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Walkie-talkie - COMMUNICATION

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Walkie-talkie - COMMUNICATION App Poster Image
Bare bones communication tool; major privacy issues.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Created for entertainment and not intended for learning.

Ease of Play

The design and basic user interface make it very simple to use.

Violence

Iffy discussions related to violence could be accessed by tuning to channels when strangers are chatting.

Sex

Iffy discussions related to sex could be accessed by tuning to channels when strangers are chatting.

Language

Iffy discussions that include profanity could be accessed by tuning to channels when strangers are chatting.

Consumerism

The free version contains ads. The message that kids send asking friends to join their channel includes direct links to the app store and a hashtag line for the developer’s website.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Iffy discussions related to drinking, drugs, and/or smoking could be accessed by tuning to channels when strangers are chatting.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Walkie-talkie - COMMUNICATION is a social networking app for iOS and Android devices with ads in the free version. Kids can collaboratively tune to the same channel and use the app to talk to each other like they would using a traditional walkie-talkie -- but with the added ability to communicate with people across the globe. Though there are lots of channels, and the odds of choosing the same one as others is fairly low, people can tune to the same channel at the same time and listen in on the conversation without being invited. So, kids could potentially channel surf to potentially find people they don’t know. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your kid’s information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

User Reviews

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What's it about?

WALKIE-TALKIE - COMMUNICATION is an app that lets kids talk to each other over distances. It’s design and user interface are extremely simple. Kids tune to the same channel using manual touch keys, and then the person who wants to talk presses on the designated speaker area of the screen. Kids can change the background color of their walkie-talkies, and they can send a mostly boilerplate message request to friends asking them to join their channel. The app must be open in order for the receiving person to hear a message. In other words, users don’t get a notification when a friend tries to talk to them. Use of the app requires cellular data or a Wi-Fi connection.

Is it any good?

The concept of this app is fun and the simple design is refreshing, but the cumbersome nature of connecting with others, along with the privacy concerns, are very difficult to overlook. The lack of bells and whistles works well given the intended function of the app. But, it could be useful to incorporate some sort of notification when a user is trying to talk to a friend through the speaker. A much greater concern is the potential for communication with strangers. This seems impossible for parents to monitor unless they constantly eavesdrop on kids’ conversations, and even then, no one would know if a stranger was quietly listening or if kids were trolling through channels trying to find other people using the app. Some users report in app reviews that they share channel information in other apps and use Walkie-talkie - Communication to talk to them. Others report choosing a channel and discovering that there is a stranger on the other end. And reviews also indicate that kids like to use this app in school, as they can leave it open -- tuned to a channel -- and not have to type or make a call. Finally, regular users report lots of bugs including the app randomly closing and channels not working in the middle of the conversation. So, this one is better for older teens, used with oversight.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about why it’s fun to talk to each other with Walkie-talkie - Communication. Why is it sometimes more fun that other forms of communication? How is it different than talking on a phone?

  • Talk about the dangers of communicating with strangers and why certain things should never be discussed within a social networking app. What are the risks of using an app like this? What information should you never share online?

App details

  • Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
  • Price: Free
  • Pricing structure: Free ($3.99 to remove ads)
  • Release date: October 16, 2019
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Size: 49.10 MB
  • Publisher: Corentin Larroque
  • Version: 1.1.0
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 9.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up
  • Last updated: November 22, 2019

For kids who love social networking

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