FireChat, the brand new sensation in the world of Android mobile messaging apps, has finally been introduced in the Google Play Store, and keep holding your breath, for its no way another WhatsApp clone! For starters, FireChat isn’t like your standard instant messaging app, since it lets you stay in touch with your dear ones even when there’s no cellular service or Wi-Fi available (Yes!). Arguably among the most interesting communication wonders to see daylight this year, the Android version comes within two weeks of the iPhone app launch.
Image Source: play.google.com
This text and photo sharing app will surely delight people constantly looking for more effective, reliable and affordable ways of communication. The FireChat mobile app is free to use and is based on the critically acclaimed Wireless Mesh Networking technology that could possibly connect devices like chain links in the near future. The possibilities are many and through time we shall witness just what this wonderful technology accomplishes and whether it is able to break the conventional communication systems.
Stay connected despite being ‘Off the Grid’
FireChat is the brainchild of Open Garden, a San Francisco based startup firm with just 10 employees, which actually reminds of the early WhatsApp days. The Wireless Mesh Networking (WMN) technology is pegged as the future and could someday connect thousands of wireless radio devices for sharing information and staying online – all as a free service! As per a report, WMN can provide internet based communications in remote or disaster affected areas where cellular or Wi-Fi is inaccessible.
So even if you are ‘Off The Grid’, with FireChat you can stay connected, albeit with some limitations around its reach. At present, FireChat connected devices (iPhones) has a service range of 30 to 100 feet. It must be noted that WMN is safe, secure and efficient, and is something that can’t be easily hacked or spied. Hence, feel safe while chatting with your loved ones, since no mischief mongers could annoy you and remember, even the governments can’t shut down FireChat!
Words from the makers
Speaking about the technology and basic idea behind the app, Micha Benoliel, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Open Garden, the real brains behind the FireChat, was quoted as saying, “We trying to create networks built by the people for the people.” Reportedly, the iOS version has already witnessed over 1 millions downloads and the company is hoping to repeat a similar story in the Android community as well.
Image Source: play.google.com
Android holds the key to FireChat’s popularity owing to its vast and comparatively large number of users as compared to iPhones in the less affluent nations. For instance, Android devices have the clear upper hand over Apple phones and tablets in the Indian subcontinent, and these sort of markets are where FireChat could establish itself more conveniently.
According to Christophe Daligault, Marketing Chief at Open Garden, FireChat’s chat room isn’t as high minded as WMN, to which he said, “We are finding a lot of people are using it when they are just looking for something to do for a few minutes.” At present, about 80 users can enter a chat room and engage amongst themselves. Daligault further added, “Some of the discussions there are turning out to be more interesting than anything they can find on Facebook.”
Interestingly, Google Inc. is an avid admirer of WMN and a firm believer in this technology’s massive potential to render a significant part of the present unconnected world closer online. Sundar Pichai, the executive in charge of Android with Google, feels that WMN could easily connect smart wearables, such as the much fawned upon Google Glasses, besides potentially becoming the foundation of the entire Internet of things based digital world in future. It is going to be interesting to see if FireChat is able to pose stiff competition to the likes of WhatsApp, SnapChat, Line and WeChat, amongst others.