Flashphone.RU: a softphone built on Adobe Flash

by alec on November 9, 2007

The first softphones based on Adobe Flash are starting to appear.  Previously I've written about Pudding Media, which ships a flash based phone, and Tom Keating has written about flashphone.ru.  The advantage, of course, of shipping a flash based widget, is that it can run on so many platforms.  In conversation at VON last week, however, one vendor I spoke with still favours Java based softphones because of latency and jitter issues.  Current generation flash phones are apparently TCP based, and not UDP.  Should be sufficient in a PBX environment, in any case.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Markus Göbel&#0 November 9, 2007 at 8:30 am

Gizmo Call is also a flashphone based on Adobe Flash 9 which lets you make calls from a website. Only that when you use it for the first time it asks you to download a plugin for Windows or Mac. So Linux users stay outside. I wonder if the Russians can circumvent this problem.

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omfut November 9, 2007 at 10:22 am

Gizmo call only uses flash for audio driver access. I dont think its a pure flash based softphone. What they actualy download is not a browser plugin- its an application that runs in the background always. Looks like the browser talks to this application for media transfer.

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user November 10, 2007 at 2:00 am

flashphone is true flash based service, you don't need to install anything except adobe flash and yes, it works in Linux and in any modern browser and on pocket PC

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Dean Elwood November 11, 2007 at 3:06 am

Latency is an issue. One of our moderators tested flashphone and found it to have a two-second delay. Your mileage will vary with TCP/IP.

Adobe Flash 10 will have a SIP stack and UDP functionality and is currently set for release in March 2008.

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user November 11, 2007 at 5:57 am

I have no latency issue, i called to USA great quality and in Italy also… Maybe there is something with your connection?

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Jason Fischl November 13, 2007 at 6:46 pm

Flash-based phones must use TCP for the media. Moreover, the media has to go back to the http server that served the page containing the flash. As a result the scalability is questionable. But the biggest problem is that when you carry media over TCP you will have substantial latency if there is any packet loss since TCP guarantees delivery and the order of the packets. This is why some people report good quality and others report horrible quality.

As Alec writes, if the page containing the flash is served off of a switched network, there is likely not going to be any packet loss and it will likely work just fine. In any non-switched environment it just isn't going to work reliably enough for anybody to use this for real. In other words, if you load the flash off of a page on the Internet, it won't be reliable.

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