Voxer Walkie-Talkie: With No Strings Attached

Almost all Smartphone plans these days come with a data option, and there are, of course, a plethora of apps which use it. One of the more interesting of these apps is Voxer Walkie-Talkie. One thing you shouldn’t worry about with this app is being reminded of the old push-to-talk feature on Nextel phones. This […]



Almost all Smartphone plans these days come with a data option, and there are, of course, a plethora of apps which use it. One of the more interesting of these apps is Voxer Walkie-Talkie. One thing you shouldn’t worry about with this app is being reminded of the old push-to-talk feature on Nextel phones. This app is nothing like that Nextel feature and provides a lot more value. Unlike apps like Apple’s iMessage, Voxer Walkie-Talkie is a true cross-platform. Samsung’s ChatON can do everything Voxer can, but surprisingly, Voxer’s simpler and therefore easier to use and this app seems to be significantly more popular.

Voxer’s user interface isn’t fancy making it very easy to use which may be part of the reason for its popularity. The “talk” button, for example, is quite easy to find which is a rarity. Many people remember vividly the flood of profanity occasioned by trying to find the talk button on a more complex application some years ago crowned with the frustration that, once finally located, it was too small for their fingertip. Voxer makes neither of those mistakes.

Setup is a snap although two possible privacy problems rear their ugly heads. The app wants your phone number before you can finish setup. If you’re a very paranoid Android owner, you can get around this by using your Facebook information instead, but that choice raises its own problem as setup then asks for your contact list. If you don’t mind letting a mindless robot loose in your address book, feel free to use this option as you’ll have to manually load all your friends if you don’t. If you’re really paranoid, you can choose “privacy mode,” which means that someone has to know your email address in order to find you.

Once you finish setup and exit, you will be faced with as many “active conversations” as you have friends. Every user you added sends back an automatic notification, which is rather redundant, not to mention annoying. The good news is that erasing those notifications is probably the most annoying thing you’ll face: using the app itself is fairly problem-free. You can live stream messages, geotag photos and texts, and skip through messages with fast-forward which is very useful when it comes to those messages that are long and written like a book.

One very nice feature is offline queued messaging. If you lose reception while voice recording, the system will send your message automatically once signal is regained and update the app with the information you recorded while out-of-service. If you live in an area with spotty reception, that feature alone is worth the price of the app.

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