Secure Chat 2.4.0 now has a brand-new algorithm to adapt the audio and video codec bitrates to the available bandwidth, and hence optimize audio and video quality.
During a call, the audio and video quality mostly depends on the encoder's output bitrate. A high-quality video stream will always request more bitrate and, consequently, more network bandwidth than a low-quality video stream. It is then important that the encoding quality is chosen in such a way that the resulting output bitrate is compatible with the network bandwidth capacity available between the participants of a call.
However, the available bandwidth is not something known in advance by the application, and it can vary during the call. For example, it can depend on network usage of other applications or the signal strength of the wireless network. When the network bandwidth is not sufficient, the streams will be received damaged, with variable delay and loss of data.
The two objectives of the brand new adaptive bitrate algorithm are then to:
- Detect network congestion, so that the output bitrate of the encoder can quickly be reduced, which allows to recover an optimal latency and stop video artefacts caused by packet losses
- Detect the bandwidth capacity available, so that the output bitrate of the encoder can be increased dynamically up to this capacity in order to offer the best possible audio and video experience
The new algorithm operates by doing at receiver side some statistical analysis of timings of arrivals of audio and video packets, and send target bitrate commands to the remote audio and video encoders.
Two major network reconnection issues were also dealt with. Changing networks between wireless to cellular, or an interruption to network connectivity, logged users out of the chat service and at times caused the chat app to crash. With this update, Secure Chat users will enjoy seamless connectivity, switching between data networks.
Several issues with network connectivity were also addressed. Failure to establish a secure connection, infinite reconnection loop after account password change and a general interruption to network connectivity caused the application to crash. With this update, you will enjoy seamless connectivity, made possible by careful examination of the application behavior in various conditions, as well as optimizing the application's reconnection algorithm.
Secure Chat 2.4.0 features many notable fixes and improvements:
- We have fixed the issue observed when updating the application, which resulted in the user being logged out from Secure Chat and receiving invalid credentials error when trying to log back in.
- When receiving a notification of a pending invitation to a group chat, you will now be able to visit the Recent Chats section in the application by tapping on the notification.
- The loudspeaker is no longer enabled by default on both devices when initiating a call.
- The microphone is now disabled during a call when the connection is not secure.
- Accurate caller's name is disabled when receiving a call in case the caller has changed their account.
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