I’ve been looking at iOS 7’s new P2P networking framework, MultipeerConnectivity, and from the description, it seems to me that it uses a combination of some kind of Wi-Fi Direct technology and Bluetooth PANs.
Is the Wi-Fi Direct technology in this framework compatible with Android’s Wi-Fi Direct? Can this framework actually be used for cross-platform P2P networking?
The device is not found by either when advertising or browsing with MultipeerConnectivity. Tried on Galaxy Tab 2:
This is what we know:
- There’s no BTLE/Bluetooth 4.0 advertisement visible on my Texas Instruments Bluetooth Low energy scanner.
- No WiFi Direct activity seen by JuJoDi.
- Talkkr app can connect while WiFi is off and the connection takes about 10 seconds.
My working theory: the MultiPeer uses Bluetooth Classic, based on the above.
iOS Bluetooth Classic is known to be under the Apple MFA Accessory API’s tight control and lockdown, including the MFA authentication challenge-response. Apple controls the MFA encryption keys (either in software or by the accessory authentication chips). It makes it inaccessible to other platforms.
No, the two are not compatible.
The MultipeerConnectivity documentation you linked to explicitly states (emphasis mine):
The Multipeer Connectivity framework provides support for discovering
services provided by nearby iOS devices
Although you may be able to hack together a workaround akin to the short-lived iMessage app for Android, I wouldn’t recommend it.
Based on my experimentation with iOS 7 AirDrop, it doesn’t seem to be using WiFi Direct.
The transfer rates are very low indicating that it may only be legacy Adhoc WiFi (capped at 11 Mbps).
Did you ever read Apple claiming to support Wifi Direct explicitly?
Please read my blog post for details.
I am very interested in this subject as well and I came across these rather old links
AllJoyn® is a collaborative open-source software framework that makes it easy for developers to write applications that can discover nearby devices, and communicate with each other directly regardless of brands, categories, transports, and OSes without the need of the cloud Source: https://allseenalliance.org/developers/learn
Open Peer is an open P2P signalling protocol Source: http://openpeer.org/open-peer-sdk-for-ios/
I haven’t used any of these libraries but I am interested to add them to my simple game for the fun of it.
Maybe a bit delayed, but technologies have evolved since so there is certainly new info around.
As iOS has yet to open up an API for WiFi Direct and Multipeer Connectivity is iOS only, I believe the best way to approach this is to use BLE, which is supported by both platforms (some better than others).
On iOS a device can act both as a BLE Central and BLE Peripheral at the same time, on Android the situation is more complex as not all devices support the BLE Peripheral state. Also the Android BLE stack is very unstable (to date).
If your use case is feature driven, I would suggest to look at Frameworks and Libraries that can achieve this for you, without you needing to build it up from scratch.
For example: p2pkit.io or google nearby
Disclaimer: I work for Uepaa, developing p2pkit.io for Android and iOS.