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Complete Guide to Apple iOS Callkit in 2024

Complete Guide to Apple iOS Callkit in 2024

Ever wondered how your favorite VoIP apps on iOS deliver such a seamless calling experience? The secret sauce is Apple’s iOS CallKit. This game-changing framework has transformed the world of digital communication, making every call feel as natural and intuitive as a traditional phone call. Dive in to discover the magic behind it!

What is CallKit?

CallKit is an advanced framework introduced by Apple for iOS devices, specifically designed to enhance the calling experience for VoIP services. With the inception of iOS CallKit in 2016, starting with iOS 10, developers received a huge opportunity to integrate their calling services seamlessly with other call-related apps on the system. One of the primary objectives of iOS CallKit is to make calls feel as native to iOS as possible.

This framework completes the gap between traditional phone calls and VoIP calls by providing a native-looking interface. It offers system-level integration features, allowing calls to work harmoniously with modes like Do-Not-Disturb, Mute, and even vibration-only settings. Moreover, CallKit ensures that users can receive calls in both locked and unlocked states, enhancing the overall user experience.

For developers looking to incorporate CallKit into their projects, Apple provides various classes and components, such as CXProvider, CXProviderDelegate, and CXHandle, to facilitate the process. These elements play a pivotal role in actions like receiving incoming calls or initiating outgoing calls. With the right steps and code, integrating iOS CallKit into an app can significantly elevate its functionality and user appeal.

Application Scenarios of iOS CallKit

CallKit can be applied in various scenarios, from personal chats to business meetings. For instance, a business communication app can leverage CallKit to provide a native-like call experience, complete with call holding, muting, and multi-call handling. Similarly, a social networking app can use CallKit to allow users to receive VoIP calls even when the app is in the background, enhancing user engagement.

Features of iOS CallKit

CallKit is a framework provided by Apple that allows VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) apps to integrate closely with the native Phone interface of iOS devices. Here’s a brief overview of each feature in the context of CallKit:

  • Unified User Interface: CallKit enables VoIP calls to use the same interface as regular cellular calls on iOS devices, offering a unified and familiar user experience.
  • Deep System Integration: It allows VoIP calls to work seamlessly with core iOS features such as Do-Not-Disturb, Mute, and vibration modes, and enables receiving calls in both locked and unlocked states.
  • Enhanced Call Management: CallKit provides functionalities like call blocking and caller ID, and supports smooth transitions between VoIP and regular calls.
  • Customization and Flexibility: Developers can customize CallKit’s interface to match their app’s branding, offering a personalized user experience.
  • Robust Security and Privacy: CallKit is designed with a focus on user security and privacy, ensuring that all content is not accessed or stored.
  • Advanced Development Tools: Apple provides developers with tools and protocols for easy integration of CallKit into their apps.
  • PushKit Integration: This ensures efficient handling of incoming VoIP calls, leveraging PushKit for enhanced performance.

Pros and Cons of iOS CallKit

iOS CallKit stands out as a significant development in enhancing telecommunication experiences on Apple devices. This introduction delves into the various facets of iOS CallKit, examining both its advantages and limitations. Whether you’re a developer, an iOS user, or simply a tech enthusiast, this exploration will shed light on the intricate balance of innovation and usability within iOS CallKit.

Pros of iOS CallKit:

  • It allows VoIP calls to appear in the native phone app’s recent and favorites lists, providing a seamless user experience.
  • CallKit also supports call blocking and identification, enabling users to block or identify calls within the app.
  • It integrates with Do-Not-Disturb, Mute, or vibration-only modes, enhancing the user’s control over their calling experience.

Cons of iOS CallKit:

Despite its many advantages, CallKit is not without its drawbacks.

  • It requires a significant amount of code to implement, which can be daunting for beginners.
  • While CallKit provides a native-like call experience, it may not offer the same level of customization as building a custom call UI.
  • CallKit’s functionality can be limited in certain scenarios, such as when the app is in the background or the device is locked.

How to Build a Voice/Video Chat for iOS With ZEGOCLOUD

If you’re a developer looking to integrate video call functionality into your iOS apps, ZEGOCLOUD UIKits is another excellent option. With this system framework, you can easily integrate video calls into your app and make high-quality video calls with other iOS users.

What is ZEGOCLOUD UIKits?

ZEGOCLOUD is a leading provider of cloud-based communication solutions. It has two efficient methods for you to build video calls. The first is the UIKits which is included in the UIKits. This software development kit (SDK) allows developers to add voice and video calling capabilities to their apps, providing a seamless communication experience for users.

Moreover, ZEGOCLOUD has a fully customized video call SDK that gives you complete layout and workflow control.

Features of ZEGOCLOUD UIKits

As shown in the figure, UIKits is responsible for processing audio and video calls for iOS and the logic related to text chat. Include:

  • UI and interaction of the calling module
  • call status management
  • Audio and video data transmission

You only need to implement business-related logic. For example:

  • User login registration
  • Friends List Management
  • Call billing recharge

When to use UIKits

  • Testing Tools In the early market research stage, quickly verify customer needs.
  • MVP Quickly realizes minimal products, demonstrates market demand, and gains investor trust.
  • In-app plugins Added audio and video calling module to improve daily application activities and increase user stickiness.

Steps to Build an iOS Video Chat With ZEGOCLOUD UIKits

If you want to create a video calls app for iOS, incorporating UIKits can provide a seamless and intuitive user experience. Here are the steps you need to follow to build a reliable and high-quality video call app using ZEGOCLOUD iOS CallKit which is included in UIKits.

Preparation

  • ZEGOCLOUD developer account – Sign up
  • A Mac computer with video and audio support.
  • Get CallKit appID and appSign
  • Basic understanding of iOS development

Integrate the SDK

Follow the steps below to integrate ZEGOCLOUD CallKit for iOS:

1. Add ZegoUIKitPrebuiltCall as a dependency in your project root directory.

flutter pub add zego_uikit_prebuilt_call

2. Import the SDK

Open main.dart and insert the following codes to import the SDK.

import 'package:zego_uikit_prebuilt_call/zego_uikit_prebuilt_call.dart';

3. Using the ZegoUIKitPrebuiltCall in your project

To set up the Call Kit service for your project, head over to ZEGOCLOUD Admin Console and retrieve your appID and appSign. Next, provide your userID and userName, and generate a callID to initiate your call.

class CallPage extends StatelessWidget {
  const CallPage({Key? key, required this.callID}) : super(key: key);
  final String callID;

  @override
  Widget build(BuildContext context) {
    return ZegoUIKitPrebuiltCall(
      appID: yourAppID, // Fill in the appID that you get from ZEGOCLOUD Admin Console.
      appSign: yourAppSign, // Fill in the appSign that you get from ZEGOCLOUD Admin Console.
      userID: 'user_id',
      userName: 'user_name',
      callID: callID,
      // You can also use groupVideo/groupVoice/oneOnOneVoice to make more types of calls.
      config: ZegoUIKitPrebuiltCallConfig.oneOnOneVideoCall() 
        ..onOnlySelfInRoom = () => Navigator.of(context).pop(),
    );
  }
}

4. Configure your project

Follow the steps below to set up ZEGOCLOUD CallKit for iOS to ensure effective functioning:

1. Add permission

To grant additional permissions, navigate to your_project/ios/Runner/Info.plist, and insert the following code into the dict section:

<key>NSCameraUsageDescription</key>
<string>We require camera access to connect to a call</string>
<key>NSMicrophoneUsageDescription</key>
<string>We require microphone access to connect to a call</string>

2. Configure build

To properly utilize notifications and successful app building, proceed to the Build Settings section, and configure the target app with the following build options.

Run a Demo

Conclusion

Integrating iOS CallKit into your iOS video calling app can significantly impact the overall user experience. Following the steps outlined in this guide, you can develop a robust and efficient video-calling app that leverages the full capabilities of ZEGOCLOUD UIKits. With the right approach, you can create a high-quality video-calling experience for your users. ZEGOCLOUD SDK allows you to drop the full features of video calls into your app.

FAQ about iOS Video Call

Q1: Can any app use iOS CallKit?

Any VoIP app can integrate with CallKit, but the developers need to implement it in their app. This ensures that the app can offer features like call blocking and caller identification.

Q2: Why might some VoIP apps not use CallKit?

While CallKit offers many advantages, some apps might avoid it due to regional restrictions or to maintain a unique interface separate from the native iOS look and feel.

Q3: Does iOS video calling consume a lot of data?

Yes, video calls generally consume a significant amount of data. The exact data usage depends on the duration and quality of the video call. If you are concerned about data usage, it is advisable to make video calls on a Wi-Fi network or use an unlimited data plan.

Q4: What is the Best video call SDK for iOS?

Choosing the right iOS Video Call SDK depends on your specific needs and requirements. ZEGOCLOUD, Agora, Sendbird, G-Core, and MirrorFly are all excellent choices, each offering unique features and capabilities. You can make an informed decision that best suits your app development project.

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