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Firechat, A Messaging App That Works Without Wi-Fi or Cellphone Coverage

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firechat

firechat

With the recent hike in fares by the telecom operators hitting the student community and middle class people hard, this particular chat app might be considered as heaven in disguise. I’m sorry for being over-democratic but when you will hear about FireChat, I bet, you won’t be able to keep calm yourself.

FireChat is the dream of every teenager come through. Unlike the conventional chat apps and micro-blogging websites, which require a functional Internet to function, FireChat has the capability of creating conversations offline, yes offline, which means it doesn not require any Wi-Fi, mobile-internet connection or cellular phone coverage of whatsoever.

FireChat first became popular in 2014 in Iraq following government restrictions on internet use, and thereafter during the Hong Kong protests.

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The app works without the internet by tapping into the radio capabilities of mobile handsets and creating a mesh network. The messages can be exchanged within a range of 70 metres, but have a capability of going beyond this range as a link is created from phone to phone using the headsets Bluetooth.

Basically, mesh networking allows you to communicate wirelessly, by bouncing your message from one phone equipped with FireChat (within a range of 70 metres) to another via inbuilt Wi-Fi or Bluetooth antennas that every mobile phone has.

If there aren’t any connections nearby, messages are stored until they can be sent – and don’t worry, messages will be encrypted so only the intended recipient will be able to read them. The message then keeps bouncing from phone to phone until it reaches said recipient.

And of course, message bouncing from one firechat-enabled phone to another can take a few minutes until it reaches its recepient, around 10 to 20 minutes across a dense metro area. So, this means that the more people download the app the better.

The company has recently launched OM (Off-the-grid Messaging) for the app with which the app will be able to deliver a private encrypted message without access to the network. The messaging app creates a peer-to-peer mesh network that takes ones message from phone to phone until it reaches the intended destination.

Moreover, just like any other messaging service like WhatsApp or Twitter you can do lot more things with Firechat click here to see what many things you can do with Firechat. For example, you may share photos using FireChat, in the same way that you do so over SMS. Only the people who follow you will see your photos. To see someone else’s photos, you need to follow that person.

The app can prove to be a real advantage in times of crisis when the mobile networks are down and people want to connect with their loved ones in order to know about their wellbeing. This was experienced during the recent devastating Kashmir floods when a bunch of youth used the app to pass information about evacuation plans within their limited area even though the mobile networks were down.

The app has already found a huge fan following among the youth of the nation and with over a million users, India is one of the top priority countries for the app. The app is available both on Android and iOS.

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Vardaan
Founding editor at IndianWeb2, he's been writing at IndianWeb2 since 2007. Apart from blogging he had a professional career of software developer, Ux developer and search engine marketer in past. His vision of IndianWeb2 has been laid down so as to showcase, encourage and propagate Indian startups, innovation and entrepreneurship ideas.

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