Paper Plane is Amazing.
After debuting it at Google I/O this past May, Google and Active Theory have released Paper Planes, an app and Android Experiment that means to bring people together on International Day of Peace (that’s today).
The app, which allows you to “throw” a virtual paper plane to anyone in the world able to accept it, utilizing a number of web technologies alongside native Android features to deliver an extensible and scalable application that is seriously fun and more than a little beautiful.
Using a combination of WebSockets, WebGL, and WebWorkers to facilitate the rendering and “placement” of the plane in a synthesized, wireframe world, along with Firebase Cloud Messaging, background services, and native Nougat inline replies, the app wants to make people feel like they’re considerably closer than they are.
The very act of stamping the plane with your passport (for some reason Google thinks that Canada is full of raccoons) and folding it to send — plus the very act of flicking your phone forward to initiate the transport — is something you don’t see very often on Android.
The really fun and interesting part is that when your plane returns to you, you can see where it’s travelled, with unique stamps that are specific to each location. My first plane went from Toronto to Santa Monica, California and back, and stopped in Memphis on the way.
It’s a tiny, thoughtful app with a huge, courageous message.