There were a series of additions announced or the watchOS 5 in at the WWDC. One of them included the health app feature. Other than that another major announcement that was made was regarding the Walkie-Talkie system. This app will allow you to send and receive quick voice messages from friends and family.
It is not as simple as you think it is. If you believe that you will send a voice message to the contact of your choice and he will send one back in a similar fashion, I am here to burst your bubble. Apple has revolutionized this sphere by bringing forth this development. Now, you will be able to enjoy a FaceTime audio call that happens to include push-to-talk.
To give you an overlook of how it works, here is a brief outline of the process –
- You and your friend agree to communicate over Walkie-Talkie. One of you sends a request to the other, and the other person accepts this request to initiate the conversation.
- After opening the Walkie Talkie to send a message, you wait for a couple of seconds to proceed with the rest of the process.
- Once the call is connected, your friend will receive the message after listening to a chime. To record their response instantaneously, they can tap on the face of their watch.
- That reply flies back to you instantly, and you can further carry on the conversation by repeating the same process.
If you both stop sending messages, the call will eventually end. Right now, the limit is set at 5 minutes. However, Apple is still making some changes in the feature.
Now, one question that arises here is that how is it so quick to carry messages to and fro? If you have a careful look at the process, you will realize that it is just a Facetime audio call. The only difference is that instead of availing this service on your phone, you are tapping screens to send messages.
This feature gives Apple a bunch of advantages. It ensures a real-time communication feeling to Walkie-Talkie chats. Since it is primarily built on Apple’s Facetime, it can function over either Wi-Fi or cellular. It doesn’t even require iMessage to work and is a separate protocol altogether.
The downsides include it will drain a more significant chunk of your battery than just slinging voice memos at each other. This downside is because by enabling Walkie Talkie you are talking to a person who is muted merely by default until you hit the PTT button. The initiator might have to wait for two or three seconds to communicate however for the recipient the communication will be instantaneous.
Can you trust your friends and family with your personal information so much that your watch suddenly starts reciting aloud the messages sent by then wherever you are? Hopefully, the changes that Apple will introduce in the shipping version will include the power to make some granular changes like how the recipient will receive the first message of the conversation.
There will be people who are not going to be big fans of this feature. However, the way Apple had cleverly brought this feature on board which was initially announced right when Apple Watch was launched back in 2014 is commendable. It is a bit different than old-school cellphone users might expect it to be. After a long wait, this feature is now ready to take on the world.