How does the walkie-talkie work in Apple Watch. It is legal?

With the release of a new firmware for Apple Watch, we got the opportunity to talk with each other in the “Radio” mode.

How does the connection with the interlocutor? How much should I pay for the opportunity to talk with smart clocks? Is it safe to communicate in this way and can the “Radio” mode replace the usual call?

All about the new way of communication – in this article.

How does the “Radio” function work?

For the first time, the work of this new function was demonstrated on WWDC 2018, under the original name “Walkie-Talkie”: two owners of Apple Watch with installed firmware WatchOS 5 can in turn send each other short audio messages by pressing a special screen yellow button with a picture of the walkie-talkie.

Communication is one-way, that is, the interlocutors can not talk to each other at the same time, only in turn. The voice of one interlocutor is transferred to another only while the speaker is clamped with a virtual button on his Apple Watch.

The second interlocutor hears the speaker’s voice only from his Apple Watch , or through the headphones AirPods, which are connected to the iPhone or to Apple Watch.

The “walkie-talkie” function is a truncated version of FaceTime. Truncated – because in the case of FaceTime, the audio call allows you to communicate to 2 subscribers simultaneously, and in the case of “Walkie Talkie” – communication takes place in turn.

Yes, the walkie-talkie is just a familiar word that indicates the principle of communication (I pressed the button-said-released the button ), but not the technical capabilities of these walkie-talkies.

Do I have to pay for this feature? Works in Russia?


If you ever got in touch with other iPhone owners on FaceTime, video or only in the audio mode, then be sure: the “Radio” function will work between you and the interlocutor.

The following conditions are required :

  • You and the other person should have an iPhone with iOS 12 on board
  • You and the other person should have an Apple Watch with WatchOS 5 firmware ( AW Series 1 or later )
  • You and the other person should have an iPhone connected to a mobile Internet or Wi-Fi point

It is also necessary to be able to make and receive FaceTime audio calls.

Accordingly, communication does not take place over a cellular connection, but through an Internet connection. So you do not need a separate card, it’s just a packet data transfer according to your connected Internet tariff on the SIM card.

Features of communication with the help of “Radio”


It is important to remember that one conversation session is not endless, but limited to 10 seconds . You can not pinch the virtual button and dictate to the interlocutor a 10-minute monologue – after 10 seconds the connection will be interrupted, giving the opportunity to the interlocutor to answer you.

Once one interlocutor invites the second to use the “walkie-talkie” mode, a permanent connection is established between them . This is done so that voice messages are transmitted without delay, almost in real time.

If both parties are inactive for 5 minutes, the connection is disconnected . During these 5 minutes you do not spend your megabytes, if you do not talk with the other person.

To start a dialogue, you need to select a contact from the address book directly on Apple Watch. The interlocutor can accept the invitation to communicate, and can reject it.

Why do I need a walkie-talkie on my wrist?

At the presentation of new firmware this function was given very little time and the speaker did not talk about practical examples of using this new WatchOS chip.

In general, I recommend considering the “Radio” mode as an instant connection with family and friends , when there is no need to talk for a long time on the phone.

” Are you at the store? Buy bread . ” ” Son, have you returned from school? “. ” I’m there, and you? “Are just a few examples of the possible use of the Radio on your wrist. Here is an analogy with voice messages in instant messengers, which many like to communicate.

Only in the case of Apple Watch , the delivery time and listening to voice messages are instant .

I use this function when it is necessary to coordinate with colleagues or quickly ask something from relatives who also own Apple Watch. Alas, the owners of the very first Apple Watch series 0 in the span – they do not have the Watch OS 5 firmware, and therefore they have no radio.

But the examples of Apple Watch, which support WatchOS 5:

Apple Watch Series 4
• Apple Watch Series 4 40 мм —
• Apple Watch Series 4 44 мм —

Apple Watch Series 3
• Apple Watch Series 3 38 мм —
• Apple Watch Series 3 42 мм —

I have already updated to the 4th series. Do not be late 🙂

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