Remember years ago when Nextel’s Direct Connect phones were all the rage? They aren’t used widely today, but back then the familiar beep of the walky-talky feature was something heard often. Thanks to a tip from a YouTube friend I’ve been using a new iOS application called “HeyTell” which mirrors the Nextel Direct Connect function.
HeyTell turns your iOS device into a walky-talky. You record short (limited to 30-seconds) voice notes and they are transmitted to another user and played on his/her iOS device. The application utilizes push notifications to alert users when new messages have arrived so once you send the message your contact gets alerted about it right away.
It’s very simple to use too. Once you’ve added some contacts to the app’s address book (the app allows you to send text or e-mail invitations to friends you’d like to share with) you simply select one. You can also sync up with your Facebook account and search for contacts from there. Your contacts have to have HeyTell installed on their iOS device or they won’t get your message or be able to respond.
Then you press and hold the large virtual button and start speaking. As soon as you release the button (you have to continue holding it while speaking) your message gets transmitted. It all happens quite fast, t00. It takes only a few seconds to transmit voice messages back and forth. The app has a speaker button so you can choose to hear your messages over your device’s speaker or in the ear piece.
There are a few “add-ons” that can be purchased for the app such as turning your voice into a robot or the ability to mass-delete messages but the app itself is free.
Whether you’re driving in the car and need to remain “hands-free” or just don’t feeling like typing, HeyTell is a great way to send and receive short messages. Does it replace the built-in SMS application? Probably not, but it’s still both a very fun and very functional way to carry on a over-the-air conversation, and if you don’t have an unlimited SMS plan this could be a great substitute.
You can grab HeyTell from the iTunes App Store by clicking here. (Link will open iTunes.)
What I like: Fast, easy way to send and receive voice messages, free.
What Needs Improvement: Have to continue holding button while speaking.