How to Use Walkie-Talkie on Apple Watch

Connect to friends and family directly from your Apple Watch

Walkie-Talkie is a communication app for Apple Watch and a real-time and direct way to talk back and forth with other Apple Watch users — similar to walkie-talkies of the past.

Walkie-Talkie works over an internet connection. If you don't have the cellular connection Apple Watch, you need to be on Wi-Fi and have your iPhone nearby —the same as data worked before.

These instructions apply to Apple Watches with watchOS 5.3 or newer and iPhones with iOS 12.4 or later.

Get Started With Walkie-Talkie App

The Walkie-Talkie app comes with watchOS 5.3 and later. You don't need anything other than an iPhone to get started. Both parties using Walkie-Talkie need to set up FaceTime on their iPhones (on iOS 12.4 or later) and be able to make and receive audio FaceTime calls.

How to Add or Remove Contacts From Walkie-Talkie App

To start using the Walkie-Talkie app, you'll need to find people to talk to. Here's how to get things set up.

  1. Open the Walkie-Talkie app on your Apple Watch.

  2. Turn the Digital Crown or scroll up to find a contact to add.

  3. Tap the contact's name from the list, then select Add Friends.

    Adding a contact to the Walkie-Talkie app
  4. Repeat these steps until you've added all the contacts you want.

    The main screen of the app displays an Add Friends button the next time you open it. Select Add Friends to open your list of contacts.

  5. After a contact accepts your request, you can talk at any time.

    Walkie-Talkie is a direct path to your wrist and watch speaker, so select the privileged contacts carefully. When someone adds you, you have the option to allow or dismiss.

  6. To remove a contact, swipe left on a yellow contact card and tap the red X.

    Turn off the Walkie-Talkie switch on the main screen to temporarily stop people from contacting you.

    Removing a contact from the Walkie-Talkie app

Can Someone Start Talking to Me Anywhere, Any Time?

Even if you're available, you must allow a person to connect with you at the beginning of each session. After several minutes of no activity, the session closes until you or the other person reconnects.

As a result, people can't randomly yell things through your watch while you're in the middle of an important business presentation — not unless you explicitly allow that session when it begins.

How to Use the Walkie-Talkie App

After you add a Walkie-Talkie contact and your friend accepts, you can talk back and forth directly. Tap and hold the Talk button for the entire time you are speaking. When you finish talking, release the Talk button. The person on the other end can press the Talk button after you let go.

The functionality and name mimic old-style walkie-talkies, which only supported sending one transmission at a time. You couldn't speak while the other person held down the button to talk.

How to use the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch

The Yellow Icon Explained

If you close the Walkie-Talkie app or navigate to something else on the Apple Watch while connected to someone, a yellow icon appears at the top center of the Watch screen. This icon provides quick access to the app and conversation. Tap the yellow icon to return to the Walkie-Talkie app.

The Walkie-Talkie app icon on the Apple Watch home screen
Apple

Other Useful Information About Walkie-Talkie

You and your contact must each set up the Walkie-Talkie app on an Apple Watch and FaceTime on an iPhone. After the initial setup, using the Walkie-Talkie app on the Apple Watch is effortless. Chatting with someone over your watch and in your voice is fun. Other helpful facts that make your Walkie-Talkie app experience a positive one include:

  • Walkie-Talkie conversations are one-on-one, although you're free to engage in simultaneous conversations with several people.
  • Use AirPods or wireless headphones with Apple Watch. Walkie-Talkie conversations go through the headphones and not the Apple Watch speaker. However, people around you can hear what you say aloud, just like when you talk on the phone.
  • You can adjust the volume of the person speaking with the Digital Crown when you're using the Walkie-Talkie app.
  • A connection remains persistent for about five minutes after the last communication before the Apple Watch asks if you want to reconnect with that person.