Zello – Turn your phone into a walkie talkie to contact rescuers

Zello is a very valuable app during times of natural disasters, search and rescue, or community events. It gives youย free live voice chat over any NETWORK and WIFI connection and it allows you to contact your friends – or groups. It works like a walkie talkie and will remind Nextel users of their old systems – it even has the chirp.

In the Hurricane Harvey and Irma events people used it to contact rescuers like the Cajun Navy.

Go to their website to get the download link for your phone.

Here’s an overview of how to use Zello on your phone. There’s another video that follows this one.

And here’s a review from the Zello site:

I’m a radio geek and this app turned out to work better than expected. I still prefer traditional 2-way radios from Motorola and Midland. But what makes Zello a great alternative is you don’t have to worry about range, FCC licensing, or compatible radios. As long as you have cellular/wifi you’re good. You can also join groups and talk to people all over the world! The response time for broadcasts is nearly instant too. Almost like a real 2-way radio.

I’ve also explored cell carrier PTT services like PTT+ from Verizon. It might work ok but I’m NOT paying $5/month PER LINE! Zello works great and it’s FREE.

I’ve unfortunately never had the opportunity to try Nextel’s iDEN network, but heard it was the best in terms of PTT. If you miss Nextel this will be the closest thing to it. It has a nice “chirp” when you key the mic too. It sounds similar to Motorola’s police radios.

If you want excellent PTT service with lots of features and/or want an extra tool for emergency preparation, you really should try Zello. As a radio geek, I love it!