Zello Walkie Talkie, voice messages on millions of devices

The phones they were created to communicate. And although current smartphones are pocket computers that are valid for everything, the most downloaded applications have to do with the communication With few exceptions, such as YouTube or Google Maps. Come on, that almost everyone has on their phone several of these apps to send voice, video or text messages: WhatsApp, Facebook, Gmail, Instagram, Hangouts, Skype, Snapchat … And does Zello Walkie Talkie sound familiar to you?

Text messages, video calls, voice messages … We have many ways to communicate through the internet with our smartphone. Either through WiFi or using mobile data. In public or in private. Communication in its purest form. These applications are so important in our day to day that each time we are more demanding As for his security. And it is that nobody likes that their messages fall into the wrong hands.

Precisely, Zello Walkie Talkie it won public favor on two security-related fronts. An app that currently has more than 150 million users worldwide and that reaches very high download peaks when adverse natural phenomena such as earthquakes or hurricanes. In addition, it is used by millions of people in countries where communications are tapped or intercepted by their governments. What is the key to this success?

The classic walkie talkie in mobile version

Part of the popularity of the Zello Walkie Talkie is its resemblance to classic walkie talkies, radio frequency devices employed by police, firefighters and emergency services usually. They are also employed by private security employees, telecommunications operators and those in charge of infrastructures such as roads or electrical installations. There are even radio amateurs who communicate using these devices.

Its operation is simple. Walkie talkies make communication easy sending voice in real time through a channel or frequency which can be received by other walkie talkies by radio frequency. You flip the switch and speak. You drop it and listen. Only one walkie talkie can broadcast while everyone else is listening. And despite the popularity of smartphones, walkie talkies are still popular. What’s more, today we find a variety of models, analog and digital.

The operation of the Zello Walkie Talkie is identical. Employ channels instead of groups or individual conversations. It is not associated with a phone number. And to use it, you have to hold down a virtual button to speak and that your voice messages reach the rest of the channel’s participants in real time. Channel in which there may be up to 6,000 users at a time.

In addition, you can make a list of favorite contacts, change your status with a text message as in WhatsApp, play voice messages, upload images to channels and / or create call alerts.

Zello Walkie Talkie, voice prompts

When information is vital

Born in 2007 as Loudtalks and renamed Zello or Zello Walkie Talkie in 2012, the popularity of this voice message application available for iPhone, Android and Web came as a result of natural disasters and political situations starring popular movements. For example, in Turkey protesters used it in 2013 to avoid government censorship. In 2014, it was also used by protesters in Venezuela.

And in 2017, it became very popular in the face of Hurricane Irma that hit the United States in 2017 and affected Florida and Puerto Rico, among other areas of the Pacific. Indeed, the BBC and other media echoed its success. More than 6 million downloads for know in real time the situation of the hurricane and its consequences thanks to the information provided by the users themselves with their voice and images.

The main reason has to do with the nature of this application. Public and private channels of up to 6,000 users at the same time. WhatsApp, for example, only supports 256 participants. This means that people who live in a specific area can communicate with each other and report in real time what is happening. This was the key to the popularity of the Zello Walkie Talkie in adverse situations where being aware of what is happening a few miles away is matter of life or death.

Zello Walkie Talkie, voice prompts

A walkie talkie that uses the internet to work

One of the confusion that occurred from the beginning of this application is the idea that Zello Walkie Talkie does not require an internet connection for its operation. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Walkie talkies do work through radio frequency. But a smartphone uses mobile networks or WiFi to work. Hence, this app depends on the internet to deliver its voice messages.

The good news is that the Zello Walkie Talkie employs a low latency protocol which allows you to operate and send voice messages in real time when connecting to the internet not reliable or stable. All in all, it requires a minimum of coverage to access your network, be it WiFi, 2G, 3G, 4G or 5G. For the rest, the application is free but has a paid version that adds useful functions such as relay encryption using the AES 256 bit algorithm.

It may not be as well known in Spain as in other countries, where the alternative to communicate has been Telegram. But Zero Walkie Talkie has become in many places in the world an app to go to when WhatsApp and other messaging applications are not available or do not allow share information in real time with large numbers of population in adverse situations.