Roger 2.0 turns your phone into a walkie-talkie with push-to-talk TalkHeads

roger version 2 talkheads alexa
Roger, the app best described as a blend of walkie-talkies and Snapchat, has unveiled version 2.0. The biggest feature to come out of the update is TalkHeads, which is incredibly similar to Facebook’s Chat Heads except for voice messages.

Roger lets you send voice messages to your contacts and it’s only stored for 48 hours — there’s a Dropbox integration that allows you to save your conversations. You’ll be able to see the recipients city they are in, the weather, and the time, and when they listen to your message. If a user doesn’t have Roger, they will get a text message with the voice message embedded. You can chat with individuals or groups via Roger.

The new TalkHeads feature leaves an “interactive floating picture” of a contact on your screen, meaning you can use it while in other apps. It’s the same implementation Facebook Messenger uses for its Chat Heads. In Roger’s case, when you tap the TalkHead, you’ll be able to listen to any message the contact sent. If you tap it twice, you’ll be able to reply. TalkHeads likens the app even more to push-to-talk walkie-talkies.

“Our TalkHeads turn any app into a social experience,” Roger CEO Ricardo Vice Santos says in a news post. “A group of friends can talk to each other even as they are browsing other apps like Yelp or Instagram, without being locked into a phone call. One person can research flights while the other looks at hotels in a different app.”

The feature works on iOS as well, though in limited capacity via the notification bar. Just swipe down to access quick access and send a message, and it works even when the phone is locked.

Version 2.0 also introduces LivePlay for iOS, which is largely experimental. It essentially “plays messages as they come in,” even if your phone is locked and the app is not open. There’s also a more revamped user interface that focuses more on groups, and a “Buzz” feature that lets you nudge a contact to get their attention.

The app launched in December, but only made its way to Android in March. In May, it was one of the first apps to enable integration with Amazon’s Alexa voice assistant.

The new version is available for download via an update for the iOS and Android app.

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