All the messaging services we use in our daily, regular life rely on the internet to work. However, many messaging apps let you communicate without cellular data or Wi-Fi. These apps either use the phones’ Bluetooth or use a combination of Bluetooth, open Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi direct, etc., to create a mesh network and transmit messages from one person to another. If you are looking for one such app, here are the best free offline messaging apps for iPhone that you can use without the internet.
1. Two Way: Walkie Talkie
Should you prefer to have a simple offline communication app that can let you communicate in a live walkie-walkie style, I would recommend you check out “Two Way: Walkie Talkie”. What makes it so handy is that it doesn’t require an email account or even your phone number.
Just tune in to a random channel and share it with your buddies. Once that’s done, you can just press and hold the big Talk button and speak out the message. While it works pretty well, it lacks encryption and doesn’t offer the needed privacy to messages.
Moreover, Two Way: Walkie Talkie is open, which means anyone who bumps into the same channel can secretly listen to your conversation. If you don’t mind this loophole, it can turn out to be quite useful, especially when you wish to stay connected to your buddies.
Bridgefy is another well-known app that lets you communicate using Bluetooth. This makes it ideal for natural disasters, traveling abroad in groups, rural communities, music festivals, sports stadiums, and more. There are four ways to communicate using this offline chat app. They are Person to Person Mode, Mesh Mode, Broadcast Mode, and finally Online Mode.
Person to Person Mode uses iPhone’s Bluetooth and lets you chat privately with friends who are within 330 feet of you. Mesh Mode is exciting as it allows you to chat with people even if they are more than 330 feet away. It does so by creating a mesh network. Let us say you (A) want to chat with person C, who is 600 feet away. Usually, this isn’t possible. But say, if a person B is in the middle of you both, it is possible for you to communicate privately with C. Person B in the middle (or anybody else in the network) won’t be able to read the message you send and receive to/from C.
Broadcast Mode lets you send messages to every Bridgefy users around you at the same time if they are in the Broadcast tab. It works even if you do not have those people in your contact list. Finally, the Online Mode works like a regular messaging app and uses your internet connection and enables you to chat worldwide if the receiver also has a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.
A new anonymous mode permits you to use the app without verifying your phone number. You can verify your number later in settings.
3. Air Chat
Air Chat is a clean, beautiful, and straightforward app that lets you send encrypted text messages to nearby people. For this, it uses the iPhones’ Bluetooth, and as a result, no mobile data or Wi-Fi is required. When you launch the app, it automatically detects people around you who are using the app. After this, you can start chatting once you complete a simple pop-up verification.
Air Chat also supports Bluetooth notification that works in background and alerts you when you receive a new message. You also have the option to turn off the notification or only turn off the previews. The app is easy to use, and there is no phone or email verification. It just works!
4. Text nearBy
Are you in a plane with no internet connection and your friend is sitting apart? Are you in a school with internet jammed, and you wish to chat with your girlfriend during a boring lecture? Whatever be your situation, Text nearBy lets you chat with people in your home, school, work, plane, etc. For this, it uses no Cell or Wi-Fi. Instead, it relies on phones’ Bluetooth.
To use this offline chat app, you do not need a phone number, email address, or any other account. There are a few excellent standby features like automatic deletion of messages after an hour, no transmission of messages via any server, etc. You can use this cute, little offline texting app to chat safely with kids in your family.
5. Peer Chat
First, you download this app (obviously). You enter your name or any name you wish. Now, wait for your nearby friend to open this app on their phone and follow the same steps. After that, from the list, tap on the person’s name. After the person accepts, you can start chatting. Using the plus icon from top-right, you can add six more invitees and talk together.
Peer Chat uses Bluetooth or Wi-Fi connections to work, and thus it needs no data plan. The app is effortless and straightforward to use. However, in my testing, I found that it is not as reliable as other apps on this list because it frequently showed that the connection had been lost. All texts transmitted via this 4 MB app are encrypted, and no data is logged.
Another similar app you can try is Divvy – Offline Communication. It also has inbuilt TicTacToe that you can play with your connected friend.
Why would you like to use offline messaging apps?
- When there is internet shutdown during protests like in Hong Kong recently
- If you are in a place with unsecure and untrusted Wi-Fi
- Use it to chat with kids in your family. Or kids can use it to chat offline with their friends from the same building
- Handy for secure, offline chat among office members, events, etc
So these were some of the best iPhone offline messaging apps to send SMS without the internet. Since all these are free, it would be perfect for downloading them all and seeing which one suits your needs perfectly. Do you know of any other similar apps? Please share the name with us in the comment section below.
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Jignesh Padhiyar is the co-founder of iGeeksBlog.com, who has a keen eye for news, rumors, and all the unusual stuff around Apple products. During his tight schedule, Jignesh finds some moments of respite to share side-splitting content on social media.