Group FaceTime, Memoji, improved Do Not Disturb, a smarter and more useful Siri, parental controls, and one from the last century. Walkie-Talkie for Watch on watchOS 5. Yes, you already know what it is, how it works, and why you want it.
Walk. Talk. Repeat.
As a technology, walkie-talkies are nothing new and date back, in one form or another, to pre-World War II, to the early days of radio frequency technology.
A walkie-talkie (more formally known as a handheld transceiver, or HT) is a hand-held, portable, two-way radio transceiver.
Apple, what took you so long? Walkie-talkies of yesteryear more resemble an iPhone or smartphone than Apple’s new Walkie-Talkie feature for watchOS 5.
Typical walkie-talkies resemble a telephone handset, with a speaker built into one end and a microphone in the other (in some devices the speaker also is used as the microphone) and an antenna mounted on the top of the unit.
See? 21st century smartphone. Walkie-Talkie for Watch carries a few features from yesteryear into the present so we can use them in the future.
They are held up to the face to talk
Yes, an iPhone is a wireless telephone, just like an early era walkie-talkie, but Walkie-Talkie on Watch becomes vastly more convenient and easier to use than fishing around for an iPhone to make a call.
The transceiver is normally in receive mode; when the user wants to talk he presses a “push-to-talk” (PTT) button that turns off the receiver and turns on the transmitter.
Select your Walkie-Talkie buddy and tap the Talk button on the screen. Your buddy gets a notification to answer.
How cool is that?
Yes, watchOS 5 and future Watch models will bask in the glory of an auto-workout detection mode, built-in Podcasts app for AirPods, an improved Siri that doesn’t even require a “Hey Siri…” salutation on Watch, Student ID cards, and more, but Walkie-Talkie is an ancient form of wireless communication whose time for a popular rebirth is now.
Walkie-Talkie is really a simple interface placed onto Apple’s FaceTime Audio, which seldom gets used because FaceTime faces.
Instead of the formality and inconvenience of making a phone call or FaceTime call, Walkie-Talkie because drop dead dirt simple to use as an intercom– room to room, across town, across the country, across a school campus, across a job site, or to a co-worker or family member anywhere in the world except China, UAE, and Pakistan.
Now, tell me the truth. Isn’t Walkie-Talkie a feature you would like to see on your iPhone (if you don’t have Watch) or on your Mac?
Yes, I look forward to all the cool new features in iOS 12 and macOS Mojave, but I can’t wait to try out Walkie-Talkie.