New chat app FireChat works without an internet connection

Posted by: Jennifer Cefai (2 years, 7 months ago)

Chat app WhatsApp is all over the news at the moment, and it's no wonder that other apps of the same genre are hoping for something similar to happen to them. FireChat is the latest addition to the many WhatsApp-esque apps out there, but has its own defining features that truly separate it from the rest.

FireChat is described as a "hyperlocal chat network for iOS that even works when you don't have an internet connection." It is based on the Multipeer Connectivity Framework that forms part of iOS 7, which lets developers trace Multipeer-enabled services on nearby iOS devices using Wi-Fi, peer-to-peer connections, and Bluetooth. This gives it a range of around 100 feet, but the architecture behind FireChat means that it could stretch much further than that. No user accounts mean that you don't have to sign in, and you can stay as anonymous as you'd like to be. You can also talk to a single user or go into global chat mode, which includes everybody on the same local network.

Since the framework is only available on iOS, Android or Windows Phone users can't get access to FireChat. However, it shouldn't be too long before similar apps start popping up. 

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