They will come in handy when there's no signal
The idea of using a walkie-talkie today might seem a little outdated. With all the technology we have available for connecting with one another it seems unnecessary to use such a specific single-purpose device.
However, if you find yourself exploring remote areas, or hiking in search of the best view, you might quickly change your mind.
Why Use a Walkie Talkie App
We’re so used to relying on our smartphones for every single little thing, it might come as a surprise to some that there are places on earth where cell networks won’t be of much help. Unlike your mobile phone, a walkie talkie will provide you with a free way to instantly connect with other people. Not to mention the security side of it, since the push-to-talk app doesn’t need signal at all.
But unless you’re a security professional, you might not want to invest in buying an expensive two way radio device, let alone carrying it around. So if you’re looking for a free means of communication when you’re out in the wild, consider installing one of the following apps that will transform your smartphone into a walkie talkie device.
You might have heard of this app under its previous brand name LoudTalks. It’s probably one of the most universal walkie talkie apps out there. All you need to do to get started with Zello is create your account.
Zello uses PTT (push-to-talk) protocol which will immediately transform your phone into a walkie talkie. It has unlimited range and supports every network as well as Wi-Fi connection. You can use it to connect with just one other person or join public chats and connect with people from around the world. It’s compatible with other smart devices. So you can enjoy the real-time voice messaging using your Apple Watch or Android Wear.
Zello comes with a 30-day free trial period, but after that you’ll have to pay to use the app. But for the price you pay you’ll get many advantages, including total absence of ads.
Price: free 30-day trial, then from $6.80 per user per month.
If you don’t want to bother with the registration process, have a look at the HeyTell voice messaging app. Thanks to its intuitive interface the app is extremely easy to use. To get started with HeyTell, you’ll need to download the app, install it, and select the user you’d like to contact.
One feature that makes this app stand out is different privacy levels that you can customize. There’s a low privacy level that will let your Facebook and Twitter contacts, as well as people that have your email or phone number know that you’re using the app and let them message you.
There’s a high privacy level which only lets people message you after you’ve accepted an invitation sent via the app. HeyTell supports push notifications so you can never miss a voice message from your contacts.
The app is free to use, with some pretty interesting in-app purchases, like self-destructible messages or a voice changer.
Price: free, with in-app purchases.
Two Way: Walkie Talkie
Two Way is another great push to talk app that doesn’t require registration or sharing any personal details on the app. You don’t need to sign up for it, therefore the developers claim that they don’t store any personal information about their users.
The downside of that being the absence of privacy. Since there’s no signup or passwords required, all channels on the app are public. You can choose the channel you want to join using the map or specific location of the user you’d like to connect with.
One big advantage Two Way walkie talkie app comes with is minimal battery use. You can download the app for free for both Android and IOS.
Price: free, with in-app purchases.
If you’ve been looking for an app that will enable you to talk to your friends and family without data or WiFi, your search is officially over. FireChat is the walkie talkie app that works without signal or internet connection, making it that much easier to communicate when you’re in the wild. Of course, hiking isn’t the only setting you’ll find this app useful for. It might come in handy when you’re on a plane, or attending a crowded public event.
All you need to do to start using FireChat is download it, and then switch Bluetooth and WiFi on. Once you start using the app, it will automatically connect you to a paired device even when offline within 200 feet distance. The app doesn’t require high battery usage, so you can enjoy unlimited communication with your contacts without having to carry a powerbank around.
Price: free, with in-app purchases.
If you’re a fan of minimalistic apps, Voxer might not be quiet up your street. But if you’re looking for a full package of features and a “can do it all” type of app, look no further.
Voxer can serve as a PTT walkie talkie, but it is also a messaging app. You can use it to send messages, pictures, videos, and even large files. It will be useful while hiking or trekking in the wilderness, as there’s an option to share location with your contacts. And in case you’re not available at the time you receive a voice message, there’s a handy feature that will save all incoming messages so that you can listen to them later.
On top of being a universal use walkie talkie app, Voxer is a great messaging tool for businesses. Voxer Pro comes with unlimited cloud storage, self-destructible messages, and even a hands-free walkie talkie mode.
If you ever need to get a written version of your voice messages, there’s a tool that will do it for you within the app. While all of that might be a little overwhelming for an average user, Voxer is a great find for someone looking to step up their communication game.
Price: free, with premium options.
Those are the five best options when it comes to a good all-in-one walkie talkie app. However, there are a few more options out there that you might find interesting. Like BreakR, the walkie talkie app that comes with a cool text-to-speech feature.
Meaning you can send a text to another user when you can’t talk and it will be automatically read out to them instead of appearing in the form of text. The downside here is the app being only available to IOS users.
Another great example is Intercom for Android. This walkie talkie app is packed with a voice detection service that will only transmit your voice ignoring the surrounding noises. A great find for your outdoor activities. The app is also free, but unfortunately only available for Android users.
Prepare For Your Next Wilderness Adventure
Sometimes we don’t even realize how powerful our smartphones are. But with the right set of tools and apps you can turn your phone into a multi-purpose device that will save you lots of effort and time.
Before you take your next hiking trip, choose the right walkie talkie app for you and don’t forget a good app for finding trails and tracks.
Has your smartphone ever helped you in the wilderness? What kind of apps would you recommend users to have installed before they go hiking? Share your thoughts and experiences with us in the comments below.