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Stuart P. Bentley edited this page Jan 14, 2014 · 14 revisions


Chrome-to-Chrome and Chrome-to-Firefox calls are successfully working as of v0.2.0. Firefox-to-Firefox calls have yet to be tested.

What is Chatphrase and how do I use it?

Chatphrase is a site that creates a video call between two people who have entered the same phrase to identify the call.

For example, Alice works in the office with Bob from 9 to 5. Before they both go home, Alice tells Bob to chatphrase her at eight o'clock with the phrase "swordfish apples". Later, at eight o'clock, Alice goes to on her home computer, types "swordfish apples", and waits for Bob. At Bob's house, a couple minutes later, he types "swordfish apples" into on his own computer. The Chatphrase server exchanges call information, and a few seconds later Bob's computer connects to Alice's computer and they're video chatting.

Phrase suggestions

  • Naming the last 4 things you've looked at, like "floss batteries scissors straw"
  • The people involved and what the subject is, like "zack and miri discuss the rent"
  • The time and appointment, like "drill practice at 1300 hours"
  • Short codes you have somewhere else, like "934texas"

Warnings, Qualifiers, Caveats et al.

Chatphrase is still in beta and has lots of dangling features. Here are some known issues and missing functionality:

  • Hanging up is not implemented - you have to close the tab, and then the other end will just see your feed freeze. Pressing the back button will not end the call.
  • Changing state in the same tab is iffy. If you want to make a new call, you should close the tab and open a new tab to go to again. Pressing the back button won't end your current call.
  • There's no way to disable/mute/hide audio or video beyond throwing a towel over your camera/screen.


See Chatphrase's task list on Trello.

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