Talkboard by Citrix: Collaborative Drawing with Firebase

Firebase is great for apps where data changes frequently, especially collaborative applications where users across the world are interacting with each other in realtime. We’ve seen some awesome collaborative drawing apps built with Firebase, and in this post we’d like to highlight Talkboard, an iPad app built by the team at Citrix. Talkboard is a beautifully designed app for whiteboarding and brainstorming ideas remotely. Below, Frederic Mayot from Citrix answers a few questions about building Talkboard and integrating Firebase.

How does Talkboard use Firebase?

We use Firebase to handle all our data, from user profiles to whiteboard data. The API was so simple that we implemented all the communications and data synchronization in a bit more than a week. Thanks to disk persistence, we allow our users to access and edit their projects and whiteboards anywhere, anytime, without worrying about being connected to the internet. Though very simple in its UI, Talkboard is a complex iOS application. However, we managed to model everything we needed with Firebase, including making the app secured and very responsive. The application is sending complex data structures representing the strokes at very high frame rates. We were very impressed to see such a low latency. This really enables the magic of showing the strokes being updated in real-time across devices.

What are some ways you’ve used Talkboard to collaborate at Citrix?

As soon as we got an initial version working, we used Talkboard to design Talkboard ;-) It is such an amazing experience to be able to draw in real-time with someone and be able to talk about it! The app makes it very easy to produce beautiful artifacts, even if you’re not a designer.

What is the coolest use case of Talkboard you’ve seen so far?

We’ve seen many different use cases and are still learning from our users. Talkboard is picking up in the education space but also with designers and all kinds of business users. To me, the most amazing thing is to see how people have fun when using the app for the first time.

Download Talkboard for your iPad now to start collaborating with co-workers and friends in realtime!