With iOS 16, Apple is making developers of apps like WhatsApp and Co. a pretty interesting offer. In the future, they will be able to integrate a really useful feature into their apps, which will turn the iPhone into a walkie-talkie.


It’s important to understand how a walkie-talkie works: as long as you press a button on the radio and speak, you’re broadcasting your speech over the airwaves in real time. The recipient hears what is being said and can also respond in real time. Apple is already integrating a similar function into the Apple Watch from watchOS 5, but that The iPhone and the iPad have so far gone empty-handed.

iPhone as a walkie-talkie: New programming interface in iOS 16 for WhatsApp and Co.

This will change with iOS 16, because Apple introduced Push to Talk, a new API (programming interface) for developers. They can use the protocol and integrate it into their own apps or develop new apps based on it. In order to get an idea of ​​how this could look in practice, Apple demonstrates the function in a detailed video aimed at the developers (source: Apple). The following excerpt shows the potential of and the idea behind “Push to talk”:

Apple explains the possibilities with Push to Talk within iOS 16

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To put it simply: the new walkie-talkie function of iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 makes it possible quasi voice messages in real time. It would be pretty useful in WhatsApp and Co. Only the providers still have to accept the offer and actually use the programming interface in the future.

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Apple is not yet planning its own app

Of course, Apple could also provide its own walkie-talkie app for the iPhone and iPad. So far, however, no such plans have been announced. The well-known messenger services like WhatsApp can jump on it and then make the function available exclusively for iPhone customers in the fall with the release of iOS 16.

Already knew? These features are already hidden in the iPhone:

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As of this writing, iOS 16 and iPadOS 16 are still in development. The free beta test is scheduled for July, the operating system updates will be completed as usual in the course of September.