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Apple Watch: How to quickly turn on Walkie-Talkie mode

Tired of being embarrassed by Walkie-Talkie interruptions? Read this.

Jason Cipriani/CNET

When Apple released WatchOS 5 and the new Walkie-Talkie app, the company also made it possible for your Walkie-Talkie contacts to randomly -- and without warning -- start talking to you through your watch's speaker. If you're in a meeting, class, or even on a date, having someone randomly start talking to you through the Walkie Talkie app can be embarrassing.

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With last week's release of WatchOS 5.1.2, Apple added a Control Center toggle to enable or disable your Walkie-Talkie availability with a quick tap. Prior to the update, users would have to open the Walkie-Talkie and to achieve the same thing.

Before you can use the new feature, make sure you update your iPhone ($1,000 at Amazon Marketplace) to iOS 12.1.1 and then the watch to WatchOS 5.1.2.

watchos-5-walkie-talkie-mode-control-center
Screenshots by Jason Cipriani/CNET

Once that's done, when viewing your watch face, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up Control Center. Scroll to the bottom, where you'll find the new Walkie-Talkie icon. If the icon is yellow, then you're currently available in the Walkie-Talkie app. Tap on the icon to toggle your status.