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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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)


Top Rated Comments

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13 weeks ago
Just what we need, another way for "public speakerphone" idiots to annoy everyone around them .
Rating: 22 Votes
13 weeks ago


If your Apple Watch is on silent mode, Walkie-Talkie ignores it


Kind of defeats the point of silent mode IMO
Rating: 20 Votes
13 weeks 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.
Rating: 14 Votes
13 weeks 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!!
Rating: 7 Votes
13 weeks ago
Enjoy waiting three minutes for the app to load.
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
Why not just phone the person....:confused:
Rating: 6 Votes
13 weeks ago
This would be far more useful if you could set it up between a whole group of people, like you can with real walkie talkies tuned to the same channel. Otherwise it really seems like a gimmick.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago
Nah, the whole fun of walkie talkies is that the other person doesn't even approve. You just blast whatever you want on a certain frequency.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago

I want Facetime on the watch instead.

Why? That wouldn’t make any sense. The screen is too small and the person you’re talking to would be looking up your nose. Unless you hold it in front of your face, but that would be awkward and your wrist would quickly get tired.
Rating: 4 Votes
13 weeks ago

Can I just say "Kirk to Spock" if my name is Kirk and I want to speak to Spock? Can Spock just say "Spock here" to accept Kirk's summoning of him?

If so, I will buy an Apple Watch right now, solely for the purpose of making this bit of Star Trek come to life.


The only thing I dont understand why Apple didn’t add, is the ability to notify you before the other person blasts out over your speaker something obscene in a crowded area.

At least Star Trek’s communicators told you that someone was wanting to talk to you first. You know that beep that is coincidentally my text tone? :cool:
Rating: 4 Votes

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