Microsoft is bringing a new feature to Microsoft Teams on iPhone and to frontline workers through Zebra devices that’ll let them the workspace app as a walkie-talkie.
As announced in a blog post, this new Walkie Talkie function is available in a wide range of Zebra mobile devices starting today so frontline workers can enjoy “clear, instant, and secure communication at their fingertips,” but, not only that, iOS and Android devices are also getting this feature.
“As the frontline faces continuous constraints from labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, they want technology that saves them time, helps them communicate more seamlessly, and maximizes their efficiency when completing repetitive tasks,” Microsoft writes in the blog post.
With this Walkie Talkie feature, as you can imagine, you can reach any contact you’d like by pressing and holding to talk. Microsoft Teams surely isn’t the first one to add such a feature, but now that it does, it expands the number of apps now making it available.
These devices are used widely by frontline workers, the employees that have helped steer the world through the ongoing pandemic.
Walkie-talkie features are still rare in communications apps. WhatsApp lets you record snippets of audio than can be sent and received, and Slack launched its Discord-like Huddles feature last year to let people drop in and out of calls easily.
Apple did launch its own walkie-talkie feature on the Apple Watch in 2018, using push-to-talk over a FaceTime Audio call.
This is mostly targeted at businesses and frontline workers, but if you wanted to use it yourself, you could certainly get on Teams and try out the walkie-talkie features and see if it’s a method of communication you enjoy.