Using the Walkie-Talkie feature in Microsoft Teams





You can use a mobile device to talk directly to another person through the Teams app. Lance Whitney shows you how to use this handy feature.

teams-logo.jpg
Image: Microsoft

Microsoft Teams offers a walkie-talkie feature that allows you to talk to colleagues and colleagues on your iPhone, Android phone, or other supported mobile device. You can use the feature to coordinate with colleagues, request help, and chat with other employees who are part of the same team or project.

Walkie-Talkie works through specific channels to communicate with other people. Each channel is derived from a specific team you’ve already created in the Teams app. For example, channels can be based on a team, project, role or another area.

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To name just a few examples, one team and channel could be for IT or help desk support, another for factory workers, and another for a specific project. In order to communicate with someone else, both of you must be members of the same team and channel. As with a physical walkie-talkie, you can talk to only one person at a time, but other members of the same channel can listen in on the conversation.

In addition to using the Teams app on an iPhone or conventional Android phone, you can use Walkie-Talkie on select headsets and ruggedized Android phones via a dedicated push-to-talk button. The webpage for the Walkie Talkie app in Microsoft Teams lists several supported devices.

Walkie-Talkie must first be installed and activated through your Teams admin console. From there, any authorized user in your organization can use the feature to speak to someone else. This is how it works.

The first step is for you or an administrator in your company to add and set up the Walkie-Talkie app in your Teams setup. To do this, browse to and sign in to your Teams admin center. On the Teams dashboard, select the Teams apps setting and then select the Setup policy option. Select the Global (Organization-wide default) policy and make sure the Allow User Pinning switch is turned on (Image A

Image A

Screenshot of the Teams dashboard.

Then click the Add Apps button in the Pinned Apps section (Figure B

Figure B

Screenshot of the dashboard adding the apps section.

In the search box on the right, start typing Walkie-Talkie in the search box. When the app appears, click the Add button (Figure C

Figure C

Screenshot of adding the walkie talkie app.

Click Add at the bottom of the panel. Walkie-Talkie will then appear in the list of pinned apps. Click Save to apply the changes (Figure D

Figure D

Screenshot of save to apply

You now need to wait for the Walkie-Talkie app to appear in the Teams mobile app across your organization. That process can take up to 48 hours, but it usually takes place earlier. To check this, open the Teams app on your mobile phone. In the bottom toolbar, tap the More icon and you should see an icon for Walkie Talkie. Tap that icon to launch the app (Figure E

Figure E

Screenshot showing apps.

At the same time, other employees should do the same so that you can connect with someone via Walkie-Talkie. To use the app, you must first choose a channel. Tap the Channel menu at the top of the screen. You’ll see the channels for all teams you’re a member of. Tap a specific channel to talk to another person in that channel, then tap the Connect button (Figure F

Figure F

Screenshot showing how to use the walkie talkie feature.

Anyone who wants to communicate on that channel must also select the specific channel and click the Connect button. To see who else is connected to the channel, tap the People icon in the top right corner. Return to the main Walkie-Talkie screen. Press and hold the microphone icon and you can now talk to a specific person on that channel. Release the icon when you’re done talking so that the other person can respond in the same way. You can then have a back-and-forth conversation. To stop staying active on that channel, tap Disconnect (Figure G

Figure G

Screenshot showing how to disconnect.




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