Walkie-Talkie Apps

If you prefer the nuance and context of a phone call, but the simplicity and convenience of a text, you’re in luck.

That’s because a number of apps allow you to record and sent short audio messages – kind of like a good old fashioned walkie talkie. Here are three of the coolest of such apps.

Zello promises to turn your phone or tablet into a walkie talkie with its lightning fast speed and free push-to-talk feature. Just push a button, record your message, and send over a WiFi or data network – just like you would with a walkie talkie. You can set it up to talk with others privately or create or join a larger public group. Zello is free for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Aptly named Roger is another app with walkie talkie-like features. Just a push the big simple button, record your message, and send. One especially cool feature about the Roger app is you can see the location, weather, and time of day of the person who is receiving your message. And all you need to get started is the phone number of the person you want to start communicating with via Roger – and recipients don’t even need the app installed. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Voxer also has the ability to deliver short recorded messages. You can decide to listen to message when they’re delivered or wait until you’re in a more private setting. You can also see the location of others, and even send photo, videos and your location to others through Voxer. Voxer is free for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Mike is a veteran journalist whose video "PC Mike" reports have been distributed weekly to all 215 NBC-TV stations since 1994, making him one of the most experienced tech reporters in the country. His tech stories and videos have appeared on MSNBC, CNBC, the Today Show, The New York Times, USA Today and in numerous national newspapers and magazines. In addition to the PC Mike tech blog, he also publishes the RV Travel Blog in which he travels North America in an RV reporting about interesting people and places.