How to turn an old cell phone into a push-to-talk

Written by beth bartlett
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How to turn an old cell phone into a push-to-talk
Push-to-talk software turns any old smart phone into a walkie-talkie. (mobile phone pda bottom image by Pawel Wodzinski from

The Push-to-Talk (PTT) feature is a handy tool when voice calling or text messaging isn't practical. Adding a Push-to-Talk software application to an old smart phone saves you the expense of buying a new phone with the PTT hardware button pre-installed, giving you more value for your old phone. Many PTT apps are free, although some may offer limited features. Most paid PTT apps cost less than £3.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • An iPhone, Blackberry or Android phone
  • Access to the Internet
  • Phone data cable (optional)

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  1. 1

    Check your phone. If it is an older model smart phone, it should handle the application required for PTT connectivity. There are a number of PTT apps for the iPhone, Blackberry and Android systems such as HeyTell, TiKL, Push2Talk and Walkie-Talkie.

  2. 2

    Download the application directly to your phone through Apple's App Store or the Android Market. If you plan to use an unlocked phone or other device for PTT only through Wi-Fi, download a Wi-Fi-only PTT app such as Walkie-Talkie-Wi-Fi. For the iPhone, you will still need an account with iTunes. For Android phones, you can download it onto your computer and transfer it to the phone via data cable.

  3. 3

    Install the app. This will be automatic with a phone connected to a carrier network like AT&T, Verizon or T-Mobile. If you're using an unlocked phone through Wi-Fi only, you may need to manually launch the program. For Android users who may not have access to Android Market, you'll need an application installation program like App Installer to manually set up the PTT app.

  4. 4

    Build your PTT contact list by adding the contact information of friends who have the same app installed. Some apps, like Walkie-Talkie Wi-Fi, can only handle two iPhone or iPad devices on a singular home network. Other apps using your phone carrier signal, such as HeyTell or TiKL, can accommodate several buddies on a PTT list.

  5. 5

    Test your PTT phone by opening the application and pressing the "Hold and Speak" icon while talking. Release the icon when you're finished speaking. Your voice message should instantly appear on your friend's notification bar.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also install a PTT app on Wi-Fi-enabled iPads or tablets that have voice-command capability.

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