One of many hallmarks of Increase Cellular pay as you go telephones within the early 2000s was their push-to-talk (PTT), or walkie-talkie, function, which allowed you to play your voice by one other Increase Cellular consumer’s telephone speaker with the push of a button. Microsoft is now bringing an identical function to iOS and Android units through its Groups app. Nonetheless, Microsoft is not utilizing rappers and athletes to attempt to make PTT appear “cool,” as Increase Cellular did. As an alternative, the corporate is positioning the function as a means to make use of know-how to assist frontline employees.
In a weblog submit on Wednesday, Emma Williams, company VP of contemporary work transformation at Microsoft, introduced that the walkie-talkie skill in Groups is now obtainable “on all iOS cellular units, reminiscent of iPhones and iPads, along with Android cellular units.”
Williams additionally mentioned the function will come to some Zebra Applied sciences units, reminiscent of rugged telephones or scanning units. Such merchandise might actually have a button you possibly can press to attach immediately, identical to actual walkie-talkies and Increase Cellular’s previous PTT telephones.
In keeping with Williams, the variety of frontline employees utilizing Groups has grown 400 % from March to November final yr. Bringing Walkie Talkie for Groups to cellular units seeks to handle challenges frontline employees face attributable to labor shortages and provide chain points by offering “know-how that saves them time, helps them talk extra seamlessly, and maximizes their effectivity when finishing repetitive duties,” Williams wrote.
The walkie-talkie function is a method for Microsoft to distinguish Groups in a office full of competing apps, like Slack and Zoom, by highlighting fast and on-the-go voice communication. Slack is primarily text-based chat, however its Huddle function lets you rapidly communicate with coworkers. In the meantime, Zoom’ s concept of PTT is about letting you rapidly unmute your self.
Walkie-talkie options can be found in another fashionable cellular units, too. As 9to5Mac identified, Apple introduced an app with this performance to the Apple Watch again in 2018.
However whereas Microsoft is positioning the Walkie Talkie for Groups as a employee instrument, there’s nothing stopping you from utilizing it to holler a pleasant “the place you at?” to a good friend.