Walkie-talkies are used all over the US by individuals and businesses for all different purposes.
Usually these two-way radios are GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) and FRS (Family Radio Service) radios. Most people don’t know, but there is an enormous price difference between the two. While FRS radios can be operated on an individual level; say if you want them for a family camping trip, GMRS radios require you to pay an FCC license fee of $85.00 for a five year permit.
It can be a huge disappointment to learn the $20 pair of radios you purchased at Target require a licensing fee to legally operate them. It’s easy to miss this important piece of information because most of the time it’s printed on the back of the packaging in fine print.
If you walk into car dealerships, car washes, golf courses, and outdoor supply stores you’ll see 2-way radios sitting on the shelf. If those are GMRS radios that business owners picked up on Amazon and are using for business purposes, it is completely illegal. There is no license fee you can pay to use GMRS radios in a business setting.
Even worse, if the FCC finds out, you can pay a massive fine of $10,000 per radio! The FCC has started to crack down on companies like a shopping center in California, or a clinical laboratory called Remel who was fined a whopping $30,000.
So what does this mean for a company? Companies have three options; chance it and risk getting fined, get a business band license and some business grade radios, or use the alternative, Voxer Business.
Voxer Business works on any Android or iOS device. If a company wants to save money on equipment, they could easily use a older Android device or refurbished iPod so long as the devices have WiFi capabilities. Voxer Business has all the functionality that a GMRS radio has with live voice, but with a handful of other useful features such as:
Recording and storing of all your audio
Multiple Chat Functionality: Voxer Business eliminates the need for channels of traditional walkie talkies. Keep all of your chats in one app and talk to who you want, when you want to.
Teams: Upload all of your users and segment them into one-touch communication groups called Teams
Bluetooth Compatibility: Use Voxer Business with your Bluetooth or wired headset for handsfree communication
Multimedia Messaging: Along with live or recorded voice, send text or image messages
Location Sharing & Map: View the location of team and employees last sent message with the web or mobile map
Voxer Business also works seamlessly across devices and your desktop or laptop. We recently launched Voxer for Web with Voxer Business, which makes it easy to keep mobile and stationary teams connected. With Voxer’s push-to-talk business solution, it’s easy to manage multiple Voxer conversations directly from a computer.
Usernames come in especially handy if you are looking to add your friends on Voxer. Share your username with friends so you are more easily searchable in the Voxer app. Search for friends with their username the same way you search for your friends by their name or email address.
Voxer usernames are randomly generated with letters and numbers from your name and phone number. Voxer Pro users have the ability to customize their username to whatever name they choose. If you dislike your given username or have a nickname you'd like to have on Voxer, consider upgrading to Voxer Pro to change your username. For a complete list of Voxer Pro features, please read our support page.
What’s new in 1.3.2:
Improved audio functionality
Usernames: Every Voxer user now has their own, unique username. Share your username with friends to make finding and adding friends easier. Check our support pages for more info on usernames.
Improved compatibility with Motorola RAZR devices: Users with Razr devices reporting crashes can now use Voxer again without crashes.
New Voxer Pro Features:
Larger Group Chats: Group chats can now be up to 500 people for Voxer Pro users
Message Sharing: Share your favorite voxes with your friends via SMS or email
Customizable Usernames: Don’t care for the Voxer username you were given? Change your username to whatever name you like!
Rich Notifications: Listening to and responding to messages just got easier. Voxer Pro customers can now listen to and respond to their messages directly from a push-notification
Windom Windows, is a Seattle-based window washing company specializing in high-rise window cleaning. They’ve been using Voxer Business since April 2013. After trying to use traditional two-way radios, Windom Windows discovered Voxer Business, and immediately recognized that it could save their company money while increasing productivity.
With employees scattered on scaffolds all over Seattle, and they must check in every hour for safety reasons. Voxer Business is a solution that keeps their entire team in constant communication.
Jim Beggs, the owner of Windom Windows, told us that keeping everyone connected used to be one of the company’s biggest challenges. But now, “Voxer Business helps us keep track of where all of our workers are. So if there’s a problem, we need to be able to solve it quickly.”
One of the most useful features of Voxer Business to Windom Windows is Live Interrupt Mode. Live Interrupt Mode allows their employees to talk to each other hands-free, which keeps them safe while suspended hundreds of feet above the ground.
“When the guys are coming down on the ropes, they don’t have the luxury to fumble around to find their phone. With Live Interrupt Mode, you have a headset on, it goes straight into their ear, they can hear it and they can immediately respond” Beggs explains.
Windom Windows found that Extreme Notifications are beneficial to their team, as well. Extreme Notifications are loud, repetitive alerts that keep everyone in touch, despite noisy conditions. In addition, the repetitive alerts of Extreme Notifications mean no one misses a message.
“There are times where it’s windy, you’re up on the ropes, it’s loud,” Beggs points out, “Extreme notifications is a louder chip, so that you can hear it clearly and it repeats until you open it. That way you’re always reminded that you have a message waiting for you”.
Voxer has drastically improved the way the Windom Windows team communicates. As Beggs explains, “With any business, communication is the most important thing, and Voxer is an awesome communication tool”.
We had been hyping a trip to Disneyland for a long time to my son Charlie who is 3 ½, as an incentive to be well behaved. Finally we had to own up to the fact that we had promised him we could go see Lightning McQueen, if he didn’t act up.
Because we live in SF, we decided to hop in the car and drive down there. Of course, we were voxing the entire way down there. Voxer is the perfect road trip accessory. Anytime you’re in a place and need to quickly coordinate there’s no substitute for Voxer - it’s a lifesaver when someone is in a store and another one is out with the kids who are strapped in their carseats.
When we were actually at Disneyland, Voxer was the perfect way to coordinate a family. It’s such a big, busy and frantic place, and it’s really easy to lose someone in the crowd. When one group of people was in line for a ride, the other group could go and entertain themselves. The group waiting for the ride could give updates on how long the line was, if a ride broke down if there was a delay, when they were getting on, and tell them when they were done.
If someone was hungry or needed a restroom, they could go, and then come back and find the other group easily. If Charlie was hungry or melting down in the line, someone could be waiting at the end of the ride with a snack when he was finished.
And because my daughter Brook is only 1 ½ it was great that we could decide if there was time to take her to another ride, go for a stroll around the park, get some food, or go shopping, or just wait at the end of the ride for them to get done. Voxer is absolutely the perfect tool to help keep your family’s sanity at a frantic place like Disneyland. And because it’s an app, it’s super easy to get everyone up and running on it, I can’t imagine another visit without it.
This post was guest written by Voxer’s Head of Marketing, Nicole Strada who recently took her two kids Charlie and Brook to Disneyland with her husband Nick. Besides being a full-time mommy and a full-time marketer at Voxer, Nicole is an avid cook, and loves to hike and explore the huge outdoor playground in her backyard in Marin, CA.
Independent technology blog, TruTower recently did a week long series covering all things Voxer. TruTower is the only tech blog completely dedicated to VoIP and Messaging apps and International GSM carriers. In their coverage, TruTower explored tips and tricks for best voxing practices.
Here are the five articles TruTower published:
1. Get More Friends on Voxer - “As good as social apps are, they’re generally only as good as the number of friends they bring together… And what better way is there to communicate with your friends than with your voice on demand?” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. This article covers how to search and start new chats with existing Voxer users, as well as how to invite new users to Voxer.
2. Voxer Privacy Mode - We all have different levels of privacy that we are comfortable with. If you don’t want your profile to be searchable by name and do not want your name to automatically populate in new friends chat lists when they join Voxer, you can enable Privacy Mode. Privacy Mode makes your profile searchable only by the email address associated with your Voxer account. To turn on Privacy Mode, go to Settings > Account Settings > Privacy Mode.
3. Starting & Adding Participants to Group Chats - Many of you have write into us to tell us how Voxer’s group chat feature keeps you and your friends in touch all in one place. Whether it’s your friends from college, old neighbors, or family members, the group chat function seems to be a fan favorite.
4. What is Live Interrupt Mode? - Live Interrupt Mode is a Voxer Pro and Voxer Business feature that enables you to send and receive voxes handsfree from a bluetooth or wired headset, even if your Voxer app is closed and the phone is locked. As TruTower explained, “Think of it as a way to easily vox a business associate without having to stop your work in order to pick up your device every time a vox comes in, which can lead to improved productivity.
5. Enabling & Disabling Push Notifications - As TruTower writes, “Even in today’s day and age, though, push notifications can be an annoyance at times, and rather than just simply shut the phone off, many people opt instead to turn off the notifications themselves on either the phone or the app level.” In addition to turning off notifications globally, did you know that with Voxer you can enable/disable notifications for specific chats? Read the whole article or check out our support pages for iOS, Android, and WP8 to find out more.
Voxer is a powerful push-to-talk service that works worldwide on any iOS, Android, or Windows Phone device. You can instantly send voice, text and photos to individuals and groups in real time.