John G. Lives in Sherman Oaks, California where he is a member of the Los Angeles Fire Department Community Response Team (CERT.) After a rash of burglaries in his neighborhood, John and his friend Reggie started a neighborhood watch so they could hopefully prevent more crimes.
While conducting patrols, Reggie and John would communicate with each other via walkie talkie so they could stay in constant contact. Also, they figured that if there was ever an issue, they could radio the person who’s turn it was to be at home and have them call 911.
One evening around 9pm, Reggie was patrolling the neighborhood when he walked by the home of two elderly sisters who were in their 90’s and noticed that the drapes were open and the lights were off. Reggie made radio contact with John to let him know his location and told him what was going on.
After Reggie didn’t get an answer at the woman’s door, he moved around to the back of the house. As he looked through the door, he saw one person lying on the floor. He immediately contacted John by radio and let him know what he saw and that he was making entry into the home.
Luckily, the door was unlocked and Reggie helped the first woman, who was on the floor, but alive. He told John the information via the walkie talkie, which allowed John to call 911 while Reggie searched for the second woman.
Soon after, Reggie discovered the other woman unconscious in bed and confirmed to John via walkie-talkie that he needed emergency services for two women in their 90’s who had suffered medical episodes.
The thing is, using the walkie talkie’s allowed Reggie to focus on the two patients, while relaying critical information to John who was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher.
In addition, Reggie was heard on the radio by the dispatcher meaning the information was effectively and quickly transmitted so that first responders had all the information they needed when they arrived.
If you’ve ever served in the military, law enforcement or any security position, you know that using a radio is more efficient than making a phone call when you need to share critical information.
With that being said, most people don’t carry a walkie-talkie, yet pretty much everyone carries their cell phone, so I want to share with you a few smartphone apps that can mimic walkie talkie communication.
To be clear, it’s important to note that none of these apps are “true” walkie-talkies. Real walkie-talkies use radio waves to transmit messages, while most of these apps will use your internet connection to communicate.
Zello. This is one of the most well-known walkie-talkie apps on the market because it has more features compared to other apps. You can either talk directly with individual people or you can create a group channel for your friends or family group. In addition, you can join a specialized channel to chat about specific topics.
Also, if the app is open, messages will be played out immediately or they can be set up to be played later when the recipient has time. Lastly, you can send text messages, images or alerts to other users so this app is more than just a walkie-talkie. This app is free on iOS.
Two-Way. This app is much simpler than Zello and is a no frills, bare bones walkie-talkie app. There’s no option to pick-and-choose individual contacts and you can’t send text messages or images.
Instead, you get the ability to pick a specific geographical area (local or national) and immediately broadcast within that whole area for anyone else to hear. If you enjoy conversations with strangers, then this is an easy to use app to do so.
On the other hand, if you want a more private conversation you can head into the Key Pad feature and choose a channel to chat in instead. The massive selection of channel numbers should enable you to have a private conversation that you won’t have to share with anyone else. Two-Way is available for free on iOS and Android platforms.
Walkie-Talkie Communication. This is another app designed for the minimalist, with no fancy features. There’s no contacts list, no text messaging, and no image sending. The way it works is you and a friend download the app, set the channel to the same number, then turn on the walkie-talkie to send immediate voice messages.
Frankly, there’s not much to it other than that. But it works, and its simple. Walkie-Talkie Communication is available on iOS and is free to download.
With all of these apps you should be careful with the information you communicate and share. These apps don’t offer any encryption so I would always use a VPN on your smartphone and don’t broadcast your SSN on the channel. Copy that?