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Rabbit Makes the Jump to iOS

November 05, 2015

Back in 2014, we got word about Rabbit's interaction with video chat, and how the company was set to make the whole thing a lot simpler to work with. Now, after extensive development, Rabbit is bringing its brand of highly-simplified communications to iOS devices, and getting in on the huge market therein.

Rabbit has plenty to offer its users, starting out as a desktop tool for Mac devices back in 2013. After some changes and some new ideas, Rabbit became a browser-based chat system for desktop devices. Users could not only exchange content within the app, but also pass around documents, engage in collaborative editing via Google Docs, and even watch and comment on video in Hulu and Netflix, all from the app.

The earliest version of the app worked with several different browsers, particularly Chrome and Opera, but plans were on hand to bring it to other devices in short order. Mobile versions, meanwhile, were slated to follow in early 2015, but delay seemed to be in the cards as Rabbit has finally reached iOS devices.

When Rabbit was an Apple desktop app, reports suggested that users enjoyed the experience, but didn't much care for the level of “friction” involved in having to download and install an app. That led Rabbit's makers to bring in a Web-based real time communications (WebRTC) basis for Rabbit so that it could work readily through Web browsers, a development that served it well ever since. Now, users can get in on the action—if on a limited basis—for iOS devices. The watching movies, sending messages and such are all in place, but reports suggest that the video chatting portion isn't ready yet.

Image via Shutterstock

This announcement may prove a bit disappointing—a delay followed by a half-step release—but any visible progress is worth celebrating. Rabbit will have plenty to offer its users, and since it's on hand right from a browser, putting it to work should be relatively simple. There's a clear value here at the consumer level, and for smaller businesses that often end up turning to consumer goods, the value should be just as welcome there. Though it loses its impact with larger groups, smaller operations are likely to approve. At the heart of it all  is WebRTC, a system that's increasingly shown its versatility and its incredible capacity for delivering value. Without WebRTC, Rabbit would likely still be a desktop app, or at best a native iOS and Android app, requiring installation before use.

Rabbit's slow pace and underwhelming releases may make some lose patience, but those willing to stick around to the end are likely to be rewarded with a powerhouse of a portable tool that goes anywhere on any device, making it a tailor-made treat for the increasingly mobile workforce.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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