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Phone to phone communication?

 
Kevin Kovach
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I have an idea for an application that I believe would be best designed if I could communicate with the same application from phone-to-phone. I've done some initial research and it seems like most solutions involve a server in the middle. Is there another way that I'm not aware of, maybe similar to sending SMS between phones where I can accomplish phone-to-phone communication for my application, or do I really need to incorporate a server? Thanks.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Two options that come to mind are NFC (new in Android 2.3) und BlueTooth (since Android 2.0 and apparently improved in Android 3.0). Not sure what those can do in detail, but may be worth some investigation.
 
Kevin Kovach
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I forgot to mention that I had seen some solutions that involved bluetooth. Unfortunately, the application I have in mind would require phone-to-phone communication over much greater distances. I have not heard of NFC, but after a quick search it appears that it might have the same range limitations as bluetooth? Thanks.
 
Ulf Dittmer
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Yes, NFC works over much shorter distances than even BlueTooth (the N is for Near).
 
robi sen
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Kevin,
You can do long range with Bluetooth but it would require a powerful antennae that would probably end up being a dongle attached to your phone. Something we have worked on in my day job as well as integrating things like sat radio, via a cable, to a Android powered platform. Another option might be a Zigbee dongle? Zigbee is an ultra wide band technology like Bluetooth but much more robust and designed for long ranges. I have used it for M2M (machine to machine like cell to cell). Can you tell us more about your application and why you could not just using the WiFi for peer to peer coms or even you GMS/CDMA
 
Kevin Kovach
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I'm assuming that WiFi would not always be available, so I'm not sure if I would want to rely on that. That said, I have not explored it enough to know how that can be utilized for peer to peer communication. That could be interesting. I am assuming you are talking about an ad-hoc scenario?

Also, I'm not sure what you mean by using GMS/CDMA? I am a novice/intermediate Android developer and am just trying to understand what my options are for peer to peer communication without any range limitations. Preferably without any middleware or server. I'm not 100% opposed to using a server for pushing and pulling but was hoping to avoid it if possible.
 
robi sen
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“I'm assuming that WiFi would not always be available, so I'm not sure if I would want to rely on that. That said, I have not explored it enough to know how that can be utilized for peer to peer communication. That could be interesting. I am assuming you are talking about an ad-hoc scenario?
.”
I am talking about WiFi radio in a handset to WiFi radio in another handset or peer to peer communication. I am not talking about WiFi via an Access Point to the public internet and then to another handset. You could also use the cellular radio in your phone GSM or CDMA radio for peer to peer but this is pretty difficult and would probably require you hacking the drivers so probably not your best option but the WiFi to WiFi peer to peer has already been done on android so I would suggest that route unless you want to start messing with add ons.
 
Consider Paul's rocket mass heater.
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