In a recent blog, “ Jabra Perform 45… or How to Use Your Bluetooth Headset as a Walkie Talkie,” we discuss the new Jabra Perform 45 Push-To-Talk Headset. We mention that the headset is compatible with Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie.
But, we hear you asking, what is Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie?
It’s a free app for Teams that makes your device into a walkie-talkie for push-to-talk (PTT) communications with your team. And because the app uses an internet connection, physical distance doesn’t limit your team, unlike a traditional walkie-talkie.
Sound useful? Let’s take a look.
Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie App
When we say it’s an app, we don’t mean that it’s a separate program from Teams; rather, it’s an app within the Teams ecosystem. On your phone, you use Walkie Talkie in the Microsoft Teams app.
Walkie Talkie is included with Microsoft 365 and Office 365 subscriptions. It’s available for both Android and iOS.
First, your admin needs to enable Walkie Talkie in the Teams admin center under Teams apps > Manage apps.
After the app is enabled, you can access it in the Microsoft Teams client on your phone. You will probably have to select Walkie Talkie from the options under More or when you swipe up. You can pin the app to your Teams navigation bar for quick access.
Then, join a channel. Channels allow your organization to specify groups of people who need to communicate. For example, you might have one channel for floor staff, one for managers, and one for backroom staff.
Note that you can only connect to one Walkie Talkie channel at a time. You can’t communicate directly with only one person in a channel; your messages will always go to the whole channel.
When you are connected to a channel, you will receive all communications on that channel. Only one person in the channel can speak at a time.
You also get presence information for the channel, that is, you can see who’s currently connected. When someone messages the channel, you’ll see their name and picture (if they’ve set those up in Teams). This helps you know who’s calling.
Using the app is extremely simple: when you want to talk, press the big purple button on the screen. There are ruggedized Android phones that have dedicated PTT buttons, which you can set to activate Walkie Talkie, or there are dedicated headsets with PTT buttons like the Jabra Perform 45.
To stop receiving communications, exit the channel.
You can use a Bluetooth headset with Teams Walkie Talkie, just like you would use a headset for any other phone call application on your phone.
When would I use Teams Walkie Talkie?
Walkie Talkie is incredibly useful in all the situations when you’d normally want a walkie-talkie, whether that’s, for example, in a large department store where staff needs to cover multiple departments, or on a work site where the foreman needs to keep in touch with everyone.
The primary thing to keep in mind is that Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie requires an internet connection to work, which means the location must have good Wi-Fi or cell connectivity.
Using an internet connection is a real advantage, actually. A traditional walkie-talkie’s utility is limited based on physical distance.
With Teams Walkie Talkie, you don’t need to worry about that, though, which means, if you wanted, you could have workers in multiple locations on the same channel.