The Zello Walkie Talkie app is at the top of the iPhone app store, leading some users wondering why a walkie talkie is the most download iPhone app of the week. As it turns out the Zello Walkie Talkie app is spiking along side GasBuddy due to the approach of Hurricane Irma along the Florida coast.
We’ll walk through what you need to know about the Zello Walkie Talkie app, how to use it, any potential costs and other information that you need to know about this useful and popular app.
What is the Zello Walkie Talkie App?
The Zello Walkie Talkie app is, as the name suggests a walkie talkie for your iPhone and Android. You can push to talk and send instant messages to other people directly or to a group. It’s similar to the old style Push to talk Nextel phones or the walkie talkies you used as a kid.
This app is popular because you can use it to communicate with friends or groups easily even when cellular connectivity is bad, and phone calls and other apps might not work well. The app even works on older 2G networks.
Does Zello Walkie Talkie Work Without Cell Service?
You can use the Zello Walkie Talkie app without cell phone service, if you have WiFi, but you will need some kind of internet connectivity for it to work. This is not a near device communication tool that can jump from one phone to the next without first connecting to the Internet.
If you have a 2G connection it will work. If you have a WiFi connection it will work. Basically if you have any internet connectivity it can work. If Irma knocks out local WiFi, power and cellular it will not work.
You should install NextRadio on your phone as a backup for getting information. This app can use local radio to get information even without a cell phone signal or WiFi. It tunes into FM radio using built-in chips already in your phone.
How to Use Zello Walkie Talkie
Using the Zello Walkie Talkie app is simple. You need to download it to your phone. You should do this before there are any internet connection problems that could stop you from downloading the 37MB app.
Once downloaded you need to create a user name. You must enter your email, and you can optionally add your phone number so friends can find you. From there, you simply need to search for contacts or join a channel.
Tap on contacts and then search for a contact on Zello, your address book or using a QR code. Once you have a conversation open, push and hold the big circle in the middle of the screen to start a conversation. Let off to stop talking and listen for a response.
You can also tap on Channels, Add a Channel and then search or look at trending channels to join one for a topic that interests you. Many people are subscribed to channels about Hurricane Irma.
Is Zello Walkie Talkie Free?
The Zello Walkie Talkie app is free for the iPhone and Android. There are no in app purchases and we have yet to see an ad while using Zello. Watch out for fake apps pretending to be Zello that attempt to charge you to download or use a similar walkie talkie service.