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Microsoft Teams turns your phone into a walkie-talkie

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Microsoft Teams turns your phone into a walkie-talkie

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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 person’s telephone speaker with the push of a button. Microsoft is now bringing an identical function to iOS and Android units by way of 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 approach 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 capability in Groups is now out there “on all iOS cellular units, reminiscent of iPhones and iPads, along with Android cellular units.”

Williams additionally stated the function will come to some Zebra Applied sciences units, reminiscent of rugged telephones or scanning units. Such merchandise might also have a button you’ll be able to press to attach immediately, similar to actual walkie-talkies and Increase Cellular’s previous 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 gadget, you’ll be able to contact an icon on the Groups app to walkie-talkie somebody.

In response to 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 units seeks to deal with challenges frontline employees face as a consequence 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 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 means that you can shortly converse 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 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 pal.

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