Instant Messengers with Walkie-Talkie (Push-To-Talk, Walkie-Talkie)

    Immediately I would like to clarify that the functionality of Walkie-Talkie or Push-To-Talk is not at all the same as sending audio messages in ordinary messengers.

    Moreover, none of the popular instant messengers - WhatsApp, Skype, Viber, Telegram, etc., has such an opportunity.

    The main advantage of PTT is the ability to listen to voice messages over the speakerphone in real time, without touching the smartphone at all and at the same time being in touch with a large number of users.

    1. Voxer

    Voxer is one of the very first applications of the Internet radio, founded in 2007 under the brand RebelVox, in 2011 came the first application called Voxer for iOS.

    The idea of ​​creating Voxer belongs to one of the co-founders, Tom Cateysu.

    In 2007, while serving in Afghanistan as part of a special-purpose force, he drew attention to the fact that a better communication system is needed for soldiers on the battlefield.

    Later, in an interview with Techcranch, he told how he once tried during one of the ambushes to coordinate the actions of reinforcement and the medical service under enemy fire.

    He needed the opportunity to simultaneously communicate with all the troops, but the adopted radio stations did not have such functionality.

    After the release of the Android version in 2011, the popularity of Voxer quickly went up. Literally in half a year and only due to the viral effect, the number of unique users reached 10 million.

    In addition to the main functionality Push-To-Talk, text and multimedia messages can be sent to Voxer, as well as user geolocation.

    All PTT messages are recorded and stored. The possibility of listening to received messages at accelerated speed is interesting.
    All messages are encrypted.

    There are paid versions - PRO for $ 3.99 per month per user and Business for $ 6.25.

    Differences from the free version - you can connect the storage in Dropbox, there is Voice-to-text Transcription functionality, i.e., you can read voice messages, delete audio messages, administer the group, you can create a chat only for listeners and create large chats for up to 500 users.

    Audio and video calls are not.

    Voxer is actively used in business - in construction, in schools, it is used by attendants in hotels.

    Facebook and Voxer war in 2013

    “Facebook banned the popular Voxer application, which allows you to exchange voice messages, using the social network feature called Find Friends. Previously, with its help, you could search and add to the contact list of your friends who are already registered in Voxer. Facebook representatives told TechCrunch that they intend to restrict competing social networks to access such data if they do not receive any valuable information in return.

    The problem is that Voxer is virtually nothing to “share” with Facebook. The service revolves around private conversations, which are strange to tell on Facebook.

    Voxer founder Tom Catis expressed surprise at Facebook’s decision. According to him, it is strange that the social network did not object to the use of information about the social connections of its users earlier. For Voxer is bad news, because the opportunity to instantly find friends already using the service was quite important, new users can immediately test the application with someone of your friends ».

    2. Zello

    Internet radio Zello certainly familiar to readers.
    Partly because one of the founders, Alexei Gavrilov, is from Russia and he even published several articles on Habré, as well as thanks to the scandal with the ILV, as a result of which the application was officially blocked in Russia (but naturally continues to work).

    Today, Zello's audience is about 120 million users worldwide.
    In addition to Russia, Zello is blocked in Venezuela.

    In 2013, the application was actively used by protesters in Turkey.

    As in Voxer, all PTT messages are recorded and can be heard later.
    Recently appeared functionality of text messaging and geolocation.
    Chats can reach 2500 users.

    There is a paid business version, the scope of application - the same as that of Voxer.

    As in Voxer, there are no audio and video calls, and there is also no multimedia sharing.

    In my opinion, Zello has the best sound quality and the most convenient interface.

    3. Roger

    Roger was founded in 2015 by former Spotify employees - Ricardo Vice Santos and Andreas Blixt.

    The name apparently hints at the so-called. roger-beep - an automatic signal about the end of the transmission of radio station users when releasing the PTT button.

    In 2016, some raised a seed round of investment of $ 1 million.

    The application had a beautiful design and one interesting feature - there was an Alexa Echo emulation, i.e. there was a built-in voice assistant from Amazon.

    In addition to PTT, there was practically no functionality - neither text nor file transfer.

    In 2017, Roger announced the closure and the application disappeared from the mobile store.

    4. Two Way

    The most simple Two Way application with the Walkie-Talkie function is like a Kalashnikov rifle.

    No registration, usernames, passwords, no settings.
    And no privacy - all channels are public.
    You can choose any channel number and communicate there and any user in this channel can also hear and communicate you.

    The application is most similar to the communication in the traditional radio - for example, in the CB or KV range, especially when the spring-autumn exacerbation of the passage of waves during ionization of the atmosphere, when users become available over many thousands of kilometers.
    Only characteristic noise is absent.

    5. Intercom

    Intercom stands out among other applications by the fact that its work does not need Internet users can talk inside one Wi-Fi network or Bluetooth connection.

    Accordingly, the range is limited to 100 meters, but on the other hand, you can share your Wi-Fi and talk, for example, inside the aircraft.
    And if there is a network with a single SSID, but with a large number of Wi-Fi points (for example, a WI-Fi mesh network), coverage may increase.

    6. Modulo PTT

    Modulo PTT is compared to Slack for business - you also need to create groups and communicate only within groups.

    The process of creating groups is a bit complicated compared to other applications, but provides a convenient separation of all users.

    Also, as in Voxer there is an exchange of text and multimedia files.
    There is a paid version of Pro - $ 2 per user per month.
    Chats of up to 500 users, Broadcast mode, unlimited message storage and 24/7 support are available.

    7. Cahoots

    Cahoots - the application is very similar in functionality and design to the already not working Roger.

    In addition to PTT, there is practically nothing - neither text nor multimedia transmission.

    Despite this, the application is paid - free period of use - 30 days.
    There is no price on the site yet, the application has recently entered the market - the number of installations on PlayGoogle is 5000.

    8. ESChat

    ESChat is a sophisticated infrastructure solution for serious guys - it is used by the police and the FBI in the USA.
    Naturally paid, but there is a trial period.
    The solution is deployed on the network of all mobile operations in America - AT & T, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.

    Of the interesting features:

    - Live Location. Users can see each other on the map:

    - Advanced dispatching system:

    - Interoperability with analog and digital radio networks (Analog LMR, P25, DMR, Tetra, MotoTRBO, etc.) The

    guys got confused through the API and special gateways with Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) - made it possible to communicate with all the “old” radio standards:

    - An incredible number of various accessories, bluetooth headsets, etc:

    Headset Bluetooth as a ring

    9. M1 Messenger

    Well, our solution closes the review - M1 Messenger ( Android , iOS ).

    Unlike the above-described applications, the main function of which is Push-To-Talk, and the rest is the binding around it, in the M1 messenger Walkie-Talkie is just one of the possibilities of communication between users.

    The functionality added in other applications with PTT in the form of product development is already present here in full, including audio and video calls, integration with SIP, voice assistants, geo-positioning, etc.

    PTT in M1 Messenger is always at hand and It works in both normal and group chats:

    The main advantage of the PTT mode is that you can receive voice information without touching the smartphone.

    But in some cases, for example, when the user is in a public place, I don’t want people around to hear the message on the speakerphone, so in M1 there is an opportunity to turn off the PTT mode.

    Therefore, if someone in a group chat does not want to listen to PTT, he can simply turn it off, but be available for text and multimedia messages.

    Similarly, in single-person chat - the user can turn off this mode, but will be available for audio and video calls.

    We also added a night mode - the user can set the time period in which the PTT loudspeaker will not work:

    Register in the messenger - without a phone number, only by login password, email is only needed to recover the password, if the memory is good, then it too you can not specify.
    In order for users to communicate with each other, one of them must send an authorization request to the other.

    You can find another user by searching:

    As a result, the possibility of spam and listening to other people's channels is excluded in M1 Messenger, in fact, as well as there is no concept of public channels.

    Channels are normal groups in which you can turn on Walkie-Talkie mode, but you can not turn it on.

    There is also no PTT message recording - everyone has the opportunity to send an important notification with a regular audio message, so we decided not to score chats with a list of short PTT messages that hardly anyone would listen to later, especially if the Walkie-Talkie is used in a group with a large number of users.

    It should also be noted that the number of users in the group is not limited at all and there is no paid mode for any number of users.

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