Microsoft has announced that the walkie-talkie functionality in Microsoft Teams is now publicly accessible.
The functionality, which was introduced two years ago and has been in preview since then, allows users of the software giant’s video conferencing software to utilize their smartphone or tablet as a walkie-talkie that can operate over both cellular and wireless connection.
While Teams’ walkie-talkie capability is available on any Android smartphone by pressing and holding an on-screen button while speaking and releasing the button when listening, it is especially handy on rugged devices. This is because many rugged smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy XCover 5, include a customizable button that can be mapped to Teams’ walkie-talkie feature, allowing employees to use push-to-talk capabilities without having to unlock their phones.
Teams users may now try out Microsoft’s walkie-talkie feature on their Android smartphones and tablets, but the firm has now added the same option to the iOS Teams app.
Push-to-talk button on the phone
In a recent blog post, Microsoft announced an extension of its strategic alliance with Zebra Technologies, in addition to demonstrating how Teams’ walkie-talkie functionality can be utilized on Samsung’s rugged devices.
As a consequence, Teams’ walkie-talkie capability is now accessible on a broad variety of Zebra mobile devices, including its rugged TC-series, customer-facing EC-series, and scanning device the MC-series. What distinguishes these gadgets from others is the presence of a dedicated push-to-talk button, allowing frontline employees to rapidly and securely connect with their colleagues with the touch of a button.
Emma Williams, corporate vice president of contemporary workplace verticals at Microsoft, described how the company’s digital walkie talkie function is more secure than conventional radios in a separate blog post, saying:
“This functionality, built natively into Teams, reduces the number of devices employees must carry, and lowers costs for IT. Unlike analog devices with unsecure networks, customers no longer have to worry about crosstalk or eavesdropping from outsiders. And since Walkie Talkie functions over Wi-Fi or cellular data, this capability can be used across geographic locations.”
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