Immensely popular iOS app FireChat brings Internet-less chat to Android

FireChat for Android Launch

The recently launched FireChat instant messaging iOS app that doesn’t require an Internet or cellular connection to allow users to send and receive messages – it’s taking advantage of new wireless technology supported by Apple in iOS 7 – quickly became a hit app in many markets. The company on Thursday announced that it’s making the app available to Android users, with FireChat for Android having now been made available as a free download from the Google Play Store.

In order to establish a connection between Android devices, the company is using a proprietary mesh networking technology to enable peer-to-peer networks that can support FireChat messaging. Just like on iOS, the app will work without any data or cellular connection, and will have a range of about 30 feet for “Nearby chat” mode.

“Many people asked us to bring FireChat to Android. We first launched FireChat on iOS two weeks ago. It was an instant success. FireChat reached the top 10 amongst social networking apps in 80 countries around the word, adding more than one new user per second,” Open Garden’s CEO Micha Benoliel said. “I am proud to say that we are now able to deliver a best-in-class peer-to-peer chat experience to anyone with an Android device. And thanks to its multi-hop capabilities, FireChat may extend the range of peer-to-peer communications significantly.”

The full press release follows below.

Open Garden releases FireChat, enables off-the-grid messaging on Android
New free app allows you to chat with people around you, even when no Internet access or cellular phone coverage is available.

San Francisco, CA – April 3, 2014 – Open Garden announced today that its newest app, FireChat, is now available on Google Play. The app takes advantage of Open Garden’s proprietary mesh networking technology and gives people the ability to chat with others around them on Android devices – even when no Internet connection or cellular coverage is available.

FireChat demonstrates what’s possible over peer-to-peer networks. 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 abroad, simply fire up the app with a friend or two and find out who else is around and start chatting.

“Many people asked us to bring FireChat to Android. We first launched FireChat on iOS two weeks ago. It was an instant success. FireChat reached the top 10 amongst social networking apps in 80 countries around the word, adding more than one new user per second.” said Micha Benoliel, Open Garden’s CEO. “I am proud to say that we are now able to deliver a best-in-class peer-to-peer chat experience to anyone with an Android device. And thanks to its multi-hop capabilities, FireChat may extend the range of peer-to-peer communications significantly.”

FireChat enables communication for scenarios such as disaster recovery and public safety. FireChat is also well suited for any situation where you don’t have reliable connectivity including schools and colleges, public transportation, stadiums, clubs, concerts, conferences, conventions, construction sites or outdoor festivals.

About FireChat
The FireChat App is available for free on the Google Play store and at http://www.opengarden.com.

FireChat features and capabilities:
• Instantly message anyone around you on Android devices,
• Works even without any Internet connection or any type of mobile coverage
• Chat with one person or with a group of people at once,
• See what people are talking about everywhere in the “Everyone” mode, or create conversations that only people near you can join in the “Nearby” mode,
• “Nearby chat” works best within 30 feet of your location,
• Easy: no Facebook or email login, no password to remember,
• Use it at home or when traveling anywhere in the world,
• No significant impact on battery consumption.

About Open Garden
Open Garden is a San Francisco-based startup dedicated to connecting the next 5B mobile devices with peer-to-peer connections by leveraging the density of mobile devices.

Open Garden was recognized as the Most Innovative Startup when it was debuted at TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2012, and was the Grand Prize Winner of the GMIC startup competition in October 2013. Since then, over 4 million people have installed an Open Garden app. Find out more at http://www.opengarden.com

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