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Firechat: mobile messaging app with built-in mesh network





SonLight
Firechat is a messaging app which can work offline. No internet or cell phone connection is required to use it, provided another device is within about 70 meters. It can use the wifi and bluetooth radios to build an ad-hoc network with other phones.

Here is a video showing how it connects, locally and globally:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GogPPT3ePGQ

For most of us who aren't part of an organized crowd, we will simply use it for messaging. I created a #frihost channel in case some of us want to try it out. It does have private messages and they are encrypted, so two people can use it to text each other, including in many cases when one or both of them has no phone or internet signal.

The biggest drawback seems to be using a lot of battery capacity. A few months ago I tried it and had to uninstall it to free the radios from excessive use. At present, it appears to exit quietly provided I turn off both wifi and bluetooth just before I force it to exit.

You can learn more at the open garden youtube channel,
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCPGMM29GOeEMVyew0TaCO3A
or website, https://opengarden.com/
jajarvin
I think two phones need to be no longer than 60 meters from each other.
SonLight
jajarvin wrote:
I think two phones need to be no longer than 60 meters from each other.
I think some written sources say 60 and some say 70 but what the heck, it's a rough approximation anyway.

The bad news is I have deleted firechat again at the moment. It appears it was activating the bluetooth when a notification occured, even though the app was never officially 'active'. I realize the company wants mesh networks to be formed whenever they can be, but they have to allow the radios to be turned off for a predictable period of time or it's no deal.
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