Just hours before Apple’s WWDC keynote, AT&T has launched its Enhanced Push-to-Talk service on the iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S, bringing walkie-talkie-esque capabilities to the iPhone for the first time. The new feature will be available in app form that business customers will be able to download and install.
Push-to-talk is available on select devices from Verizon and AT&T, but this is the first time that the feature is available on the iPhone in the US. Push-to-talk replicates the same features that a Nextel device has, but that network will be shut down at some point this summer, due to the lack of high-speed data capabilities.
Push-to-talk is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of having to dial a number and call someone, push-to-talk allows users to push a button on the phone in order to broadcast a voice message to a group of users. AT&T says that their push-to-talk service supports up to 250 people, but it’s only available to business customers on the iPhone right now.
AT&T also says that their Enhanced Push-to-Talk can now be used over WiFi, providing better coverage and less reliance on cellular towers, especially if you’re in a rural area with shoddy coverage. Plus, AT&T claims that they operate the “US’s largest Wi-Fi network, including more than 32,000 AT&T WiFi Hot Spots.”
We’re not sure how the app will be downloaded and installed onto iPhones, but we’re guessing AT&T released the app in the iTunes App Store, and we’re sure that future iPhones from here on out will most likely have the push-to-talk app already installed.