I have been playing around with the Verizon Push-To-Talk application that was released today for the BlackBerry Tour and I have to say I am impressed. I was planning on making a video originally but since both contacts phone numbers are on practically every single screen, I figured a screen or two would suffice.
First thing I need to mention is that you need to be on the official 5.0 update from Verizon on your BlackBerry Tour, not the leak for last week. You will see an error and be unable to run the PTT app. After you have the official OS on your Tour you will need to call and add the feature, make sure you do this before 6/30/10. Doing so will ensure you receive the feature for free for the duration of your contract. Otherwise it will run you $5 a month.
Next you can download the application via your BlackBerry browser by clicking here. After downloading and installing you will have to enable PTT in your BlackBerry options menu. (Options->PTT Options->Enable) After this you are almost good to go. The biggest obstacle I have had so far is finding people who are also using a BlackBerry Tour with the PTT service. In fact, I only know 2 people as of right now. When you first enter the application you will be presented with a screen similar to the one below, with the exception that it will not have any contacts entered. Adding one is simple, just click on “Add PTT Contact” and then enter a name and the phone number to their Tour for the contact. You can also create groups and add contacts to those groups for group conversations.
From this point on, it’s pretty straight forward. You simply highlight the contact you want to talk to and press the right convenience key on your BlackBerry, it will begin a conversation with that contact, you will hear a tone (a not-as-annoying-as-the-nextel-tone) and then you can talk. There is also an option to alert a contact (screen at top of this post) which instead of going straight into a conversation will allow the person at the other end to accept it by pressing the same convenience key, or ignore it and it will alert you that the person is unavailable.
In conversation quality is as good if not better than a regular voice call. The latency and delay of the transmission is, in my estimate, a half second or less. By default the conversation comes through the speaker and I am yet to find the option to turn this off as a default. Although you can activate the handset during a PTT convo. This is a very useful too for business, although I can’t see a large market for the regular consumer. The only negative item I have about the PTT service at this time is the fact that is only on the BlackBerry Tour. Other than that, at the current promotional price it is a feature you might as well add and take advantage of, it is s fun utility that may come in handy from time to time. If you run a business and need short, quick, communications with your coworkers or employees this is just the thing for you.
You can get more information regarding Verizon’s PTT service by visiting their website directly.