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Jun 5, 2018

Walkie-Talkie on the Apple Watch is a clever riff on FaceTime Audio

After the health app improvements, the headline feature for watchOS 5 at WWDC was Walkie-Talkie, a new app that lets you send and receive quick voice messages with friends and family. Earlier today I got a brief demo of the feature and was surprised to discover that it works a little differently than I expected.

What I expected was a sort of voice message feature, where you record a quick message, send it, and your contact does the same and sends one back. But that’s not how Walkie-Talkie on the Apple Watch works at all. Instead, when you initiate a Walkie-Talkie chat, what you actually get is a real-time FaceTime Audio call that just happens to include push-to-talk (PTT) instead of a full-duplex audio call.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You...

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