Update: Installer now available to the public and it also allows sharing files over the Internet (Wi-Fi only)
Phones and SmartPhones are social devices by nature; we can talk, text, email, browse the web, run applications and access our favorite social networks.
Even though SmartPhones are more capable every day the technology world has a fixation on “cloud” and “cloud based social networking”, it’s almost as if we’re forgetting how powerful computers (and now SmartPhones) can be used to truly enhance the way we interact with the people around us.
Sharing files can be an issue
For example, record a video from your phone video camera and try sending it to people next to you, if it’s more than a minute long you won’t be able to send it via email because it’s too large. You’ll be forced to upload it to the web — or deal with the nuances and shortcomings of Bluetooth, which is slow and cumbersome to set up. Now imagine sending that same video to 6 other people in the room.
If social interaction can happen directly between two or more people that’s the way it should be: phone to phone. Your messages and data should never have to travel all over the internet if they need to end in another device in the same room.
When you want to share files with the people near you, you shouldn’t need cables. You shouldn’t even need an internet connection. We think Wi-Fi connectivity and FrostWire is all you should ever need on your phone.
FrostWire for Android allows multiple Android users connected to a Wi-Fi network to Chat and Share Files at very high speeds in a peer to peer fashion, no third parties involved
Update: By popular demand FrostWire now goes beyond the local Wi-Fi network by allowing users in different Wi-Fi networks to connect through the Internet.
With FrostWire for Android you’ll now be able to do things you could not do before:
Teachers and students can chat and share class related material like documents, notes and rich media. Teachers are always looking for ways to engage with students and FrostWire will be a great opportunity to connect to your class.
Speakers will now be able to deliver presentation slides and related material straight from their Android device to all the attendees, who can in turn help seed the content.
Bars, Cafes, Libraries, Public Squares, Movie Theathers, Airports
Break the ice and meet new people with the Wi-Fi chat. Some of us are shy in real life but we’re very good at interacting online. Use FrostWire to find each other or to get something you need from the people connected in the same venue. Whenever you find yourself in front of an open Wi-Fi network and lots of people there’s an opportunity to use FrostWire and engage in a new social behavior, Short Range Social Networking.
Living Rooms. Home Parties Being an Android application it will run on your Google TV. Have some pictures you took during the day, send them to your TV or with anyone else in the room.
Nights out with friends, Family Trips We’re tired of all the rain checks when we go out with our friends — they never send those pictures or videos! With FrostWire you can now just grab the ones you like right away.
With the Froyo Release, Android phones can become Wi-Fi hotspots. Put enough people with Android phones and FrostWire in a subway car and the daily commute becomes a lot more fun.
Data Exchange without censorship In countries like China and Iran where there are strict controls over the internet, true peer to peer applications on Wi-Fi networks can provide a safe way to exchange information.
What FrostWire for Android IS
FrostWire for Android is Peer to Peer client that allows chatting, browsing, searching, and transfering files between Android devices either locally (on the same Wi-Fi network) or over the Internet (if the Wi-Fi network is internet enabled)
It implements a new p2p protocol meant for WiFi networks and mobile devices, keeping in consideration things like battery life, packet de-congestion on the WiFi hotspot.
The name of this protocol is MetaFrost, we will release all the specifications once it’s matured enough for the Open Source community to implement compatible clients.
In our tests we’ve been able to transfer files at average data rates of up to 1.2Mb/s, the closer to the Wi-Fi hotspot you are the faster the transfer will be.
Tight integration with the desktop version is coming soon, and as of now it’s free.
What FrostWire for Android IS NOT
FrostWire for Android is not a BitTorrent or Gnutella client.
Why? Because the wireless carriers can barely deliver your emails and web pages at this point. Also because you would be breaking your wireless carrier contract if you did P2P networking on their infrastructure.
Connectivity is not very reliable on 3G/EDGE and your phone will do more harm than good to the health of the existing internet P2P networks (by just leeching intermittently) and not to mention the limitations of space and battery that we still face on mobile devices.
Mark your Turf
FrostWire for Android will more fun if you have some friends around you. If you find an Open Wi-Fi network with lots of people to connect to it will make sense marking your territory, we think the best way to mark your territory will be with FrostWire Stickers
Changelog and Feature set
- New Feature: Go to My Files
- New Feature: Clear Chat. Long press on the text box to make this appear.
- New Feature: Share your Documents,Pictures,Photos and Audio via email, android's bluetooth service, sms and via web services (e.g. twitter, facebook, flickr)
- New Feature: "Copy" search a result (to share it via private message or to everyone in the chat).
- Upgrade: Considerable optimization of object management when displaying peers, files, transfers and chat messages.
- Bug-fix: Deleting too many individually unshared files could cause a bug where no files of that type would be shared.
- Bug-fix: Cleans all temporary files on exit.
- Installer size reduced 16%.
- Networking-Upgrade: Fixes in search routing algorithm to avoid redundant message forwarding.
- UX-Upgrade: Touching the FrostWire logo shows a menu to Go Home, See About or Show FrostWire some love.
- UX-Upgrade: Several optimizations for smoother scrolling and better resource management.
- UX-Upgrade: Tapping on someone's nickname on the Chat will autotype @Nickname on the text box.
- UX-Upgrade: New icons for Settings, Home and Love.
- UX-Fix: Private messages take you to the Chat tab, not the Chat Activity by itself.
- UX-Fix: When a file's shared state is changed using the padlod icon the number of shared files of its kind gets updated.
- UX-Fix: Padlock icons are not shown on search results.
- Bug-fix: Downloading the same file twice from the same peer would fail. Memory referencing issues fixed.
- New Feature: Auto update.
- New Feature: Change your nickname by long pressing on your own name on the Browse Peers screen.
- New Feature: "Padlock" button when browsing your shared files to toggle sharing status without much hassle.
- Networking-Upgrade: New Peer Exchange policies result in considerable bandwidth.
- Search/Transfer-Upgrade: All peers involved in a file transfer are now keeping a metafrost file when finished, thus announcing themselves in search results as confirmed sources for that file. Metafrost files are now kept in folders by type to not put a strain on the file system as more and more files are shared.
- UX-Upgrade: Chat tab now shows the number of unread messages.
- UX-Upgrade: When starting up FrostWire will ask new users to change their nickname.
- UX-Upgrade: When disconnected you are taken to the home screen so you won't be confused by things not working.
- UX-Upgrade: Application search results now include version number.
- UX-Upgrade: Search Result Batch Downloads (using checkboxes)
- UX-Upgrade: Search results are cleared before new results are in.
- UX-Upgrade: Checkboxes auto-clear when you start a batch download.
- UX-Upgrade: Failed, Out of sources and Timed out transfers can now be individually deleted from the list of transfers.
- Bug Fix: Fixes SQLite 'where' clause bug with multiple keyword queries. Search will yield more results as everyone updates.
- Bug Fix: Incoming repeated Search responses are short circuited. Distinct results are forwarded only once. Traffic savings.
- Bug Fix: Fixes logic issues for optimal LAN packet delivery. You should feel faster peer browsing and discovery.
- Bug Fix: Audio player when browsing yourself works as expected.
- Bug Fix: Possible Force Close when pinging peer list and a peer says good bye.
- UX-Upgrade: Chat window should receive messages even if you're not looking at it. Layout updates.
- UX-Upgrade: Transfer screen will autoscroll to the bottom to show the newest additions.
- UX-Upgrade: When files are downloaded file names are marked in a different color.
- UX-Upgrade: No more multiple FrostWire icons on the notification bar. A number will display how many finished transfers you have.
- UX-Upgrade: Download indicator now stays after all downloads are finished if transfers have not been cleared. It will display in orange the number of finished transfers so you can go back to your finished downloads even if disconnected.
- UX-Fix: Fixed size of "Delete" icon.
- Bug Fix: Internet Discovery toggle bug fix.
- Bug Fix: Force Close when starting a download of more than 15 checked files.
- Bug Fix: Force Close when setting Simultaneous Uploads to 0. (thanks Steven Peterson, Eric O'Brian)
- New Feature: New Setting to discover (or not) peers over the internet. Limit your searching to your LAN only if you need to.
- UX-Upgrade: Thumbnails are shown when browsing your own pictures and videos.
- UX-Upgrade: New search controls.
- UX-Upgrade: Batched downloads start faster.
- UX-Bug Fix: Force close when changing manual listening port fixed.
- UX-Bug Fix: Clicking on the Active Downloads button won't reload the Transfer's screens if you're already standing on it.
- UX-Bug Fix: About screen can be scrolled down. Includes Thanks to alpha testers.
- Bug Fix: Search results outside local Wi-Fi network couldn't start a download.
- Bug Fix: NPE when changing simultaneous upload setting.
- Bug Fix: Multiple NPEs when handling Search Requests and Search Responses.
- Bug Fix: Chat messages and Private Messages back to work.
- New Feature: Search.
- Bug Fix: Completed,Failed,Cancelled,Timed Out file transfers won't change status to "Out of Sources" if peer leaves.
FrostWire 0.3.10 (file transfer breaks backwards compatibility)
- New Feature: New Setting to limit the number of concurrent uploads.
- Upgrade: Better rendering of active download(s) progress.
- Upgrade: File transfer management optimizations (which break compatibility)
- Bug Fix: Correct display of concurrent uploads and downloads.
- Bug Fix: 'Application' Download bug fixed.
- Bug Fix: Multiple Force Close issues fixed.
FrostWire 0.3.9 (breaks backwards compatibility):
- Upgrade: Rewrite File transfer. Considerably faster transfer startup, progressive file validation,
Minimizes Disk/IO and Garbage Collection. Swarming friendly algorithm.
- Upgrade: New File Transfer state: 'Waiting...' at start of transfer. (Cancellable state)
- Upgrade: Improves robustness of Message delivery.
- Upgrade: Automatic Peer Browse retries, updates peer list when peer is unreachable.
- Upgrade: Faster internal messaging between network core and UI.
- Upgrade: Protocol Message Types re-arranged for new message queue management strategies.
- Upgrade: About page shows name of current Wi-Fi network
- Bug Fix: Peers leaving won't appear again on Peer List.
- Bug Fix: Multiple NPEs on Browse Peer when a responses would arrive too soon.
- Upgrade: Improved Peer Discovery and Peer List maintenance.
- Upgrade: Adds new 'failed' state to downloads. We were abusing the 'timeout' state.
- Upgrade: Smarter caching of file counts by kind should yield faster browsing responses.
- Upgrade: Fixes potential IO (Index Out of Bounds) errors when reading the last part of a file from the socket.
- Upgrade: When user is leaving it will also be asked if it's ok to leave while UPLOADs are going on.
- Bug Fix: When user is leaving now there's a negative option on the dialog. (thanks Phase3d)
- Bug Fix: Patches a NPE when fecthing Application info from .apks that have not been installed. Still to be fixed.
- Update: Longer TCP timeouts (20 seconds)
- Bug Fix: Found NPE when fetching Application info on some phones.
- Bug Fix: Misc. NPEs handled.
- New Feature: Sharing Android Package Files (.apk)
- New Feature: Configuring an arbitrary manual port when UPnP is not an option (between 1000 and 65535 inclusive)
- Bug Fix: Several force close issues fixed.
- New Feature: Show number of active Uploads.
- New Feature: Delete multiple (checked) files.
- Upgrade: Refactors on File Transfer, leaner code.
- Upgrade: Faster Ping message creation (battery savings)
- Bug Fix: Right text coloring, Numbering on Shared/Unshared files.
- Bug Fix: File transfer errors and time outs are displayed correctly.
- Bug Fix: Tilting the phone while browsing remote files recovers state as expected.
- Bug Fix: No more repeated files when browsing peer.
- Bug Fix: Private messages and "Copy & Share" over the internet work
- New Feature: Fine grained sharing.
- Upgrade: Faster retrieval of shared files.
- Upgrade: Faster browsing of your own files.
- Upgrade: P2P Peer List Exchange on 'handshake' and when you have few Peers available.
- Upgrade: Support for remote chat, remote private message, remote "copy & share" file.
- Upgrade: Audio playback is now done through a much simpler audio player inside the application (works for now)
- Bug Fix: Internal and Visible Peer lists are cleared upon disconnection.
- Bug Fix: FrostWire says good bye properly to all peers and to altamira.
- Bug Fix: Memory Leaks fixed in Altamira.
- Upgrade: Altamira keeps track of the last time a peer received a peer list for smarter behaviour.
- Upgrade: FrostWire now says hello back to unknown peers (pong upon first encounter)
- Bug Fix: Android XML Parsing patch for all phones running < Froyo. UPnP should work on all pre-Froyo phones.
- Bug Fix: Fixes issue where UPnP map attempt would happen only the first time FrostWire opened.
- Update: Distances between peers shown in meter,meters,Km.,Kms.
- Update: About screen now shows information about internal & external ports.
- New Feature: NAT-UPnP support to connect to other FrostWire's over the Internet (via Wi-Fi only)
- New Feature: Ability to select multiple files and perform other actions on them.
- New Feature: Ability to rename files. This will make it easier to search images and videos taken with Android phones.
- Bug Fix: Fixes WiFi auto connect/disconnect issues.
- Bug Fix: Fixes WiFi connectivity issues when switching to other hotspots.
- Bug Fix: Fixes intermittent (double connected message) connection issues.
- Bug Fix: When disconnected FrostWire won't try to connect if you tilt the device.
- Bug Fix: Fixes crash when sending a message to the chat if user is not connected (thanks adwin)
- Bug Fix: When the phone was tilted during file browsing the current list of files got lost.
- Upgrade: Avoids possible situation where FrostWire cannot know about itself. Faster startup.
- Upgrade: Custom looking checkboxes. (FrostWire.Theme in place)
- Upgrade: Multiple UI/Text corrections.
- New Feature: Select multiple files from another user to perform batched downloads. (download enquement pending, so take it easy)
FrostWire 0.1.0 - code name "Von Neumann"
- New Feature: Peer auto discovery on the Wi-Fi network.
- New Feature: Wi-Fi network availability awareness.
- New Feature: Introducing MetaFrost Mobile P2P protocol version 1
- New Feature: Setting to send Geo-Location information to other peers.
- New Feature: Displays distance to other peers if available.
- New Feature: Settings to Share/Unshare files by file type.
- New Feature: Users can be identified by nickname.
- New Feature: Community Chatroom over Wi-Fi.
- New Feature: Sends private chatroom message to another user.
- New Feature: "Copy & Share" your own files in the Community Chatroom to all participants.
- New Feature: "Copy & Share" other user's files in the Community Chatroom to all participants.
- New Feature: "Copy & Share" files with another user via Private Message.
- New Feature: Community Chatroom has 'history' support if user presses D-pad up or down.
- New Feature: Community Chatroom has 'history' support if user gestures up or down on the text field.
- New Feature: Community Chatroom messages can be cleaned with commands "/cls","/clear" and "clear screen".
- New Feature: Browse, Filter, Open and Delete your own shared files.
- New Feature: Browse, Filter and Open other user's files.
- New Feature: Download other user's files when browsing.
- New Feature: Download shared files from chat.
- New Feature: Download multiple files at the same time.
- New Feature: Open downloaded files.
- New Feature: Context menues are available upon Long Click on almost every user interface element.
- New Feature: Screen orientation awareness on every screen.
- New Feature: FrostWire Status bar indicates number of ongoing downloads.
- New Feature: Share picture files.
- New Feature: Share video files.
- New Feature: Share document files.
- New Feature: Share audio files.
- New Feature: Connect/Disconnect from local p2p network.
- New Feature: "Love FrostWire?" Tip/Donation support to development team.
- Pending Feature: Share application files (.apk)
London-wide Wi-Fi by 2012
Free WiFi Coming To All U.S. Starbucks Stores Beginning July 1
Teens and Mobile Phones
Internet Censorship in the People’s Republic of China
Internet Censorship in Iran
Venezuela President Chavez Makes Threat Against the Open Web
Phandroid: FrostWire For Android Coming, Needs Alpha Testers For Now
Droid-Life: FrostWire Alpha Testers Needed!
AndroidSPIN: Introducing FrostWire for Android
Nexus One Italia: FrostWire In Arrivo Per Android
Android-France.fr: Frostwire – Le client p2p lance une beta pour Android
Creative Commons Photo credits
“Smartphones” by shareski.
“So many gadgets on the subway these days” by arvindgrover
“FrostWire-1137” by NanyNany
“google io 2009 conference” by MacQ
“Feast for the Senses” by Kevin H.