The Walkie Talkie feature is now available to all Microsoft Teams users
A while ago, Microsoft announced it would be bringing more additions to its Teams app — including a Walkie Talkie feature. The wait is finally over for everyone, as the company has updated its mobile apps to enable it for all Teams users. As the name of the feature suggests, it functions by pressing and holding on a microphone button. Once you do so, you can speak and the other party will hear you live. When you’re done, you release the button, like any traditional walkie talkie.
Microsoft shared in a blog post that it’s bringing the Walkie Talkie feature on Teams to everyone (via The Verge). Users on iOS and Android can take advantage of it by making sure their Microsoft Teams app is up to date. The company also announced that it is teaming up with Zebra Technologies to include a dedicated Walkie Talkie side button on some Zebra phone models. These devices are commonly used by frontline workers, and having an easily accessible physical button would only make communication with coworkers simpler. The company is taking this approach because data shows that frontline workers are excited about new technologies and aren’t as stressed when utilizing them. It states:
New data shows a shift towards optimism for technology to improve life on the frontline—63 percent of frontline workers are excited about the job opportunities technology creates and rank it third on the list of factors that could help reduce work-related stress, just behind better pay and vacation time. In Microsoft’s own productivity data, we’ve seen how the pandemic accelerated that change and drove a 400 percent increase in Microsoft Teams usage among frontline workers from March 2020 to November 2021. As the frontline faces continuous constraints from labor shortages and supply chain disruptions, they want technology that saves them time, helps them communicate more seamlessly, and maximizes their efficiency when completing repetitive tasks.
A walkie talkie feature is still not very common amongst popular instant messaging (IM) apps. It would be interesting to see more companies implementing it as a way to directly communicate with others.
Would you actively use a walkie talkie feature if the IM app you use implements it? Let us know in the comments section below.