waiting for? Start working on your idea today. Get in touch with our experienced consultants if you want to create an app like Zoom.