Microsoft Teams: walkie talkie feature coming to many more devices

The Microsoft Teams walkie talkie, available since January 2020 on all Android, will soon arrive on many other products and will give the best on rugged.

There are some professions for which the use of a walkie talkie is not an option but a necessity. Activities "more in the field" than others to which Microsoft Teams will soon give an additional option, that of reducing the weight and bulk of the equipment to carry around thanks to the fact that you can use any compatible phone as a walkie talkie, in fact.

The walkie talkie function was launched in January last year for all Android smartphones. An announcement arrived on Microsoft's blog in which the company explained just how the novelty for Teams would help reduce the number of devices and equipment that those who practice certain activities - think of geologists or those who work on boats, for example - thanks to the Teams walkie talkie function would gain in convenience and in terms of greater safety than traditional two-way radios with analog technology. "This feature, built natively into Teams, reduces the number of devices employees have to carry around and lowers costs for businesses," Microsoft wrote last year on its blog announcing the innovation.

Teams walkie talkie in development for many more

The walkie talkie feature for Microsoft Teams for much of the devices that had been left out has appeared on the Microsoft 365 roadmap, and is currently reported as in development but available worldwide by September 2021.

In Redmond they speak of "Teams phones" to include the phones that Microsoft offers directly with the collaboration of Lenovo, Yealink or Poly, but also those products halfway between a smartphone and a cell phone, among which could be included for example some rugged smartphones, designed with particular attention to the resistance to falls and atmospheric agents.

These sometimes have a few more physical buttons than a common smartphone. Being products designed for particular uses, it doesn't happen rarely that they have "free" physical keys, that is programmable by the customer according to specific needs. And it is precisely one of these devices that could easily be seen as the perfect walkie talkie for the functionality conceived by Microsoft, with a button that can be programmed in the same way as that of a traditional analog walkie talkie.

Samsung's proposed scenario

A practical example comes from Samsung's blog, where the company explained how Microsoft Teams' walkie talkie feature can go well with the programmable button on the Galaxy XCover Pro or Galaxy XCover 5: so the worker doesn't even have to unlock the smartphone to access the push-to-talk (PTT) functionality.

It's important to note that Teams' walkie talkie feature works with both cellular and wireless connections: "Unlike analog devices that use unsecure networks, [with Teams' walkie talkies] customers no longer have to worry about crosstalk or eavesdropping. And because it works over Wi-Fi or cellular data networks, it can be used in different geographic areas."