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 6
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
23 months ago
Just what we need, another way for "public speakerphone" idiots to annoy everyone around them .
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 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)
Avatar
23 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)
Avatar
23 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)
Avatar
23 months ago
Why not just phone the person....:confused:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
23 months ago
Enjoy waiting three minutes for the app to load.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...

Apple Configurator 2 Updated With New Features, Including Support for Restoring Firmware on 2019 Mac Pro

Tuesday March 31, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro. The release notes:• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro • Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 • VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type • VPN: Configure network options for ...

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...