Potential uses of Apple frameworks/services are building up rapidly . FireChat, a new iOS app released this week, lets you chat with people nearby without the need for internet. For connecting two devices, the app uses a new iOS 7 technology called Multipeer Connectivity Framework instead.
The Multipeer Connectivity Framework lets apps communicate with other devices using infrastructure such as Wi-Fi networks, peer-to-peer Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth personal area networks. While these technologies are short ranged, their range can be extended if there are a chain of users, with each user being close enough to just one other user, so there’s at least one connection for every user.
This is pretty awesome, and it’s a pretty big deal. It not only allows people to message and send files to each other without the need for a mobile or wireless network, but it allows it to happen over distances a lot further than what you can typically reach with a WiFi or Bluetooth connection.
This type of communicating is called wireless mesh networking, and FireChat is the first app (aside from iOS’s built in AirDrop) we have seen that uses it. Using the MCF, the app allows you to chat like you would through any other messaging app, but sends messages directly from phone to phone, perfect when you’re at a sporting event or concert and the networks are so congested that you can’t get anything through..