Chapter 15. Your Device and Others

Communication works for those who work at it.

John Powell

Your Android device, just like your laptop, has network capabilities beyond running self-contained applications or displaying Internet pages. It can communicate in real time with other devices using a local network or a capable remote server.

Developing multiuser applications opens a new dimension to any activity or form of game play. The user is no longer alone with her computer. She shares an activity with others in which the group experience is greater than the sum of its parts.

The application in question can be a remote control for another device, the main application, or the companion application to a larger project. It can also be part of a cluster of devices communicating with one other.

In this chapter, I chose to demonstrate Adobe’s Cirrus service in detail because, at the time of this writing, it is free and demonstrates some multiuser possibilities without any server setup. It is well suited for mobile development.


Peer-to-peer (P2P) communication is the real-time transfer of data and media between clients.

Real Time Media Flow Protocol (RTMFP) is an Adobe proprietary protocol. It enables peer-to-peer communication between applications running in Flash Player or the AIR runtime. It is meant to provide a low-latency, secure, peering network experience.

Real Time Messaging Protocol (RTMP) uses Transmission Control Protocol (TCP). RTMFP uses User Datagram Protocol (UDP), which ...

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