Business

Watch out, Sprint: AT&T brings push-to-talk to the iPhone 5 and 4S

Push-to-talk is about to get a major boost, thanks to AT&T.

The company announced today that it’s bringing push-to-talk support to the iPhone 5 and 4s via a new app.

While push-to-talk isn’t particularly popular in the consumer space these days, it’s extremely useful for workers in industries like construction and hospitality because it lets them easily communicate with entire teams at once. It’s like having a walkie-talkie in your smartphone.

AT&T’s move fits within its larger effort to scoop up business users abandoned by the imminent shuttering of Sprint’s Nextel network, which is expected to happen at the end of this month.

It’s worth noting, though, that while AT&T says it’s bringing push-to-talk to the iPhone, technically, the functionality is already there. Apps like Voxer, which is available for iOS and Android, already offer live “push-to-talk” systems, which obviously takes some of the novelty out of AT&T’s announcement.

Still, AT&T says that this is the first time that a carrier has offered push-to-talk on the iPhone, which is still something to brag about, I imagine.

Photo: Flickr/Brian Wilkins


Mobile developer or publisher? VentureBeat is studying mobile app analytics. Fill out our 5-minute survey, and we'll share the data with you.