How to use Walkie-Talkie on Apple Watch

Learn how to use the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch for convenient handheld transceiver-style communication.

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It's surprising how little we use our mobile phones as tools for vocal communication. Considering the current selection of internet messaging apps and social media services, placing a phone call is almost a formal affair these days. It's almost enough to make you wish you and your buddies had some old-school walkie-talkies, right? As it turns out, there's a walkie-talkie function built into watchOS 5 on the Apple Watch, and it's remarkably easy to use. Here's how to send quick voice messages or carry out full conversations by using the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch.


How to use Walkie-Talkie

Using the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch involves two primary functions: the first is adding or inviting friends, and the second is actually starting and holding a conversation. The Walkie-Talkie app can't be used with anyone who is not a friend, but users can send or accept invites to become friends with their contacts quite easily. Here's how it all works, as outlined on the official Apple support website.

Adding friends in Walkie-Talkie

To add a friend, open the Walkie-Talkie app on a watchOS 5-compatible Apple Watch, then press the plus button and choose a contact from the list. The contact must accept the friend invite before Walkie-Talkie communications can be used. When the invitation has been accepted, the card will turn from gray to yellow.

how to add friends in Walkie-Talkie Apple Watch

Users will likely also receive invitations from others. To accept invitations from other contacts, open the Notification Center by touching and holding on the top of the watch face and then swiping down. From there, open the Walkie-Talkie invitation, then tap Always Allow.

How to start talking in Walkie-Talkie

Once both contacts have become friends in the Walkie-Talkie app, they can use their Apple Watches as wrist-mounted communicators. To start a conversation, open the Walkie-Talkie app, then tap on a friend's name. After that, press and hold the talk button and begin speaking. The message sends when the user stops holding the talk button.

how to use Walkie-Talkie on Apple Watch

After that, the recipient will receive a notification that someone wants to talk. When they open the app, the two users can then send messages back and forth by pressing and holding the talk button, just like on a normal walkie-talkie.

Finally, Apple Watch users can toggle Walkie-Talkie on or off at any time. To turn off Walkie-Talkie, open the Walkie-Talkie app, then slide the Available toggle to the off position. Once Available is switched off, the Walkie-Talkie app will again use notifications to tell the user when someone is trying to chat. For convenience, Walkie-Talkie can also be turned on or off from the Control Center.

All image credits go to Apple via the Apple support website


Learning how to use the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch is simple, and it opens up a new world full of functional communication as well as quick conversation. Be sure to stay on top of the latest how-to guides for smartphones and other mobile devices by heading over to our Modojo @ Shacknews home page.

Guides Editor

Kevin Tucker is a core component of Shacknews' powerful guide development team. For questions, concerns, tips, or to share constructive criticism, he can be reached on Twitter @dukeofgnar or through e-mail at kevin.tucker@shacknews.com.

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