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YO! This messaging app has a lot more to say for itself, even offline

Peter Sayer | March 2, 2015
YO! allows consumers to send text messages, photos and videos over Wi-Fi to other users nearby without any Internet connection whatsoever, making it a true peer-to-peer messaging app.

While Westerners might think nothing of uploading hundreds of megabytes of photos and videos to Flickr or Facebook to share them with someone in the same room, that's not going to happen in places like Bangladesh. There, unlimited data plans and fast Internet connections are rare, and the dominant mode of sharing is to show someone your phone. YO! will make it easier and more economical for friends and family to share photos and videos.

YO! can transmit any media file Android considers shareable, including photos and videos taken with the phone, and even free apps downloaded from an online store, Jensen said, but it can't yet share paid apps or music files downloaded from services such as Napster or Spotify, which are kept in hidden directories or locked to a particular user account using DRM.

However, Jensen sees such uses as a money-making opportunity for the app -- and a way to reassure network operators that YO! is not trying to make their networks redundant. A future version of YO! should make it possible to share such DRM-protected songs, films and apps offline, using the cellular network only to download and pay for the DRM key needed to read the files, he said. That, he suggested, is something operators could build into their existing online stores or deliver over SMS, generating revenue without additional network traffic.

 

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