One of many hallmarks of Increase Cell pay as you go telephones within the early 2000s was their push-to-talk (PTT), or walkie-talkie, characteristic, which allowed you to play your voice by one other Increase Cell consumer’s cellphone speaker with the push of a button. Microsoft is now bringing an identical characteristic 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 Increase Cell did. As an alternative, the corporate is positioning the characteristic as a means to make use of know-how to assist frontline staff.
In a blog post on Wednesday, Emma Williams, company VP of recent work transformation at Microsoft, introduced that the walkie-talkie capability in Groups is now obtainable “on all iOS cell gadgets, equivalent to iPhones and iPads, along with Android cell gadgets.”
Williams additionally stated the characteristic will come to some Zebra Applied sciences gadgets, equivalent to rugged telephones or scanning gadgets. Such merchandise could actually have a button you possibly can press to attach immediately, similar to actual walkie-talkies and Increase Cell’s previous PTT telephones.
In response to Williams, the variety of frontline staff utilizing Groups has grown 400 % from March to November final 12 months. Bringing Walkie Talkie for Groups to cell gadgets seeks to deal with challenges frontline staff face as a result 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 characteristic is a method for Microsoft to differentiate Teams 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 characteristic means that you can shortly converse with coworkers. In the meantime, Zoom’ s idea of PTT is about letting you shortly unmute your self.
However whereas Microsoft is positioning the Walkie Talkie for Groups as a employee device, there’s nothing stopping you from utilizing it to holler a pleasant “the place you at?” to a good friend.