Microsoft Teams turns your phone into a walkie-talkie


One of many hallmarks of Enhance Cell 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 Enhance Cell person’s telephone speaker with the push of a button. Microsoft is now bringing an identical function to iOS and Android gadgets by way of its Groups app. Nonetheless, Microsoft is not utilizing rappers and athletes to attempt to make PTT appear “cool,” as Enhance Cell did. As a substitute, the corporate is positioning the function as a method to make use of know-how to help frontline employees.

In a blog post on Wednesday, Emma Williams, company VP of contemporary work transformation at Microsoft, introduced that the walkie-talkie means in Groups is now accessible “on all iOS cellular gadgets, similar to iPhones and iPads, along with Android cellular gadgets.”

Williams additionally stated the function will come to some Zebra Applied sciences gadgets, similar to rugged telephones or scanning gadgets. Such merchandise could actually have a button you may press to attach immediately, similar to actual walkie-talkies and Enhance Cell’s outdated PTT telephones.

If you don't have a Zebra device, you can touch an icon on the Teams app to walkie-talkie someone.
Enlarge / If you do not have a Zebra system, you may contact an icon on the Groups app to walkie-talkie somebody.

Based on Williams, the variety of frontline employees utilizing Groups has grown 400 p.c from March to November final yr. Bringing Walkie Talkie for Groups to cellular gadgets seeks to handle challenges frontline employees face on account of 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 technique for Microsoft to differentiate Teams in a office crammed with 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 permits you to shortly communicate with coworkers. In the meantime, Zoom’ s idea of PTT  is about letting you shortly unmute your self.

Walkie-talkie options can be found in another trendy cellular gadgets, 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 pal.

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