Microsoft Teams turns your phone into a walkie-talkie | GeekComparison

Microsoft Teams turns your phone into a walkie-talkie


One of the features of Boost Mobile’s prepaid phones in the early 2000s was their push-to-talk (PTT) or walkie-talkie feature, which allowed you to play your voice through another Boost Mobile user’s speaker with a Press on the button. knob. Microsoft is now bringing a similar feature to iOS and Android devices via the Teams app. However, Microsoft doesn’t use rappers and athletes to try and make PTT look “cool” like Boost Mobile did. Instead, the company is positioning the feature as a way to use technology to help frontline workers.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Emma Williams, corporate VP of modern work transformation at Microsoft, announced that the walkie-talkie capability in Teams is now available “on all iOS mobile devices, such as iPhones and iPads, in addition to Android mobile devices.”

Williams also said the feature will come to some Zebra Technologies devices, such as rugged phones or scanning devices. Such products may even have a button that you can press to instantly connect, just like real walkie-talkies and Boost Mobile’s old PTT phones.

If you don't have a Zebra device, you can touch an icon in the Teams app to have someone talk.
enlarge If you don’t have a Zebra device, you can touch an icon in the Teams app to have someone talk.

According to Williams, the number of frontline workers using Teams grew 400 percent from March to November last year. Bringing Walkie Talkie for teams to mobile devices seeks to address the challenges frontline workers face from labor shortages and supply chain issues by “providing technology that saves them time, helps them communicate seamlessly and maximizes efficiency when performing repetitive tasks,” Williams wrote. †

The walkie-talkie feature is a way for Microsoft to differentiate Teams in a workplace full of competing apps, such as Slack and Zoom, by emphasizing fast and mobile voice communication. Slack is primarily text-based chat, but the Huddle feature allows you to quickly chat with colleagues. Meanwhile, Zoom’s idea of ​​PTT is about being able to mute yourself quickly.

Walkie talkie features are also available on some other modern mobile devices. As noted by 9to5Mac, Apple brought an app with this functionality to the Apple Watch in 2018.

But while Microsoft is positioning the Walkie Talkie for Teams as a work tool, nothing prevents you from using it to kindly yell, “Where are you?” for a friend.

Leave a Comment