The Verizon network is adding its push-to-talk function to its Android smartphones, which have many uses, but now they can also double as walkie-talkies. The push-to-talk feature, which already existed for businesses but some considered creaky, is now available on several handsets, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, Motorola Droid Maxx and Casio G’zOne Commando 4G LTE.
New York-based Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) said it plans to add other handsets to the service later this year, including the Kyocera Brigadier. Right now, the push-to-talk feature is available as a free six-month trial -- after that, it will costs $5 per month. Among the improvements are faster connections and improved voice quality, Verizon said. The service also includes several conference call options, such as "Talker Priority," which allows the conference leader to take control of a discussion; "Late Join," which allows users to be added to a conference after it has started; and "Rejoin," which allows users to exit a conference and come back later.
“Being able to communicate instantly -- with a push of a button -- while also having access to a 4G LTE network is key for employers and business owners,” Albert Aydin, a representative for Verizon, said in a statement.