Texting Without Cell Phone Coverage and Is it the End of Google Voice? PIA #47

FireChat – An app that lets you text friends without a cell phone signal

There aren’t many apps that truly impress me these days especially as it applies to the private investigator.  FireChat is one of those apps that you won’t always use but when need to use it you will be glad you have it.

Simply put, FireChat is an iPhone application that allows you to text message between users of the application by using Bluetooth and WiFi.  Without Wifi you only need to connect to another phone through a Bluetooth connection.  The network can hypothetically be as large as the imagination.  In order to start the network you must be within 30 feet of another app user and the network can expand from there.  According to the app description you can share pictures and of course chat (text).

Works on the iPhone, iPad, and iPod which makes me a bit jealous as I have switched to a Nexus 5.  But I still have my iPhone so I guess I am good because I don’t need a cell phone connection.

Who’s suppose to use the app?

The people they pitch this app to are those at a big game (football, baseball) or when you are camping.  It could be used in the basement of a building or a subway.  Anywhere there is a lack of cellular coverage.

PI 47 cover photoWhat can a private investigator do with this app?

I haven’t used the app but I could imagine using it to communicate with another investigator if it allowed me to have a one on one texting conversation. There have been times were I have been in remote locations with another investigator and it would have been nice to be able to communicate a bit more subtlety.  I don’t work with many investigators on cases anymore but I am sure there are many out there that do.


Google Plans to kill Google Voice and integrate the features of it into Google Hangouts

Many private investigators are familiar with Google Voice as they use it as their business phone line.  Many years ago Google allowed people to have a phone number that would reroute to their existing number.  This allowed business owners to have a free second number that could go directly to their cell phones.

When you answered the phone a specific message allowed you to determine if the person calling had dialed your cell phone number or your business number.  After a message prompts you, you have the ability to take the call or let it go to voicemail.

Well apparently they’re are going to do away with Google Voice to some extent.  Reports are not clear but some sources are saying Google is going to integrate Google Voice into Google Hangouts.  Some say they are just doing away with the Google Voice app but not the services itself.  I believe they are just doing away with the individual Google Voice app and adding it into Google Hangouts/Google.


Google encrypts Gmail between data centers. It’s suppose to keep NSA out of your email.

Google has been using a secure HTTPS connections to protect Gmail users from the government spying on them.  Google has also begun encrypting emails as the move between data centers.  Apparently NSA use to get their information as it traveled in between data centers.  Good to know Google is going above and beyond to protect their customers.Youtube Link pic