If you have a busy walking club, then you will appreciate the need for good communication. Our club walks at least three times a week, and due to Covid restrictions, we no longer walk in large groups. We now meet at the start and then one group will head off in a clockwise direction, while the other group heads off in an anti-clockwise direction. We then meet in the middle for sweets! Anyway, after the failure of a few of numerous radio systems, I was on the hunt for a good app that we could use that worked with both Android and iOS. The answer was Voxer.
A fun app!
I appreciate that you can use apps such as Messenger or WhatsApp to send audio files back and forth, but its no way near as much fun as Voxer! There is something quite primitive but exciting about holding down the walkie talkie button, talking and then letting it go! Our club uses this app to communicate between the tail walker and the walk leader. The notifications are instant.
Other examples of using Voxer
With the app you can create groups. I set up a group for the hikers that completed the South West Coastal Path in October 2020 and it was such a giggle. The communication started from the moment we got into the car, and continued all the way to Minehead. If you leave the app open then it presents through the car handsfree kit like a phone call, except you don't need to press “play”, it happens automatically.
I have also used this app during exhibitions and conferences with colleagues, and it's a fun app to use with the family.
Features of Voxer
#1 – You can hear messages as people speak, or listen later at your convenience.
#2 – I love that you can hook up your Bluetooth earphones to respond back to a message, hands free.
#3 – Being able to create groups is invaluable. The free version you can have a group up to 500 people!
#4 – You can also send photos, written text messages, gifs.
#5 – With a click of a button you can send your location which the recipient can click, and open up in Google Maps, Apple Maps or Waze (love this!).
#6 – Web version – I find that the web version is great for business use. If you have a team, then simply minimize your browser with the app open and get voice/text messages instantly.
#7 – It integrates with Apple Watch, so you can pretend you are on Star Trek and talk into your watch!
But there are some cons
As with all apps, there are some cons to using this system rather than a radio. It does not use the satellite's therefore it needs access to wifi or mobile phone signal to enable you to use the app. This therefore can not be used if you are out of signal. I would not rely on this app if I was hiking in remote areas such as the Peak District, or the Lake District. But, for our little local walks then it is perfect.
The other con is that you are using data. Most people have lots of spare data on their phone package each month, and this app does not take up a lot of phone data, but it is still worth knowing.
The “Pro” features.
If you upgrade and pay £3.99 a month (which I do), then you have lots of additional features.
#1 – I like the “loud and extreme” feature. This is great for using outside. You can set the alerts to very loud, and repeat mode – that way you don't miss a message.
#2 – There are lots of extra features such as voice to text transcript, dropbox integration, full on walkie-talkie mode, broadcast only chat (one-way communication), unlimited message storage and more.
The free version of this app will be fine for most people. It is safe with end-to-end encryption and SSL encryption and it is just a fun way to communicate without being distracted by other apps. You know if you have a Voxer notification then it will be related to the group that you have created.
Have some fun and give it a go! https://www.voxer.com/