Nothing is better than a good quality product and it is free. We, Smart Walkie Pte. Ltd., have been developing walkie talkie (Push-To-Talk) software for years with all the hurdles and obstacles we faced to bring the best solution to our users who come from all over the world (~186 countries). Now we proudly announce that you can take and use some of our good work in the form of open source Android Software Development Kit (SDK) and open source server that you can self-host. This is our contribution to the community whom we owe. Oftentimes we take info and get answers from the community. And we solve some of our problems using the open source software from the community too. So, this is our “thank you” to the community, which might also include you.
The simplest explanation for Push-To-Talk is walkie talkie functionality. When we want to talk in a walkie talkie, we need to push a button and hold it. Then only we can be heard instantly by other people on other walkie talkies. When we are done talking, we need to release the button. In a walkie talkie, when we talk we can’t hear others, and vice versa when we hear we can’t talk. That’s where the Push-To-Talk term comes from. It’s often abbreviated as PTT.
Software Development Kit (SDK) is a piece of software that can be directly integrated into another software to enrich its functionality. PTT SDK offers the capability to add walkie talkie (PTT) functionality into your software. VoicePing PTT Android SDK helps you add PTT functionality to your android app. It will not be limited by range like the old walkie talkie. As long as the devices have internet connection, even if one device is in the Earth’s south pole and one other in the north pole, they will be able to talk to each other seamlessly.
PTT conforms to human direct verbal communication. It’s fast and instant. The exact way we talk to others and others talk to us. Text messages, compared to PTT, take more time to write and to be understood. Although text has its own power in a special context which is silence (more private), clarity, and light in data storage and transfer. But most of the time, we use too much text messaging outside its specialty, causing us to lose time just to convey non-private (or non-sensitive) information to the other party.
PTT also has its own power which is instant and interruptible. Hence, PTT is often used in Search and Rescue (SAR)-like activities because the communication needs to be instant, hassle free, over a long period of time, no need for action to pick up to hear the message, and reliable. It’s different than a call which takes time to get picked up first, needs an opening word, smalltalk, closing words, and parties involved need to spend high focus and attention to communicate and respond.
Imagine you drive a car in convoy. There are 5 cars including yours. Only the front most car driver knows the direction. Sometimes you are not right behind your convoy, but separated by other vehicles on the road. When the first car turns right and you lose sight, what would you do? Send a text message to the first car’s driver? Or call? None of this is suitable in this kind of situation, because seconds matter in decision. Which results in total driving time your convoy will have.
Now, imagine you have an app on your phone that has walkie talkie (PTT) functionality. You plug an earpiece to it and you drive. Along the journey, when there is road branching, the first driver always PTT other drivers which way to take. It can be heard instantly without any action. If a problem occurs, you can also PTT others by pressing the earpiece button to tell them so they can stop, wait for you, or even search to help you. The communication is as simple as pressing the button. It’s easy, fast, and instant.
You have two options. First is by trying out free (public) channels on VoicePing apps below.
Join the same free (public) channel ID to communicate between devices.
Second is by trying the VoicePing SDK demo apk. The demo apk source code is also available on the VoicePing Android SDK repository to guide you on how to use or integrate the SDK to your android project.
If you want to know more, we have the documentation page here. It mainly has two parts. First is the Android PTT SDK itself. The Android SDK needs VoicePing (router) server to work. We have our public server for you to test and use. If you need to self-host the server on your own, the second part of the documentation is the guide on setting up the self-hosted server.
Basically everyone, since we put the code under MIT license. That means you are free to use the software, including for commercial purposes.
The developers at Smart Walkie Pte. Ltd. are full time maintainers of the code. So if you have issues or find bugs, don’t hesitate to report to us. We also welcome all contributions from the community, not just code, but any contribution, for example updating the documentation or hinting a typo.
If you are reading up to here, thank you for your kind attention! We can’t wait to know what you will build with the VoicePing Walkie Talkie Android SDK. Let us know in the comments section below or on the github discussions page. We hope that this contribution of making a free open source PTT SDK will help the community overall to save time both software development-wise and communication-wise.
Finally, even when VoicePing Android Walkie Talkie PTT SDK brings the possibility of instant communication, what also matters is our own communication skill to convey information effectively. The app is just a tool, the tool itself doesn’t change certain aspects in life. But how people use it does change certain aspects in life.
“Communication is a skill that you can learn. It’s like riding a bicycle or typing. If you’re willing to work at it, you can rapidly improve the quality of every part of your life.” – Brian Tracy
Smartwalkie (Smart Walkie Pte Ltd) is a company that works on both hardware and software of Push-To-Talk (PTT) solution. VoicePing is the software part of it. We help many industries all over the globe on their communication needs.