As Browsers Become First-Class UC Citizens, Lifesize Meetings Become Even Easier to Join

by in Products, WebRTC

With global research indicating that the average person uses the Internet for 6 hours, 42 minutes every day – including 48 percent of that time spent on mobile – it isn’t a stretch to say that web experiences and the browsers that power them have an outsized influence on our work, digital relationships and tangential technology decisions.

To improve Lifesize customers’ ability to use the web to connect with stakeholders outside their organization as well as give people who have never used Lifesize before the easiest possible path to join a video meeting, we are excited to introduce a brand new meeting experience for the tens of thousands of guest participants that join Lifesize calls every day.

Laptop open in a coffee shop. On the laptop's screen is the Lifesize guest call experience 

Effective immediately, guests entering Lifesize meetings via Google Chrome on Android, MacOS or Windows, Microsoft Edge on MacOS or Windows, or Apple Safari on iOS or MacOS will be able to skip app downloads and account creation and instantly join straight from their web or mobile browser.  The new guest experience makes it infinitely easier, faster and more direct for guests not acutely familiar with Lifesize’s service to connect to a meeting. 

This development also removes any burden on a meeting host to explain to their guests how to navigate the service and ensures joining the meeting doesn’t become an encumbrance when it’s time to get down to business. Instantaneous meeting access is the gateway to productivity paradise.

Eventually, this streamlined experience will extend to all Lifesize users – customers and guests alike. (Although have no fear, power users, you will still have the option to default to your preferred dedicated Lifesize desktop or mobile app to access our full feature set.)

Exciting as this new lightweight guest interface is, we didn’t stop there in the mission to improve the overarching Lifesize meeting experience on the web. Browsers’ integral role in digital life and work is further evidenced by Microsoft’s recent focus on completely rearchitecting and relaunching its Edge browser to be based on the Chromium open source project and thus also based on the WebRTC open standard. 

Thanks to the fact that Lifesize placed an early bet and built our cloud video conferencing service atop WebRTC from Day 1, Lifesize meetings can now be accessed natively through the Edge browser on Windows 10 and MacOS, just as they can be natively joined and participated in through the other major browsers, sans app download or plug-in. Although Microsoft only claims 14.2 percent user share in the browser wars, the new Edge will be steadily, automatically disseminated to the millions upon millions of enterprise devices running various versions of Windows.

As a result, video collaboration from Lifesize and other WebRTC-friendly providers will instantly become easier and more natural on those Edge-powered devices. Consistency in user experience and overall ease of use across devices and browsers are critical, and supporting Edge following its shift to WebRTC helps us maintain both.

Soon, gone will be the days when downloading a desktop or mobile app is ever required. The vast majority of face-to-face interactions will be able to be joined and conducted straight through the browser, just as Lifesize Go demonstrated would be possible. That’s particularly important because 41 percent of professionals cite overly difficult downloads or join processes as a key detractor to the video conferencing experience. See what Lifesize is doing about that by joining a Lifesize meeting as a guest or through Microsoft Edge today; we’d love to hear your feedback to improve the experience even more.