An Introduction to Multipeer Connectivity in Mobiles

As a mobile application development company that takes pride in leveraging bleeding edge technologies to give our apps a business edge, Multipeer Connectivity is a technology we are excited about.

Now apps can send text messages, make calls and share files even without the internet! All this is made possible by the exciting new technology of Peer-to-Peer Mesh Network. Connectivity without cellular network is really powerful. This technology helps to create massive peer-to-peer mobile networks which opens up a whole world of possibilities for apps.

FIRECHAT is an iOS app that took the apps world by storm by introducing the concept of “Communicate without the Internet”. This became a lifesaver application for many during #ChennaiRains, #KashmirFloods and many other natural disasters all over the world. SERVALMESH is another example of how disruptive this technology is.

These mobile peer-to-peer networks are similar to first generation P2P networks like Napster. The only difference is it leverages mobile phones. Given that we already have 2 billion smart phones, mobile P2P networks have much more potential to explode.

With the introduction of Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework  (iOS 7)  & Android’s Wi-Fi P2P Framework (Jellybean 4.2), this technology is ready for prime time. We successfully leveraged it to implement a collaborative camera app. Though there were a few hiccups, the technology feels fairly mature.

This opens up a whole new set of new features that can be added to apps in several categories. Here are a few ways apps can leverage this technology.

  • Communication Tool for Disaster Management: This could act as lifesaver technology in the times of natural calamities when the conventional mobile networks fail.
  • Safety Apps, which can relay alerts and last known positions from remote areas where there is no network coverage. Such apps could be of great use for Mountaineers, Trekkers & Cave explorers.
  • Collaborative Camera  – Another interesting use case where a group of users can collaborate their video feeds from multiple angles and do a live editing to save a final video.
  • File sharing: Networks can be heavily clogged in mass gatherings like Conference venues, Sports Events, Music shows. Multipeer Frameworks can be put to use to create apps where one can share photos, videos or even share thoughts with friends around.
  • Multiplayer Gaming, Content Sharing, Private Social Media Network where the usage of regular social media is restricted, Countries were restrictions in the usage of internet, are a just a few more to mention. The possibilities are only limited by our thoughts.

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