Like a security guard or foreman on a construction site, you may not have used a walkie talkie since you were a child. But the idea of instant voice chat with individuals or groups is still quite attractive.
There are plenty of free Android and iPhone walkie talkie apps that give you exactly what security guards use. Let’s see.
Why Use the Walkie Talkie App
The walkie talkie app works like a real device. You listen to all the activity on the channel you selected, then press the button Speak when it’s your turn to speak.
Walkie talkie apps require a Wi-Fi or data connection, although due to the highly compressed audio they use very little data. As a result, they can even work on old fashioned 2G connections, if you find slow internet speeds on your phone.
Here are seven of the best walkie talkie apps for Android and iPhone.
Zello PTT Walkie Talkie
Zello is the best walkie talkie app you can get. It’s available for both Android and iPhone, and requires you to set up an account before you can get started.
It is a comprehensive messaging app with walkie talkie features. It offers high quality audio and full support for your Bluetooth headset. You can chat via public or private channels, with up to 2,500 users at a time. The app runs silently in the background, so you’ll never miss an incoming call.
But there’s more. This app offers text messaging service and support for Apple Watch and Android Wear smartwatches. It also integrates with your phone’s contacts, so you can talk to anyone who also has the app installed. If you like, you can also share Zello’s contact info via the built-in QR code feature.
The Zello walkie talkie app first gained popularity in the US during the 2017 hurricane season. Despite some reports at the time, it didn’t turn your phone into a fully functional walkie talkie. It still requires some kind of data connection to work, though it could be something as slow as a 2G connection.
Two Way: Walkie Talkie
Two Way: Walkie Talkie couldn’t be simpler. Just open it, play it to a random channel, and start talking. No registration, no username or password, and no configuration.
Also no privacy. All channels are public, so if you choose one that someone else is already using, you’ll be able to hear their conversation and join in, if you like. With a million channels to choose from, this is an unlikely scenario. Make sure you avoid obvious channel numbers, like 000000.
You must share your selected channel number with your friends in order for them to make calls. Also, you have to keep the app running to hear their calls. For no-frills, no-fuss service, this is hard to beat.
Voxer Walkie Talkie Messenger
A full-fledged messaging app built around walkie talkie functionality, Voxer is one of the most polished offerings of its kind. It has most of what you’d expect in any messaging app, including the ability to create group chats with friends and have encrypted private conversations.
The chat part is easy. Just hold down the walkie talkie button while you talk, then release it to hear what the other person has to say. If anyone is offline, you can leave a voice or text message. You can also share files and photos at the touch of a button.
Voxer works best if you give it access to your contacts. You must create an account to use it, including adding your phone number.
Two-way radio app is no easier than Walkie-talkie. It’s easy to use and looks good too. The app works on Android, iOS, and on any desktop web browser. Tune your device to the same frequency, press a button, and you’re good to go.
You don’t need to create an account, and the app doesn’t require any special permissions. The only thing to keep in mind is that the channel you choose is not private, so if someone else is listening to the same frequency, they will be able to listen.
Walkie Talkie ODT Audio
Although designed primarily for outdoor sports use this app is compatible with the Chips 2.0 snow helmet speaker from the Open Tech Walkie Talkie ODT Audio it works for anyone.
You’ll need an account to get started, but setting up is quick and easy. Once done, you create your own group and then add friends as members. This does not happen through your contact list. Just search by name or email address to add it.
The ability to organize your friends into separate groups makes it useful for working on projects or organizing events. You can see when people are online, and the sound quality is good. The app lacks other features — it doesn’t have messaging, for example but that helps keep it light and easy to use.
If you’ve ever used Slack, a popular messaging app for work teams, you’ll be able to get to grips with Modulo pretty quickly. It works along similar lines.
You create a team, and your friends or colleagues can register and join the team individually. You’ll then set up channels within the team to keep everyone organized.
It makes the setup process a lot more complicated than some of the other apps we’ve looked at. But the result is that you get a private and secure area to chat, reserved exclusively for your team.
Once you’re all logged in, you can chat in real time or leave a voice message that anyone who’s offline can pick up at the time. There’s also support for text messages, including the ability to share files with other team members.
If you are looking for a voice app for business, this is the one to choose.
If you’re looking for a Bluetooth walkie talkie app, Intercom is worth a try. This is great for communicating with people nearby, such as at a school, a shopping center, or an office building. It works without an internet connection by using your phone’s wireless technology (including Wi-Fi and Bluetooth) to transmit to other users.
Not much, but that’s part of Intercom’s appeal. This is the best pick-up-and-play app. You don’t have to register or worry about granting important permissions. It simply connects you to whoever is nearby. And it also works cross platform.
Enjoy the Best Walkie Talkie App
Walkie talkie apps are much faster and convenient than having to make normal voice or data calls, and they can be a lot cheaper too. Just by leaving the app running, you can always talk to your friends or colleagues, without having to leave the call connected for minutes or even hours.
A good walkie talkie app is an essential addition to any mobile messaging tool. You should check out our guide to Best Physical Walkie Talkie if you prefer to have a real device.