A new iOS app that allows instant messaging without an internet connection is rapidly moving towards the top of the ‘free app’ charts.
FireChat, developed by San Francisco-based startup Open Garden, can be used on an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch without WiFi or cellular connectivity. It’s based on the Multipeer Connectivity Framework feature in iOS 7, either sending messages directly from person to person or transmitting them via a peer-to-peer network.
There’s no need to create an account or log in, which means FireChat can be used to chat and send photos anonymously.
Messages are either transmitted via Bluetooth or WiFi.
Micha Benoliel, Open Garden’s CEO, said “We may think that we need the Internet for everything. FireChat proves that’s not always the case. People ask me: how does this work without an Internet connection? Thanks to the Multipeer Connectivity Framework introduced in iOS 7, we are now able to deliver a best-in-class peer-to-peer chat experience to iOS users.”
Slightly confusingly, there’s already an unconnected messaging application called Firechat built on the open-source Firebase platform.
[FireChat on iTunes]