Reduce Distracted Driving with Zello Walkie-Talkie

By Nancy on October 9, 2014

Most people will agree that distracted driving is dangerous and people should not engage in it. But the fact remains that many people, especially teens and young adults, continue to ignore the dangers because they think “it will never happen to me.”

Without doubt, the single biggest cause of distracted driving is texting while driving (TWD). Here are 4 sobering facts about the dangers of TWD taken from a 2012 study done by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA):

  1. Texting while driving is 6 times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated
  2. TWD is the leading cause of  teenage auto fatalities. On average, 11 teens die each day
  3. Texting drivers are 23 times more likely to crash than non-texting drivers
  4. TWD was responsible for 1.3 million crashes in 2011, or 23% of all automobile collisions.

By using Zello with a hands-free device such as the CodaWheel wireless button, you can greatly reduce distractions while driving. The process is simple. Install Zello and get your family and friends to install Zello. Pair the CodaWheel to Zello and mount the CodaWheel on your steering wheel. Connect to the person or group (channel) you want to talk to and then press and hold the CodaWheel to talk. There’s no need to take your eyes off the road, handle the smartphone, or dial a number. Additionally, your conversations are real-time, recorded, and the sound quality is clear.

With Zello, unlike voice-activated systems like Siri, you don’t have to deal with misunderstood commands, training the system, or the frustration of repeating commands. Zello uses your voice, the best communicator available. When used with the CodaWheel, Zello allows you to easily chat with friends and family without endangering yourself or other drivers.

If you are a parent and want to ensure your kids aren’t tempted to text while driving, insist they use Zello with a CodaWheel or other hands-free device. It will give you peace of mind and, who knows, they may even prefer Zello over texting because it’s faster and fun to use. Because Zello is free and doesn’t use any plan minutes, it’s also cheaper than texting or phone calls.

So give Zello with CodaWheel a try and see how it can make your commute a safer and more pleasant experience. For more information about the CodaWheel and other Zello certified hands-free options, see http://zello.com/accessories.

 

So, What’s the Difference Between Zello and Voice Messaging Apps?

By Nancy on September 18, 2014

With the announcement of the new iMessage voice messaging feature in iOS8, you may ask yourself, “why should I use Zello now that I can send voice messages from my iPhone? You may also wonder how Zello is different from all those other voice messaging apps out there, such as Whatsapp, WeChat, Viber, etc. Simply put, Zello is a true push-to-talk (PTT) walkie-talkie app, while other apps use recorded messages.

Read on to learn why this matters and other reasons for using Zello for voice communications instead of iMessage or other apps with voice messaging:

  1. Zello is live. Apps with voice messaging use recorded audio. Since Zello uses live streaming audio, it’s much faster. Instead of you having to record a message, save it, send it, and then wait for a response, Zello is real-time. Lag is virtually nonexistent between the time you speak and when the message is heard. This is extremely important in situations when time is critical, and the message needs to be heard immediately.

  1. Zello runs across multiple platforms, on either Wi-Fi or data, on any carrier. With iMessage, you can’t talk to your friends who have Android, Blackberry, or Windows Phone. You can only talk to other iOS8 users.

  1. On iMessage, there is no history, share message, or channel feature. There is no way to play back a history of your iMessages or share them with other users. Zello is the only PTT app that offers a channel feature where you can talk to and meet new people across the world.

  1. Zello sound quality is superior. Zello uses Codec Opus. Compare the sound quality with recorded messaging apps, and you will hear the difference.

  1. Zello is free, with no gimmicks or spam. Zello will never charge you, post ads, or spam you and your friends.

  1. Zello minimizes disruptions in your busy life. Zello offers status and notification settings you can customize to avoid being disturbed, and missed messages can be saved to history.

 

Why Use Zello@Work Instead of Two-Way Radios

By Nancy on September 8, 2014

Zello@Work is the better alternative to traditional push-to-talk (PTT) 2-way radios because it:

– Is less expensive

– Is easy to implement

– Allows flexibility

– Offers more features such as history and presence/status

– Has unlimited range

– Offers better voice quality

– Supports multiple channels simultaneously

– Reduces the need to carry multiple devices.

If you are using 2-way radios for your business or organization, you have to consider several important factors. By law, businesses and public entities such as hospitals or first responders cannot use “off-the-shelf” 2-way radios designed for consumer use (FRS or GMRS types). Instead, you must use commercial grade Land Mobile Radios (LMRs) and file for a FCC license to use them or pay a license holder. Filling out the paperwork can be tedious, and approval takes many months. Companies discovered using 2-way radios without a license can expect to pay a hefty fine to the FCC.

In addition to the strict licensing requirements, commercial grade 2-way radios can cost anywhere from $150 to $3000 each, depending on the range and features you need. Multiply the cost of the units with licensing fees of $260 per unit, and you can easily see how expensive it can become, especially as your organization or business grows.

Zello@Work offers you cost effective and flexible options by allowing you to mix and match devices (including smartphones, tablets, PCs, rugged mobile devices, and 2-way radios). You can use Zello@Work with either a carrier, Wi-Fi-only, or combination Wi-Fi/carrier solution. Zello@Work is the perfect solution for companies adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment, where employees can use their own personal devices for work. With Zello, instead of carrying 2 devices, you will only need 1 device to handle all your communications, work, and personal needs.

Zello@Work also has features not available on 2-way radios such as message history, user and group management tools, unlimited channels and groups, group sizes of up to 1000, import and export functions, and alerts with messaging. With Zello@Work, you are not tied to a contract or subject to cancellation fees. You can cancel at any time, and you will be refunded for any prepaid subscriptions on a pro-rated basis.

Just like a 2-way radio or LMR, Zello@Work offers real-time PTT  communications. But unlike 2-way radios, Zello doesn’t have any range limits. You can also extend the range of your existing 2-way radios by linking them to Zello@Work via a LMR gateway. Adding a gateway only costs an additional $1 per day. Growing your two-way radio system with Zello@Work can be done gradually without disrupting the current system.

Discover how Zello@Work can help your business by signing up for a free 5-user trial network today at http://zello.com/work. Paid subscriptions start at just $6/user/month. Also ask about our volume and prepaid annual discounts by emailing sales@zello.com.

A Channel for Free-Thinkers, Do-It-Yourselfers, and BACON Lovers

By Nancy on August 22, 2014

You’ve probably seen The Survival Podcast Network (TSPN) channel on the Trending list many times. The name and channel picture (shown above) may be somewhat intimidating to newcomers. But as one of Zello’s oldest, best-managed, and popular channels with over 15,000 members, we wanted to find out exactly what goes on in there. As for the BACON…well, that’s their adopted mascot (ask them about it).

The TSPN channel is an offshoot of The Survival Podcast. The audio show has more than 100,000 daily listeners and is hosted by its creator, Jack Spirko. The show themes of the podcast are self-sufficiency, modern survival strategies, liberty, and free-thinking. The TSP podcast can be listened to 5 days a week at www.TheSurvivalPodcast.com.

The TSPN channel was originally suggested to Spirko in April 2012 by a Zello fan who wanted a chat forum where podcast listeners could talk to each other. Since the creation of the TSPN Zello channel by Spirko, many podcast listeners and Zello users with similar interests have joined to build knowledge, share experiences, and create awareness for the podcast.

Topics can be as diverse as the people. Discussions often cover topics such as farming or gardening, hunting, fishing, survival techniques, alternative medicine, politics, pets, cooking, and hobbies, but can be about anything related to improving quality of life. The channel is not about becoming a “doomsday prepper” (preparing for the end of the world from a single catastrophic event). Instead, the TSPN Zello channel focuses on solutions for improving life by taking personal responsibility and making good choices for you and your family.

The TSPN channel encourages new listeners to participate in conversations and not just “lurk”. As one of the lead mods (paprepper) explains, “the podcast is for listeners, the website is for readers and writers, and Zello is for talkers.” So, if you like to talk to people who are knowledgeable, friendly, and fun, and you are willing to try out the free audio podcast, this is the channel for you. If you like to learn how to do things, whether to save money or just be more self-sufficient, this is the channel for you.

The TSPN channel also has a Zello fan site www.TSPNZello.com where users can keep up-to-date on events inside and outside of Zello. Members are encouraged to meet face-to-face, and dozens of meet-ups have been held over the years. These meetings strengthen friendships that start in the channel. For example, in July 2014, the largest Zello meet-up occurred when about 30 TSPN channel members and their families met up on Elisha’s Spring Farm, a permaculture farm in Walton, WV. From the video, it looks like they worked hard and played hard! PermaEthos/Zello meet-up. If you’d like to join in the fun, try out the The Survival Podcast program at www.TheSurvivalPodcast.com and then visit their TSPN Zello channel at http://www.zello.com/channels/k/dZ8O.

 

New Zello@Work Features

By Bill Moore on July 24, 2013

Thanks for your feedback.  These new Zello@Work features are available today

1. New hidden channel type

This channel lets you group users without adding the actual channel to their devices.  Use it for a group of people who need to talk directly when you don’t want them on a shared channel.  Previously the same could be accomplished by adding  direct contacts.

2. Change channel types

You can now  change an existing channel type by clicking on the channel icon (on the right of the channel in the Channels screen).  Previously you had to remove and recreate the channel.

3. Export Users

You can now export the complete list of users and paste into a spreadsheet using the link at the bottom of the Contacts screen.  Previously you needed the  API just to export.

4. Import Users

For faster provisioning of large networks upload a list of users from a CSV format.  You’ll see the  link at the bottom the of Contacts screen.  Previously it was only possible to perform import using API.  The Import feature is considered ‘beta’.

Hello Zello! – A New Way to Communicate!

By Nancy on July 17, 2013

A very nice endorsement for Zello@Work, our paid Enterprise version of Zello, by Andrew Burchfield, Director of Internal Operations for Discovery Camp.  Discovery Camp is a Christian summer camp for kids and teens.  They have started using Zello@Work to coordinate operations for their vast summer camp which is spread over 1000 acres, and hosts up to 20,000 kids each summer.    Zello@Work works perfectly for them because of its unique ability to work with their existing 2-way radios.

http://andrewburchfield.com/2013/07/16/hello-zello-a-new-way-to-communicate/#comment-6522

Zello Reviews from TUAW and TruTower

By Nancy on July 2, 2013

More glowing reviews for Zello…. this time from TUAW and TruTower.  Check them out!

http://www.tuaw.com/2013/05/09/daily-iphone-app-zello-lets-you-chat-walkie-talkie-style-with-f/

http://www.trutower.com/zello/

Filtered by people

By Bill Moore on June 6, 2013

Have you noticed Zello’s default trending channels are cleaner? Now Zello channel managers are first approving them (live for English, Spanish and Portuguese). If you don’t like the change, you can still find the rest, just update your Trending setting from “Filtered” to “All”.

Channel managers review all trending channels and usually approve those without profanity, abuse or adult topics. To see the channel they also must match your language and have active conversations.

Please tell us what you like and don’t and share your ideas to improve Zello.

Zello iPhone release 2.2

By Jim Pickering on May 1, 2013

Whats new for Zello+

      

Out with the new in with the old

Did you miss the original black Zello Talkscreen, or did you like the new re-designed one.  Doesn’t really matter, because now you can have both.  Zello+ now supports changing the look using themes.  You can switch between light and dark, look for even more choices in the future.  We might even let you create your own custom theme.

Changing the theme

Select ‘Settings’ from the navigation menu, then press ‘Visual theme’.  This takes you to the ‘Customize theme’ view.  The name of the current theme isdisplayed, press the indicator to choose a theme from the Zello servers.

       

      

Now you have the ‘Classic Talk Screen Dark’ theme installed.

       

What other themes would you like to see? Purple, lime green, Hello Kitty 🙂

What’s new for Zello and Zello+

Quick access to configuring ‘Trending channels’

Trending channels are set to ‘Filtered’ by default.  Press the wrench to access the settings for trending channels. To get the full list of trending channels select ‘All’

      

Blocked channel users

Have you ever wanted to know who blocked somebody from a channel?  Zello now shows which moderator blocked a user.  This information is also saved to your history feed.

      

Improved ‘Contact requests’ handling

Do you get a lot of contact requests?  Do you wish there was a way to decline or block them all at once?  We did too, so now you will find two new buttons on the ‘Contact requests’ view to either block or decline all the requests at once.  What’s the difference between blocking and declining you ask?  If you block a contact request you will never see another request from that user again (unless you unblock them).  If you decline a request you won’t see a request from that user unless they ‘Resend’ the request.

      

Turn off history

There is also an option to turn off history

We also fixed a bug with interruptions in Zelect channels. Plus a number of other bug fixes.

Zello  on

Get to Know Zello+

By Jim Pickering on March 20, 2013

Where is everything?

The user interface of Zello+ has changed a bit from Zello 1.9.  Here’s a quick walk-through on navigating  Zello+.

Using the Zello+ navigation menu

Zello+ uses a “navigation menu” that the current screen hides. To view it, either tap the Menu button on the top left of most screens, or just slide the current screen to the right. Zello has a tab menu at the bottom of the screen for switching between the most used screens. Zello+ gives you quicker access to more features. For example, you can quickly access the last contact that you talked with by pressing the Microphone, located between the “Solo” and “Speaker” entries.

     

Accessing your profile

Zello: Press the “Edit” button on the “My Info” tab.

Zello+: Press the   icon on the navigation menu. You can now update the your status text in the profile.

     

Managing accounts

Zello: Press the “Switch accounts” button on the “My Info” tab.

Zello+: Press the   icon just left of the gear to see a list of your accounts. It’ll also give you the option to add an account or press the ”Edit accounts” to remove an entry from the list.

     

Using channels, contacts and recents

The list of channels, contacts and recents should still look familiar. Now you access them from the Navigation menu on Zello+ instead of the tab bar.

     

Navigating the talk screen

The talk screen on Zello+ has a fresh new look.  Zello+ displays the profile picture of the contact speaking to you.  Press the profile picture to see full profile for that user or channel.

Press the   icon to send an alert.

Press the  icon to “see” the details for this user or channel.  Pressing the eye flips you to the back side of the talk screen.  This is where you’ll find History, Profile, and for channels the active user list.

You now access solo mode and speaker on the Navigation menu in Zello+.

 

     

Zello: Access History by sliding up the history bar at the bottom of the screen.

Zello+: History now appears on the back of the talk screen, press to   icon to see it.  Press the   icon to delete messages and the  icon to share messages.

     

Zello+ displays a banner at the bottom of the talk screen to remind you that you are in “Busy” mode.  Sometimes users forgot they were in “Busy” mode and couldn’t figure out why they couldn’t hear messages.  A similar banner also appears when you are in “Solo” mode.

     

 

Stay tuned for more cool features in the upcoming Zello and Zello+ releases.

 

 

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