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How to turn your mobile phone into a walkie-talkie

 


How to turn your mobile phone into a walkie-talkie



The Zello app, available on iOS and Android (also in a web version, and accessible from any computer), allows you to have an alternative one-way communication, i.e. audio only and from one transmitter to one receiver at a time, while having to Wait until the end of issuing the message for a response. Essentially, Zello turns a mobile device into a walkie-talkie, with different advantages described below over similar capabilities found in instant messaging applications such as WhatsApp, Telegram, Skype, Facebook Messenger...


A common feature of walkie-talkies is that the sending user must hold down a button to radiate his voice and at the same time the receivers can only listen. This is how the Zello app works, although in this case the pushbutton is default and appears on the screen. Only when the sender leaves the button and ends his communication, can another interlocutor intervene.


The first feature relates to the fact that Zello will continue to operate if platforms such as those mentioned fall, which is especially important in the event of disasters or natural disasters, but another feature, perhaps more decisive for these needs, relates to the large number of users that may be present for each channel, which bypasses the functionality of platforms such as those created by Facebook to communicate in the event of a disaster.


This has caused a huge spike in Zello downloads (sometimes over 6 million downloads in a few hours) when any of these circumstances occur, with the platform currently adding over 150 million users worldwide.


Zello does not associate the app with a phone number and uses channels instead of groups or individual conversations. Additionally, and unlike instant messaging apps like WhatsApp, where public channels only support a maximum of 246 participants, Zello can support up to 6000 users simultaneously on the same channel (whether public or private). This exceptionally enables Zello as a communications platform that, in the event of a disaster or natural disaster, provides real-time information to such a large number of recipients.


Conventional walkie-talkies use radio frequencies for their communications, but Zello uses both mobile networks (2G, 3G, 4G and 5G) and WiFi networks, so it will be necessary to have a minimum coverage for any of these networks. With its low latency protocol, it does not need high bandwidth to send/receive voice messages in real time. The Zello app is free but there is a paid version that is equipped with broadcast encryption through a 256-bit algorithm to maintain maximum protection and privacy in communications.

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