A new iOS app called FireChat is blowing up in the App Store. But it’s not the app itself that’s causing such a stir, it’s the underlying networking technology it taps into.
The idea behind FireChat is simple. It’s a chatting app. After registering with a name — no email address or other personal identifiers required — you’re dropped into a fast-moving chatroom of “Everyone” using it in your country. The interesting aspect, however, is the “Nearby” option. Here, the app uses Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity framework, essentially a peer-to-peer feature that lets you share messages (and soon photos) with other app users nearby, regardless of whether you have an actual Wi-Fi or cellular connection.