Questions and answers

What is the maximum length of a message?
The maximum message length is generally around 45 – 55 characters if an appropriate language pack is available, otherwise UTF-8 or UTF-16 encoding is used, resulting in 10 characters or 20 characters if your message consists of ASCII characters only. While a message is being entered, a sleek progress bar below the input field shows how much capacity is still left. If a language pack for your native language is not yet available, please help to make it happen.
Which language packs are available?
Currently, long messages in the following languages are already supported: Afrikaans, Arabic, English, French, German, Hindi, Italian, Malay, Persian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swahili, Tamil, Turkish. Support for various additional languages is prepared. However, feedback from native speakers is required for many languages before message lengths can be increased. Check the languages page to see if your input is required.
That means I can type every possible character, right?
Yes, you can send anything. However, you can only send 10 characters unless there's a language pack for your language, which will give you longer messages of about 50 characters.
Do I have to specify the language I'm writing in?
No, you don't have to. Ahoy automatically chooses the most compact encoding for you.
When trying to broadcast a message, the "Broadcast" button is disabled. What's that?
Your message is too long, try removing some characters. Watch the progress bar below the input field to see how much capacity is left.
How big is the broadcast range?
A normal WiFi adapter can be recognized up to 100 feet (30 meters) away when used outside.
That's not very far!
And that's not a question. However, you can increase the range of a message by repeating it: click the message and press the button on the right () to repeat the message. If the same message is detected several times, the number is indicated on top of the signal level indicator:
Isn't it a risk having your WiFi hotspot activated all the time while broadcasting a message?
No, it's not. When you broadcast a message, your WiFi hotspot gets secured with a random key, and the key is changed once per minute.
Why does my phone keep switching the access point off and on every minute when I broadcast a message?
Apparently, it is not possible for an Android phone to scan for nearby access points while acting as an access point. Therefore, broadcasting gets temporarily disabled while the device scans for messages, which happens every 60 seconds on average when you are broadcasting a message. If you are not broadcasting anything, a WiFi scan is carried out roughly every 30 seconds.
Is there a version for Apple's iPhone?
No, unfortunately, there's not. And I'm afraid it might not be possible in the near future to create one due to Apple's strict policies. If you think it can be done or want to port the App to another platform, please let me know.
Can we see some screenshots?