watchOS 5 Beta 2 Includes Functional Walkie-Talkie App

In the first watchOS 5 beta, the Walkie-Talkie app, which is one of the key new features in the update, was unavailable and said only "Coming Soon," but in the second watchOS 5 beta, the Walkie-Talkie feature is available.

When you launch the Walkie-Talkie app after installing the second beta update, you'll be able to scroll through your contacts and choose a person to connect to. The person on the receiving end of your Walkie-Talkie message will hear their Apple Watch beep and then they'll see a screen that will allow them to approve a connection.

walkietalkieconnection
At the current time, it appears that you can only choose "always allow" when opting to enable a connection with a person.

Once a two-way connection is established, you simply press and hold down on the talk button to communicate, as does the person on the other end. Conversations, which we've been testing, are crisp and clear with excellent audio quality.

walkietalkieinuse
If your Apple Watch is on silent mode, Walkie-Talkie ignores it, so you're still going to hear Walkie-Talkie beeps and incoming conversations. The same is true for Do Not Disturb Mode and Theater Mode, but there is a Walkie-Talkie volume toggle accessible by turning the Digital Crown. With a push-to-talk connection turned on, you and the person you're connected to can chat at any time, with no additional approval options available.

You can have multiple Walkie-Talkie conversations going at once, with each conversation listed in the app.

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While a Walkie-Talkie conversation is enabled with another person, both of you will see a yellow Walkie-Talkie icon at the top of the Apple Watch.

walkietalkieicon
If you want to mute a Walkie-Talkie conversation so you can no longer be contacted, you can scroll up on the Walkie-Talkie app interface and toggle off the "Available" icon. When unavailable, if someone tries to speak to you, they'll see a message that you are unavailable, and you'll receive a notification.

walkietalkieunavailable
If you want to resume your conversations with people, you can turn the toggle back to "Available" and everything will work as normal. Both people in the conversation need to have themselves set to "Available" in the Walkie-Talkie app for it to be fully functional.

Walkie-Talkie and the other watchOS 5 features will be limited to developers until watchOS 5 is released in the fall, as Apple does not provide betas of watchOS to the public.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 9
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Caution)

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Top Rated Comments

Arcus Avatar
78 months ago
Just what we need, another way for "public speakerphone" idiots to annoy everyone around them .
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
neoian Avatar
78 months ago

If your Apple Watch is on silent mode, Walkie-Talkie ignores it
Kind of defeats the point of silent mode IMO
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
oneMadRssn Avatar
78 months ago
What most people that never used Nextel didn't appreciate was it was extremely low voice latency with the walkie talkie feature. Like, nearly CB radio low latency. This is one of the reason construction guys liked it so much. When operating a crane or loading big heavy things, the delay you get with a cell phone voice call can be too much. When you say stop, you want the other guy to hear it immediately (or as close to immediate as possible). Other than using a CB radio, Nextel was the next best thing.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
RogerWilco Avatar
78 months ago
Why not just phone the person....:confused:
Where is your child-like wonder? We're all just kids inside and this app brings out the best in us. Just think, at the next business meeting you can joke with a pal across the room. Everyone will be in awe at your mastery of this new frontier in social media! Jony, Tim, Phil, you are all on a roll, just keep those winners coming!!
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
justperry Avatar
78 months ago
Why not just phone the person....:confused:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
iTuna Avatar
78 months ago
Enjoy waiting three minutes for the app to load.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)