From Google Hangouts to Skype to Zoom and everything in between, there are many different ways to connect with others online. Most of them are feature packed and great tools. Sometimes, however, you just want a simple tool that will let you connect with someone online without having to exchange usernames or other information. Talky by &yet is a simple communication tool. It requires no downloads, no logins, and no hassle.
I was first introduced to Talky by my colleague, Carl, who helps us out as the sound engineer for the STEM Read podcast. We were looking for an easy way to have one-time conversations with our guests. We needed something that didn’t require usernames, long-term contact connections or software downloads. Carl had us switch to this app and it has been working like a charm ever since.
Talky is a free site that uses your on-device microphone and camera to allow you to chat via the internet. You can also get the app for your mobile device. According to the website, Talky uses a new technology called WebRTC. I’m not sure exactly what that means. Visit their Privacy page to read more about this technology and what it is actually doing. There is a lot of information on how it all works and how it keeps your information private through encryption. You can also read through their privacy information. Set all the tech info aside and what you have is a simple way to connect with people through your computer or phone (Android users can use the web-based version while iphone users can use the iOS app).
To use the app, go to talky.io, create a room, share the link with someone you want to talk to, and talk away! Easy peasy!
Let’s break down the features.
Talky is more than just an online chat tool. It is a collaboration tool that has many of the features you need to collaborate virtually.
- Easy invite – To invite someone to your room for a chat, just send the link.
- Audio and video – Chat using audio and video or just audio.
- Password protected room – If you want more privacy for your conversation, you can set a room key.
- Screen Sharing – There is the ability to screen share. However, it is only for Chrome and Firefox users. I run Chrome and I had to install the Talky Screen Share Chrome extension. Once I did this is worked really well.
- Multiple People – Talky accommodates group calls. I could not find the maximum number. Go gather some friends and see how many can join the party line before you crash it.
- Walkie-talky mode – In walkie-talky mode, you have to press the space bar to talk.
- Integrated text chat – Like many of these apps, Talky also has a text chat feature. That comes in handy when dealing with connection issues.
As I mentioned earlier, we use Talky to connect with our STEM Read Podcast guests. For the most part, it works beautifully. So much easier than exchanging usernames and adding each other to our friend or contact list. However, we have had some sound and connection issues. Not a huge deal if you are just using Talky to chat with folks. A bigger deal when you are recording the conversation for a podcast. Because you are talking browser to browser and the data is encrypted, there can be issues. The Talky help page on the website has some information to help you troubleshoot your connection.
Overall, Talky is exactly what it is supposed to be. A simple tool for connecting with others. I love the simplicity.
For your classroom, this is a great tool for connecting students to experts or other classrooms. I like it because the set-up is so simple. I’ve used several different tools to connect with others and Talky is by far the easiest to use. So, create a room and give it a try.