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You will find answers to most asked questions below in our FAQ.
If you still need help or have questions about non technical issues then .
If you need help or have questions about technical issues check out our community support for iOS or Android.
What is p2pkit?
It is a Software Development Kit (SDK) for business owners and software developers to integrate proximity-based features into their products, services or mobile apps.
Where can I download p2pkit SDK?
p2pkit supports several platforms, please check out our quick-start guides here and download the right SDK for you.
How does p2pkit work?
Well, we’re magicians and just as any respectable magician, we cannot reveal our magic tricks. But don’t worry, this is no black magic ;-) More...
What we can say is: it’s magic based on 3+ years of expertise in wireless peer-to-peer from our Uepaa Safety App and even more years of research at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zürich - #1 research institution in continental Europe). For the p2pkit magic to work, smartphones need to have Bluetooth™ and Wi-Fi™ on (not necessarily connected to an Access Point) and in some cases Internet access but most of the time, it works offline!
Can you tell me a bit more about p2pkit discoveries in background?
We do our best so that p2pkit works at all times, including when phones are in the pocket (screen off). It is our mission to stay on top of what’s possible and create the best discovery engine on the market. That said, More...
iOS has technical limitations that prevents two iPhones from discovering each other when both are in the background. However, as soon as the user moves the app to the foreground, discovery will work on both sides. We hence recommend engaging the users to visit the app whenever possible so as to increase chances of discovery. Other platform combinations do not suffer from this limitation: iOS <-> Android and Android <-> Android discovery will work even when both phones are in the background!
Can you tell me a bit more about how lost events work with p2pkit?
p2pkit will notify you when a previously discovered peer is considered lost. This happens for instance when the peer moved out of p2p radio range. Don’t expect, however, to have the information in real-time, it will take some time, and this, for good reasons. More...
Firstly, wireless connections are by nature shaky and before reporting a peer as “lost”, we double check this is actually the case. This is also to make sure you don’t get false “discovery-lost“ callback events because of a shaky wireless p2p connection, for instance when two peers are at the edge of each other's range. Furthermore, assuming real-time tracking of lost events would be possible, it would put too much burden on the network and deplete the battery very fast.
What is the range and performance of p2pkit discoveries?
Whether you’re on a bus or train, at a fair or at the beach, you’ll be able to discover people you see directly and even beyond (those behind a wall). And, as soon as you enter a bar or conference room, you’ll discover everybody in just a few seconds. More...
We’ve done masses of field tests, including in bars, conferences rooms and on the go. At fairs and exhibitions, we achieved more than 50m (165 ft) even with lots of people and obstacles such as booths in between. With people crossing with their smartphones in their pocket we got ranges from 35 m (115 ft) and up to 350m (1150 ft) between two iPhones and even 450m (1500 ft) between two Androids in an ideal environment (line-of-sight, no obstacles). Regarding the speed of discovery: after entering a conference room or bar, you’ll discover all the peers around you in just a few seconds.
Will it drain users’ battery?
We put a lot of effort into optimizing the battery and we can assure you that you (and your users) won’t even notice! More...
On both iOS and Android, when the screen is on and p2pkit is running, the battery consumption is mainly driven by the screen and p2pkit shouldn't add any noticeable battery drain. In standby mode (screen off), on iOS there is neglectable difference between an iPhone with Bluetooth and WiFi on vs. the same setup but with p2pkit also running. If you are concerned for your users about Bluetooth being on, see guidelines below. On Android the added battery consumption ranges from 0.1%/h to 0.8%/h depending on the Android OS version and phone model. For instance, a Nexus 5P on Marshmallow in standby will usually use 0.6%/h of battery (i.e. the battery will decrease by 0.6% per hour). With p2pkit running in the background, the battery will drain by 0.7%/h (+0.1%/h). On Lollipop, a Samsung S5 will use 0.9%/h in standby mode and p2pkit running in background will add 0.7%/h. On KitKat, a S5 mini will see its battery drained by 1%/h in standby and p2pkit will add an additional 0.7/%h.
What types of apps can benefit from p2pkit?
Existing apps and, of course, new apps can benefit from p2pkit. More...
With p2pkit, you can embed proximity features into your app within seconds. For example, many apps list people from your address book. Using p2pkit, this list can be ordered by the proximity of people around you - right now (“Nearby”) or recently seen (“Recently Seen”). Or you can create a new app focused on proximity such as: a proximity-based "Ebay" where one can sell/buy whilst on-the-go, a game centred around an epidemics concept where physical proximity matters, a social discovery app to get the mood of people as you cross them, a productivity app where you get a reminder of something you have to tell a friend/colleague when you meet them. Get inspired by our p2pkit product video!
What are the main benefits of p2pkit compared to classical location-based technologies?
p2pkit is like an accurate and trustworthy 6th digital sense able to run continuously in a privacy-preserving way without your having to share your location all the time with a remote server. More...
Location-based services or apps rely on the end user’s absolute location (e.g. GPS or cell location) sent to a remote server, which matches it with a fixed location (e.g. restaurant) or another end user (e.g. a date) so that, if there is a match, the end user can be notified. The main feature of p2pkit -- peer-to-peer (p2p) discovery -- works differently. It also allows such a match, just without the need for the end user’s absolute location, nor for sending this location to a server in the cloud. Discovery is p2p and notifications are local to your phone (they are not triggered by the Internet). The main benefits of p2pkit and proximity-based technologies compared to location-based GPS are:
- No need for GPS (and constantly updating your physical location to the cloud)
- Higher accuracy, especially indoors
- De facto proof of discovery since it’s a physical (radio) p2p discovery
- Apps can work standalone and off-grid (w/o the cloud) when designed accordingly
Of course, nothing prevents you from using location-based APIs/frameworks in addition to p2pkit. p2pkit shouldn’t be seen as an alternative: it rather enhances the user experience by adding proximity.
A word about p2pkit privacy and security?
p2pkit uses UUIDs sent publicly over the air for nearby devices to discover each other. These UUIDs are randomly generated on the device itself when p2pkit runs for the first time and are non-personally identifiable by us (i.e. not associated to any personal data). The discovery info are also broadcasted publicly and transferred unencrypted. We hence recommend not sending any sensitive data through this means. It is up to you to add any additional safety layer and we highly recommend you to do so. For more information please refer to our Terms, License & Policies.
How does your technology compare to Wi-Fi Aware or LTE-Direct? Should I wait for those?
p2pkit already achieves what Wi-Fi aware promises and LTE-Direct is far down the road. So no, you should not wait for these technologies. You can start developing your proximity-based apps now! Get started with just a few lines of code (Quickstart Videos). More...
Wi-Fi Aware (Wi-Fi Alliance) and LTE-Direct (Qualcomm) will allow peer discovery only. For any subsequent data transfer, Wi-Fi Alliance and Qualcomm recommend using Wi-Fi Direct, a Wi-Fi access point or 4G/LTE. Both are advertised to be able to run continuously with a very low battery footprint. Wi-Fi Aware will work on the same band as Wi-Fi. LTE-Direct will be using the 4G band and hence be more secure. Regarding performance, Wi-Fi Aware will have similar ranges as classical Wi-Fi or Wi-Fi Direct - that is to say 100m (330 ft) in an urban environment. According to Qualcomm, the LTE-Direct range will top 500m (1650 ft) in an urban environment.
Regarding availability, certification of Wi-Fi Aware devices started in July 2015 with the first Wi-Fi Aware certified smartphones expected to be announced at CES 2016 or MWC 2016 in January and March 2016, respectively. LTE-Direct will require new 4G radio chips and the update of the whole supporting 4G infrastructure (from base stations to LTE-Direct servers located at operators). To use LTE-Direct as an app developer, you will need to opt-in to the service through a MNO and most likely pay a license or fee.
Regarding adoption by mobile OSes, we cannot yet tell whether any of those new standards will be adopted by both Apple and Android and whether they will operate x-platform. What we can expect is that Wi-Fi Aware will be integrated in Apple’s Multipeer Connectivity Framework (to improve discovery) and Android's Wi-Fi P2P framework. Hence, don't expect major changes compared to today's API and frameworks except that it will, maybe, allow peer discovery to continuously run in the background but that’s not new, right? ;-) (see our p2pkit blog). LTE-Direct capable phones could be out by early-mid 2016 but it will take at least a year to update the whole mobile operators’ infrastructure to support it.
So no: you should not wait for these technologies. You can start developing your proximity-based apps now. Integrate p2pkit now and don’t lose valuable time. Besides, we will embed Wi-Fi Aware to p2pkit as soon as it’s available and mature enough and you won’t have to deal with a new API - our API will remain unchanged.
Are there any guidelines for using p2pkit within my app?
Although we have optimized p2pkit to run continuously in the background without impacting the battery, we recommend enabling p2pkit only when relevant for your users and when the use case requires it. More...
Take a professional networking app for example. p2pkit would be useful at a fair or exhibition for discovering matching customers or business partners nearby, maybe even on the plane/train on the way there. But, out of business hours, you don’t want your users to be disturbed by nearby discoveries of potential customers or business partners: just disable p2pkit (or give the user the option of disabling any p2pkit-enabled feature in your app).
It is important to note that the first time users use a p2pkit-enabled feature in your app, they will be asked either (as an iPhone user) to grant permissions on iOS or (as an Android user) to download the p2pkit Services from the Google Play Store. Likewise, only activate these features when relevant to the user’s context. In the example above, only activate p2pkit the first time you detect your user has arrived at an exhibition (e.g. based on geofencing or iBeacon).
Also, please avoid spamming your users with irrelevant discoveries. iBeacon-based ads are seen by many users as spam and is one of the reason for the low adoption rate of iBeacons. Eventually, you can educate your users about Bluetooth. A common prejudice of most smartphone users is that BT is a battery drainer (even if not used). Since iOS7, this is no longer true. Also to a lesser extent, many users believe BT is unsafe to use. Please bring the attention to your users that this is also no longer true. Most security flaws have been fixed both on iOS and Android.
So in short: make clear to your users what the benefits of your proximity-based features are and only request permissions when relevant to both user and context.
I want to submit my iOS p2pkit-enabled App to the App Store, do you have any guidelines?
We, and our first beta testers, went through this process and there are already a few apps using p2pkit in the App store. Just feel free to contact us and in most cases we'll provide you with some guidelines so that your app makes its way through smoothly.