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Tin-Can is a one-to-many messaging app that hops from phone to phone without using the internet. Imagine Twitter without the internet.
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108 backers pledged $1,860 to help bring this project to life.

How Tin-Can Works

Posted by Hubski (Creator)

We've had a number of questions about Tin-Can works, so here are some more technical details:

How do I exchange messages with other Tin-Can users? To the outside observer Tin-Can looks like a wifi-hotspot with the ssid TINCAN.

Whenever anybody tries to log in, it will politely tell them that they used the wrong password no matter what password they use. When one Tin-Can finds another Tin-Can, the messages are automatically sent. This will appear only as two phones not syncing up.

How does Tin-Can identify users? Tin-Can doesn't identify users for delivery. Each message has a sender, and if you subscribe to that sender, the message will display if it hops onto your phone.

How are messages connected to the sender? Tin-Can messages are signed and your signature will be unique. Even if both of us want to be called Steve, Tin-Can will keep us separate by assigning a 2 utf-16 suffix on your tag. I may be steve-山蛋 and you steve-산ಡಿ (“Steve mountain eggs” and “Steve acid D”) the suffixes are optionally hidden.

How will messages appear on my Tin-Can? Messages are public by default, and you can read messages going through your phone, making the experience akin to Twitter or IRC.

There will be different options that range from seeing only messages from users that you subscribe to, to a ‘firehose’ setting that will allow you to see all messages in your ‘lump’.

How long are messages stored on my phone? Older messages will be deleted based upon the age of the message, and possibly the number of hops the message has made.

We are discussing the possibility of extending the life of messages based on other metrics or user signals, and are open to ideas.

How many characters can a Tin-Can message be? It will be short. Our working length is 128, but that might change.

What about iOS? Not in the near future. However, Tin-Can for Windows (laptops and such) is a real possibility.

If you have any questions, we’d be happy to answer them. Thanks!


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