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How does FireChat work

By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 20, 2017
How does FireChat work

Another instant messaging app? Basically. Now many people are leaving WhatsApp and are looking for more secure alternatives and that, incidentally, work better. Therefore, the launch of FireChat is quite interesting. Although you can only use it under very specific conditions, it is true that there are times when it can be the solution to all your problems. What exactly is this app? At OneHowto we show you how FireChat works.

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What is FireChat?

FireChat is an instant messaging app with a very special feature: it can send messages even when there's no network coverage and/or Wi-Fi connection. This app is very simple and is divided into two messaging modes: 'Everyone', where you can send messages worldwide and 'Nearby', to communicate with other users that are close by.

Harnessing iOS 7

To connect smartphones without an internet connection, FireChat uses the Multipeer Connectivity Framework, a feature unique to iOS 7, which allows messaging and file-sharing Peer-to-Peer (P2P) on home devices. How do you use it? Using P2P Wi-Fi or Bluetooth.

'Nearby' messaging

By using bluetooth to connect devices, you will be fairly limited to who you can send messages to: only people who are less than 10 metres away. That is why FireChat is a local instant messaging service that doesn't work in the same way as WhatsApp or other similar apps that allow you to message whoever you want.

Anonymity

Another feature of FireChat is that you don't need to register to use this app. Therefore, users can choose whatever username they want and use this app anonymously. It also allows you to send messages to strangers, as long as they are near you if there's no coverage.

Possible uses

When is it useful to have an app like FireChat? For chatting in places like the underground, meeting friends at festivals or places where there's too much mobile traffic. Another interesting potential use for this mode of communication is in natural disasters: it could be crucial to finding victims. It is also useful to communicate in countries where the Internet is restricted.

Only for iOS 7 devices

Being based on the Multipeer Connectivity Framework, this app is only available for iOS 7 devices.

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