How Does a Push-to-Talk App Work?
Push-to-talk apps are major improvements on early forms of walkie talkies. They also allow you to use a smart device as a walkie talkie, effortlessly communicating across greater distances with a simple push of a button.
Voxer proudly offers cutting-edge push-to-talk (PTT) technology in smart devices, making it a superior option to traditional walkie talkies as well as typical PTT options. But what makes push-to-talk technology unique? Why should you consider investing in it?
Let’s take a look at how this revolutionary technology works.
Use a Cell Phone as a Walkie Talkie
Let’s set the scene for you: You’re at the grocery store and you need to call a colleague, but you have to unlock your phone, enter your access code, scroll through your contacts, wait for the phone to connect, and then most likely leave a voicemail for a colleague who doesn’t answer. Leaving you unsure if they will actually receive the message.
This may seem like a small inconvenience, but over time, they add up to jobs that are more stressful, workers that are less efficient, and days that feel filled with tiny but obnoxious irritants.
Today’s push-to-talk technology works similarly to the walkie-talkies of the past. You push a button and talk to people in your network, whether they’re across the room or across the country.
More importantly, with Voxer you can just push a button to talk and connect instantly with your team. You will get important information in real-time and see who has read or heard the message. Allowing your team to communicate from wherever they are, instantly.
Why Push-to-Talk is a Better Option Than Traditional Walkie Talkies
Traditional walkie talkies are available in two basic forms.
Family radio system (FRS) walkie talkies are the cheapest type, and probably most similar to what you used as a child. These operate across a specific frequency, with a very short coverage area.
General mobile radio service (GMRS) radios function like walkie talkies but across much larger distances. They’re an objectively superior option, but they come with one major drawback: you have to purchase a license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
GMRS may work well in close quarters, such as when employees work in the same building. But they’re just not practical when you have a large team and have to communicate across distance.
Some other serious issues associated with traditional and GMRS walkie talkies include:
- Price. With traditional systems, you’re paying more for less reliability. You may be looking at thousands in startup costs, plus the cost of an FCC license, plus maintenance and upkeep.
- Lost productivity. It’s easy to forget about the value of your time. But when traditional devices waste time or make communication less efficient, they cost you money and time.
- Doubled work. Traditional walkie talkies don’t record conversations or send digital files. This often necessitates additional conversations, follow-up messages, and other sources of time loss. Lost time is lost money.
- Few employee benefits. Traditional walkie talkies don’t allow you to communicate with employees no matter where they are.
How Does Push-to-Talk Work?
Every push-to-talk program works slightly differently. Most use apps on smart devices. The technology behind contemporary PTT programs is pretty simple. Smartphones normally allow both parties in a conversation to simultaneously hear one another and speak back and forth.
PTT apps switch a traditional phone, usually with a single click, to a mode that allows only one party to speak at a time, though many programs allow multiple parties to participate in the conversation.
A few years ago, the primary incentive for businesses to use PTT was the option to communicate on demand without using up the company’s allotted minutes. As more companies move to unlimited minutes, this incentive has diminished. Thus more carriers have sought ways to make PTT even more enticing. Many now include PTT in data plans, or allow users to add PTT to their plans for a nominal price.
Cell Phone Walkie Talkie Features
Every cell phone carrier’s push-to-talk program is slightly different, so it’s important to ask your specific carrier about details of their plan. If your staff brings their own device to work, you’ll need to ensure that PTT is compatible across platforms. These challenges are a good reason to consider an app instead of using traditional PTT smartphone platforms.
Some common features in cell phone walkie talkies include:
- the ability to record conversations
- speakerphone capabilities that prevent you from having to hold your device
- unlocking the phone with a single button push
- the ability to select a specific network of people with whom you want to speak
Drawbacks of Traditional Push-to-Talk Technology
If you’re ready to take the plunge and commit to contemporary PTT technologies, it’s important to weigh your options. While PTT can streamline communications, PTT through a mobile carrier is not always the best option. An app like Voxer is typically a more affordable and efficient solution.
Here are the problems with traditional PTT technology:
- It can be expensive. Prices typically range from $5-$30 per device per month. If you have a large team, that can quickly add up. And if your business is small or has razor-thin profit margins, you may not be able to justify this additional expense.
- It may tie you to a specific device or plan. Virtually everyone has had the experience of wanting to change mobile carriers or devices, only to find that doing so requires paying to get out of a contract.
- If employees bring their own devices to work, you may have to enroll in multiple plans for different devices and keep constant track of your team’s devices. This is a time-intensive logistical task, and completely unnecessary if you just switch to an app.
If traditional PTT were the only option, then the cost and time investment might be justified. But it’s not the only option.
What is the Best Push-to-Talk App?
The best PTT app is one that is not tied to your phone or a specific carrier. You need an app that can work across networks and devices. At Voxer, we are confident we have developed the perfect app for businesses of all sizes and budgets.
Before you invest in PTT technology, ask the company from which you plan to purchase PTT the following questions:
- How much does it cost? How does the cost change based on the number of devices? Do you offer free apps for a single personal device? Do you offer a free trial app?
- Can users record audio so that they never again miss a meeting?
- Do you offer multimedia options? Can users send videos, pictures, and other media?
- How secure is your app? Do you offer end-to-end encryption?
- Is your app compatible with both iPhone and Android operating systems?
- Does your app enable large group chats? Do you offer voice to text transcription?
- How are messages stored? Is there a storage limit?
- Can users unsend and delete messages?
- Can users use walkie talkie mode without opening the app?
- Is it possible to access the app on the web?
- Can users use any data network?
- Is information stored in a secure cloud?
Voxer can answer all of these questions with a resounding yes!
That’s what makes it the best push-to-talk app around. Stop wasting time and money. Don’t invest in another device. Invest in an app that your entire team can use.
Voxer saves you time and money, and in so doing, helps you grow your business.