Microsoft has made Walkie Talkie available to all Teams users. It really turns smartphones or tablets into a kind of walkie-talkie that works over cellular networks or WiFi. The feature was announced two years ago, but so far has only been available in a test format.
Microsoft aimed Walkie Talkie primarily at company employees who work outside of the office and are in constant contact with customers. The software giant has announced a partnership with mobile shop equipment manufacturer Zebra Technologies to provide dedicated push-to-talk buttons on its devices, supported by the Teams client. With the pandemic, zebra devices have become much more common – they are used by delivery companies and couriers.
The walkie-talkie function is still rarely found in modern instant messengers: the most popular WhatsApp and Telegram have audio messages. The enterprise messenger Slack, a direct competitor to Teams, added audio calls last year. But Apple added the Walkie-Talkie app to Apple Watch back in 2018 – it works through FaceTime Audio.