lunes, 6 de mayo de 2013

Going mobile

One of the reasons why I though it would be cool to develop a P2P application inside the browser was that it could run everywhere there was a browser, without needing to install nor configure anything, just open a web page et voila! It was working. That's one of the reasons why some time ago I started to add some integration and responsive design to allow ShareIt! to work on mobile phones browsers and limited resources ones, not only natively but also as a "remote control" for a Node.js-based client, and it was fairly simple to modify the architecture and split the different components to make it possible, and also based on this architecture ShareIt! core could fully work inside a SharedWorker and being independent from the user interface (unluckily PeerConnections are not able to work inside Workers at this moment, but that's another story...). Problem was, I didn't have a mobile browsers modern enough to test it (also using WebSockets and my DataChannels-polyfill... mobile browser s*cks).

But now I have a Galaxy Note II, and can be able to run Chrome4Android for it :-) Since lately I was able to make ShareIt! work using native DataChannels, it was the perfect moment to give the mobile interface a new opportunity, and after some tune-ups on it, now I can say that ShareIt! is the first P2P application that can run on a mobile phone (and not just a proof-of-concept like the bittorrent port running on the Nokia S60 Python port... ;-) ). It need some improvements on usability and functionality (at this moment Chrome4Android doesn't support to share folders), but definitely it's almost as intuitively to use as the desktop version, and open new horizonts about what usages are possible with the WebRTC technology :-)

And if you are thinking about it... yes, DataChannels + reliable library are stable enough to be used on production, although is really slow (at least for me). I'm thinking about a solution for this like reducing packages size and wipe completely the need for reliable comunications, but I didn't take a final decision about this point...