31 March 2014

Cult of Mac: “How an Under-Appreciated iOS 7 Feature Will Change the World”

The Multipeer Connectivity Framework enables users to flexibly use WiFi and Bluetooth peer-to-peer connections to chat and share photos even without an Internet connection. Big deal, right?

But here’s the really big deal — it can enable two users to chat not only without an Internet connection, but also when they are far beyond WiFi and Bluetooth range from each other — connected with a chain of peer-to-peer users between one user and a far-away Internet connection.

It’s called wireless mesh networking. And Apple has mainstreamed it in iOS 7. It’s going to change everything.

Mike Elgan

Among the many possible applications of multipeer connectivity, the one most likely to ‘change the world’ is enabling anonymous and surveillance-free communication in countries where the regular channels and social networks are blocked by their governments. Groups of people could quickly and secretly organize mass protests or spread news censored by the official media. Of course, surveillance is increasingly becoming an issue in first world countries as well, so we might start seeing more and more chat apps making use of this new Apple technology. And with considering adding it to Android in the future, a new mode of instant communication could indeed take over the world, turning the WhatsApps of the current mobile phase into a fading fad of the past.

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