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This chapter is from the book

Connecting to Other iPhones, iPod touches, and iPads

The iPhone (and other devices that run the iPhone’s operating system, (called the iOS) including iPod touches and iPads) supports peer-to-peer connectivity, which is an overly complicated way of saying that these devices can communicate with one another. Developers can take advantage of this in their applications to enable great functionality, especially multiplayer gaming, information sharing, and other collaborative activities.

Unlike Internet or Bluetooth connections, you don’t access the peer-to-peer configuration directly. Instead, you use applications that have this capability built into them.

There are two ways that iOS devices can communicate with each other: via a Wi-Fi network or via Bluetooth. The method you use in any specific situation depends on the application you are using.

If the application you want to use communicates over a Wi-Fi network, such as a network you use to access the Internet, all the devices with which you want to communicate must be on that same network. If the application uses Bluetooth, you must enable Bluetooth on each device and configure them so they can communicate with one another.

Also, each device that will be communicating via the application must have the application installed on it. (See Chapter 15 for help finding and installing applications.)

Using an Application with Peer-to-Peer Networking by Default

Some applications are designed to primarily function via communication with other iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches. These applications typically prompt you to connect to other devices as soon as you launch them.

  1. Launch the application on your iPhone.
  2. Have the other people launch the application on their devices.
  3. At the prompt, tap the device to which you want to connect. The other user will be prompted to allow your connection request. If he does so, you see a notification on your device.
  4. Tap Continue.
  5. Use the application. (This example is an application called Whiteboard that enables each user to write or scrawl on a shared whiteboard. Of course, the writing might not be legible, but that isn’t the iPhone’s fault.)

Configuring an Application to Use Peer-to-Peer Networking

Some applications need to be configured to communicate with other devices. This is typical of games that offer both single- and multi-player options. Before you can play, you need to configure the application to communicate on each device.

  1. Launch the application.
  2. Open the application’s configuration menu.
  3. Tap the communication option you want to use.
  4. Select the player you want to be for the game. (Some games will prompt you for a name as soon as you choose a communication option.)
  5. Tap Done.
  6. Have the other players perform steps 1 through 5 on their devices.
  7. Start the game by making a move or whatever else is appropriate. You see the results of what other people do on their devices while they see the results of what you do on your iPhone in real time.
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