Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Voxer Walkie-Talkie PTT

Category: Communications

(Free) The "PTT" in the name of this app stands for "Push To Talk." This free app uses your Internet connection to send voice and text communications to other Voxer users. 

The important part of a PTT communication system is that it's asynchronous voice communication. So unlike a phone call, and like using a two-way radio, you take turns talking. Why would you want to do this? Because there are times when the person you wish to communicate with can't take a phone call. And because there are times - as when you're operating a motor vehicle - that you can't read or type text messages. With Voxer, you press the button and talk. Within a few seconds, the person(s) to which you directed the voice message receives an alert that they've received a new message. When they tap on the message, they hear your voice. They can then send you a response by pressing their on-screen button and replying (or type a text message in Voxer).

But wait, there's more: The REAL power of a network-based PTT system is that you could talk to all 35 people in your nationwide sales force and say, "Hey, who's got the D134 samples we had in Vegas last week?" Within seconds, all 35 addressees in your predefined "Sales" group can hear the message (some who are in meetings or in-flight might not hear the message for minutes or hours), and only the one who knows the answer can either respond directly to you, or answer so the entire group knows. That's far more effective than 35 phone calls or emails. On a smaller scale, you could tell your family members you're on the way home, and wherever they are, they'd all know at once and be able to chime in about rendezvousing at home.

Try it. You might never make another phone call.

(Voxer Walkie-Talkie PTT)

(UPDATE 11/18/2015) Apple brought asynchronous voice messaging to their Messages app, but it's a bit awkward to use. And something that's still uniquely useful about Voxer is that it can be configured to automatically play incoming voice messages on your phone's speaker without requiring any other action (so you can be driving a vehicle just hear the response come in without having to look for an on-screen "play" button. I gotten out of the habit of using Voxer, perhaps because most people prefer to just send text-only messages, and because I now tend to compose text messages by voice using Siri, but for some people Voxer still presents a nice communications tool, especially for the one-to-many broadcasting model.

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