Microsoft is working on a new feature for its Teams video app. Arriving in public preview in September, Microsoft Teams is to get walkie-talkie with your phone, letting you easily communicate with co-workers, either over a wireless or a cellular connection.
The walkie-talkie app will be baked directly into Microsoft Teams phones, and it will be available worldwide from September 2021. Those of you who relish the nostalgia of old analog communication will be pleased to know that this new Teams feature isn't too far off the mark.
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First spotted by TechRadar, a new entry in the Microsoft 365 roadmap outlines an upcoming update called 'Microsoft Teams: Walkie Talkie on Teams Phones.'
After the feature has launched, Microsoft Teams users can literally turn any Teams phone into a fully functional Walkie Talkie device. Users can push-to-talk, instantly connecting with colleagues in much the same manner as old analog Walkie-Talkies, but with the added bonus of secure communication that's free from eavesdropping.
Back to basics
On the Microsoft 365 roadmap, Microsoft notes that the "Walkie Talkie app on your Teams phones provides instant push-to-talk (PTT) communication for your team. It allows you to press and hold a button to speak to your team, and release the button to listen.”
While the feature is still under active development, this feature could see the introduction of an easy way for employees or first-line workers to have access to instant and secure voice communication over the cloud. Co-workers could easily stay in touch through Teams.
We've seen various updates from Microsoft Teams over the past year, including a slimmed-down version of Teams. However, this feels like an interesting return to a bygone era considering the best iPhones and best Android phones have just about fully superseded PTT communication. It'll certainly be interesting to see what the uptake of such a feature is after it launches, as planned, in September.