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 way of one other Enhance Cell consumer’s telephone speaker with the push of a button. Microsoft is now bringing the same function to iOS and Android units through its Groups app. Nevertheless, 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 expertise to help frontline employees.
In a weblog submit on Wednesday, Emma Williams, company VP of contemporary work transformation at Microsoft, introduced that the walkie-talkie means in Groups is now obtainable “on all iOS cell units, akin to iPhones and iPads, along with Android cell units.”
Williams additionally mentioned the function will come to some Zebra Applied sciences units, akin to rugged telephones or scanning units. Such merchandise might also have a button you may press to attach immediately, identical to actual walkie-talkies and Enhance Cell’s outdated PTT telephones.
In keeping with Williams, the variety of frontline employees utilizing Groups has grown 400 p.c from March to November final 12 months. Bringing Walkie Talkie for Groups to cell units seeks to handle challenges frontline employees face on account of labor shortages and provide chain points by offering “expertise 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 differentiate Groups in a office stuffed with competing apps, like Slack and Zoom, by highlighting speedy and on-the-go voice communication. Slack is primarily text-based chat, however its Huddle function permits you to rapidly communicate with coworkers. In the meantime, Zoom’ s thought of PTT is about letting you rapidly 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 pal.