Reviewed in Things to Do, Places to Go…
Conceptually cool and functionally rudimentary, it's an off-grid chatroom app with two sections: A topic-less public chatroom for "Everyone", which is as messy and annoying as you might imagine; and a somewhat more private chatroom to connect with other "Nearby" users, using Wi-Fi Direct & Bluetooth to connect with people's devices within a few meters of you. I haven't had the opportunity yet to try the "Nearby" mode in a public place. I just hope the app catches on enough for people to be able to ignore the "Everyone" mode.
FireChat introduces a new way to chat: "off-the-grid".
Now you can chat with people around you – even if there is no Internet connection or mobile phone coverage. Please note that FireChat is designed for public communications. It is not meant for private communications. Real names are not required. You may choose pseudonyms. Please exercise discernment when sharing information in chatrooms. Other people will be able to read your messages, your username and full name (just like with tweets).
FireChat enables a new type of communication: 'firechats'. These live and anonymous public chatrooms can gather as many as 10,000 people simultaneously.
You can create your own public 'firechats' for anyone to join about anything that interests you - whether it's the NY Yankees, Game of Thrones, League of Legends or Italian food.
Whether you’re on the beach or in the subway, at a big game or a trade show, camping in the wild or at a concert, or even travelling abroad, simply fire up the app with a friend or two and find out who else is there.
Get FireChat and start bringing people together.
We’re Open Garden. Welcome to a new era of open communications.
Please meet us on Twitter @OpenGarden and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OpenGarden.
Please help us improve FireChat and get support: http://forum.opengarden.com
• Instantly chat with anyone around you,
• Works even without any Internet connection or mobile phone coverage ,
• Use the "Nearby" mode for off-the-grid communications, up to 200 feet of your location,
• Off-the-grid communications may be shared online if one device within the range has access to the Internet,
• Multihop capabilities extend the range of peer-to-peer communications,
• See what people are talking about all over the country in the “Everyone” mode,
• Create your own 'firechats’ for live public discussions with up to tens of thousands of simultaneous users
• Join or invite people to any existing 'firechat’ about topics that may interest you
• Choose your own unique username, displayed name and avatar
• No significant impact on battery consumption.
Nearby could work faster and use less power with Bluetooth LE peripheral mode! Please let the Android developers know you want it by starring this issue: https://code.google.com/p/android/issues/detail?id=59693
And for Android 5 / Lollipop users, please tell them to fix the Bluetooth LE peripheral mode support they tried to add: https://code.google.com/p/android-developer-preview/issues/detail?id=1570