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Verizon gives some Android smartphones push-to-talk features. Walkie-talkies are back

9 August 2014, 5:15 am EDT By Menchie Mendoza Tech Times
Push to Talk Plus is an upgraded service that delivers a new set of features to subscribers. Currently available in six smartphones, Verizon hopes to add more in the future.
  ( Eric Hauser )

Powered by global industry leader Kodiak Networks in the field of push-to-talk technology, the new Push to Talk Plus offers encrypted wireless service, better voice quality, and faster call setup. It is the upgraded version of the earlier generation of Push to Talk.

For the past decade, push-to-talk has managed to enjoy immense popularity. Now, the technology seemed overshadowed by a number of simulated apps which are easily accessible through Google Play. As a result, a number of wireless carriers pulled away from supporting PTT. In the case of Verizon, the company decided to hang on. It's even launching the PTT support for select LTE enabled smartphones.

The service allows subscribers to use a unique communication method aptly called as "one-touch" which is a bit faster than using the phone traditionally to make a phone call. Those who will utilize the new service from Verizon will instantly notice a faster connection to the person they intend to talk to. Moreover, users will notice that the overall voice quality of the conversation has greatly improved.

Push to Talk Plus is available on various types of smartphones which include Droid MAXX, Droid Ultra, Casio G'zOne Commando 4G LTE, Samsung Galaxy S4, Samsung Galaxy S4 mini, and Samsung Galaxy S5. As soon as the feature is added to a subscriber's account, he will be notified through a text message which would prompt him to download the Push to Talk Plus app.

Verizon plans to add more devices in the near future and has made a specific reference to the newly launched Kyocera Brigadier.

One notable feature of Push to Talk Plus is the "Late Join." As the name implies, the person who missed to join a group call when it begins can still join even when he's already late. The other feature, dubbed as "Rejoin," allows people to drop ongoing group calls and rejoin them when he's free again to talk. This option can come in handy among busy workers who found themselves having to speak to a client in the middle of a group call.   

Another feature worth mentioning is the "Talker Priority." In the conversation, the leader takes over a call and becomes the only speaker that everyone hears.

For a limited period of time, Verizon is offering the Push-to-talk Plus service free of charge within the first six months upon initial use. After that period, subscribers will have to pay the monthly fee of $5 to enable continued service.

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