Cheap international calls, mobile gaming with simultaneous voice chat, distributed call centers. Developers can create these and more with Twilio’s voice client iOS SDK that launches publicly today. The software development kit allows any iOS app to send and receive voice calls over 3G or Wi-Fi for a fraction of the price of traditional calling.
I was actually briefed by Twilio over an iOS conference call app powered by the SDK (very cool), but the real fun begins when developers start surprising us with VoIP apps too crazy or disruptive to predict.
Twilio’s iOS SDK is such a doorway to innovation because it makes voice calling affordable for a much wider range of uses. Traditional voice calls in the US cost 2 cents per minute, and in Europe can cost as much as 14 cents per minute. VoIP calls made through Twilio iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch SDK apps cost just 1/4 cent per line per minute, which developers can shoulder or pass on to their users.
The Twilio client for web browsers was released in late June, but the iOS SDK’s product manager Thomas Schiavone tells me “that got a lot of mobile devs saying “what about me?” The iOS SDK has been in beta testing for the last few months. In the meantime, Twilio raised a $17 million Series C round, and began expanding its web voice API across Europe.
Here are the first types of apps you can expect to see built on the Twilio iOS SDK:
Twilio-powered apps could undercut today’s call center solutions — an industry where enterprises spend billions a year on expensive hardware and voice calling.
A new wave of Android telecom apps won’t be far behind. Twilio is launching the beta of its Android voice client SDK today as well, and next will beef up its native mobile app APIs with SMS and video functionality.