Push to talk: remember when phones were walkie-talkies?

Gather round kids, and I'll tell you a tale of a time before text messaging was so ubiquitous, a time where a phone call was so easy, it only took one button… and man it could be annoying. Not the tech, the people.

I'm Michael Fisher, AKA MrMobile, and I relived the glory days of flip phones and push-to-talk (so you didn't have to). Join me as I recollect what was great about this feature, what people did to ruin it, and how you too can push a button to awkwardly interrupt your friends and co-workers.

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  • Nextel was great
  • People decided they don't want to talk to people they want to just send them a text message. I loved PTT.
  • Loved my Nextel BB. It was AWESOME
  • PTT was replaced by d-bags who take video calls in public Posted via the iMore App for Android
  • Nextel was awesome, especially since my company paid for them.
  • Nothing beat my PTT Blackberry on Nextel, that was the ultimate device at the time. The speaker was crystal clear, email, Blackberry texting, I used to keep it tucked in my overhead visor for speaker conversations before bluetooth became available in cars, I dropped that phone way too many times than I am comfortable saying and that phone didn't skip a beat. A lot of my friends worked at companies that used PTT so it was great for getting plans set pretty quickly, and for business it was great because I didn't have to have long drawn out conversations with my boss. As much as I would love to blame user's discourtesy as the downfall, I blame terrible Sprint mismanagement.
    When AT&T got exclusive rights to the original iPhone, both companies marketed the **** out of that phone. When Sprint bought Nextel, barely a whisper about it, no new phones that took advantage of the network, they just let it die. Sprint did the same thing with the Palm Pre, great device, great design, terrible network and marketing, by the time the Pre became available on other networks, it was too late.
  • Yeah and they decided to go with Wimax instead LTE. Biggest mistake since people brought HD dvd instead of Blueray. Sprint continues the bad decisions. If they would have released the Pre on schedule it would have beat android to the market. Sans the creepy commercial. Webos would of flourished.
  • I used PTT so much I regularly wore out the buttons on my phone. It was fantastic for many reasons. I do miss it in many ways. Texting is very generic in comparison
  • They were obnoxious.
  • Agree about obnoxity - it's like when folks use their speakerphones in public today. Send a text message if you can't find a quiet place to talk.