Video SDK: Your Guide to Creating Video Apps with Mobile SDK

By Emily KringsApr 3, 2024

There’s no question that digital video continues to surge in popularity and reach consumers in more places than ever before. 

Suppose you run a business looking to take full advantage of digital video content. In that case, integrating live streaming and on-demand video playback functionality into your service offerings is no longer a luxury. It’s a must!

Fortunately, if you’re looking to add a quality video experience to your own web or mobile applications, you don’t have to look far: there are video SDKs out there that can help. 

In this post, we’ll explore video SDKs, why they’re indispensable tools for developers, and how to use one for your own development project. We’ll also cover Maestro’s game-changing video SDK, MaestroKit.

Table of Contents

What is a Video SDK?

How to Develop a Video Streaming App: Features, Cost, Tech Stack | Product  Coalition

A video software development kit, or video SDK, is a pre-written collection of tools that app developers can use to provide functionality to applications without personally having to write or build them from scratch. 

With a video SDK, you’ll usually find both application programming interfaces (APIs) and pre-built components that empower developers to integrate live streaming and video playback features into their applications.

Think of it this way: a video SDK is kind of like a finished puzzle piece that you can add to your overall development “jigsaw puzzle.” Without the SDK, you’re responsible for creating that entire puzzle piece yourself. That makes the video SDK a powerful way to add pre-built video functionality wherever you need it.

Some of the most important clusters of video features include:

  • Live streaming
  • On-demand video playback
  • Interactive video features
  • Security and compliance
  • Analytics and insight 

The great thing about a good video SDK is that you can easily pick and choose which features you actually need and choose to integrate those specific ones into your app.

Why Use a Video SDK?

We’ve touched on this a bit already, but it’s worth talking about: why should your business work with a video SDK for your app?

It primarily comes down to three important reasons. Not only will it cut down on development resources, but you’re actually delivering video features based on a video service like Maestro that can back them up.

Let’s explore these benefits a bit further.

Enhance Your User Experience (UX)

There’s a big difference in engagement with video compared to static images or text. No matter your business, you want your app users to spend more time in your app, because that’s how they get more value out of it. A video SDK allows you to implement important video features like live streaming and video on demand for a more engaging and quality UX.

Tap into a Scalable Video Solution

Most businesses want their app to grow, but what happens if your infrastructure isn’t prepared to handle more and more viewers, especially on simultaneous streams? A strong video SDK like MaestroKit will dynamically and efficiently scale your video capabilities to meet demand – with no loss of quality.

Reduce Development Time and Resources

If you know you’ll want to incorporate video features of some kind into an app, the biggest benefit of an SDK is that it’s already proven to work. Another company has already put in the legwork to build, test, and optimize these video functions, leaving your team with the much easier job of integrating these features into your own development project.

Getting Started with a Video SDK

License Plate Recognition Software Android Hand Held | Vaxtor

If you’re new to working with an SDK, we’ll provide some pointers about the technical aspects of integrating it with your development project. But realistically, the biggest decisions you need to make about a video or streaming SDK aren’t technical – they’re strategic

Here are our five steps for getting started.

1. Identify Your Business’s Needs

First, you need to think about what your app is supposed to do for your users and decide how video features can improve their user experience.

Will you offer live streaming, on-demand, and interactive video, or just a subset of these? 

You’ll also need to think about what’s realistic from a technical perspective. What kind of bandwidth, storage, and scalability will you need to implement video in your app through an SDK?

It’s not always a no-brainer to go with an SDK. That’s why you should think critically about it and perform a cost-benefit analysis between integrating an SDK compared to doing all the work in-house or just omitting those features in your app.

2. Select a Video SDK 

Once you thoroughly understand your use case and how potential app users will engage with video, you’ll want to pick an app. We recommend MaestroKit (see more below), but there are some key factors to look at when choosing your video SDK:

  • Does the SDK offer the features you need?
  • How comprehensive is their documentation?
  • Will the SDK be compatible with your development environment, including any programming languages or frameworks your team uses?

These are questions you will need to consider with every mobile SDK you look at. After you’ve gone through this process, hopefully, you decide on the SDK that best meets your business needs.

3. Get to Know Your SDK 

The best way to learn about your SDK is to dive into its documentation, especially the “getting started” guide. You may also look for API references and sample code to get familiar with the SDK.

You may also be able to find mentions and discussions about your chosen SDK (or just video SDKs in general) on forums or communities, which may provide additional insights that are helpful at this stage.

4. Integrate the SDK into Your Mobile App

Once you know the SDK well, you can start planning how to integrate it into your app. This will involve setting up a development environment according to the requirements of your SDK, consisting of elements like libraries, dependencies, or tools.

By the time your team is ready to start coding, you should also keep an eye out for sample code, which is usually available in the documentation. This doesn’t necessarily translate 1:1 with your own product, but it can help guide your developers in how best to deploy the SDK integration.

Remember to follow any best practices recommended by the SDK you’re using.

5. Test and Optimize the Video Experience

You’re at the most important stage in the integration process, which is making sure it all works. If your app is already live, it’s crucial to set up a dev-test environment to check that all of the video features are working as expected before you push them to production. 

You’ll want to test not just for utility but also for ease of use and performance. Does the video SDK cause your app to become sluggish, unresponsive, or prone to crashes? 

While in-house testing and optimization are essential, it’s also worth doing some kind of beta or user testing with some of your actual users to see how your video functionality fares in the real world (assuming your app is already in the wild).

As you get back data and results, be sure to use this to optimize your video integration. There are a lot of settings you can adjust to improve the user interface, boost loading times, and just generally make video a better experience for users of your app.

Putting It All Together

Integrating a video SDK into your mobile app is an iterative process that may require you to follow these five steps over a few cycles. 

Just keep in mind, a successful SDK integration isn’t only about technical implementation – it’s also about making sure the features you choose and implement are optimized for actual users. 

When it comes to mobile apps, user experience is everything, and video is just one facet of the bigger picture.

Introducing MaestroKit 

How Gears Work | HowStuffWorks

Obviously, a video SDK is a massive tool for improving the UX, scalability, and time to market for your mobile app. That’s why we’re thrilled to announce the launch of MaestroKit, a mobile SDK designed to help developers and product teams bring the Maestro experience into their mobile apps.

There are two ways to implement MaestroKit:

  1. You can enable your users to go live from their smartphones with vertical TikTok/Instagram Live-like video with just a tap
  2. You can use the tech to add interactivity to your mobile streaming experiences. 

Currently, the streaming SDK has a built-in live chat. Tipping, shopping, and more interactivity features are coming soon.

With MaestroKit’s thorough documentation, your team can easily incorporate the tech into its workflow. However, you also have the option to invest in hands-on software development from highly experienced engineers from our team.

Make MaestroKit Your Mobile SDK Solution

By working with a video SDK like MaestroKit, you can transform your mobile app with interactive live streaming. Ultimately, you can provide a much better experience for your users with a fraction of the development time and resources.

Please contact us to learn more about MaestroKit.

Join our Discord server to learn more tips and tricks for streaming on Maestro.