Introducing Roger, an accessible walkie-talkie style messaging app for iOS
This is Yushu from the Roger team. Thanks so much for all the support you have been giving us, and for helping us make Roger so VoiceOver accessible over the past few months. We maintain a simple three button interface- with one tap, you are able to speak for an unlimited amount of time and we place really high emphasis and importance on our audio quality.
We would love to hear what you guys have to say about Roger, so please feel free to leave a comment or suggestion right here. We are working towards being even more VoiceOver accessible, with the help of the great community over here :) If you do not know about us yet, then do check us out at https://rogertalk.com/ or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Looking forward to hearing from everyone!
Download link: https://rogertalk.com/get
P.S Thanks @djmacradio for all your help! :)
I love this so far! Really good app! Love the quality!
I fail to see why I should get this app when it's just another thing to sign up for.
Voxer, zello, Heytell, actually, you can scratch Heytell off the list cause that doesn't actually require an account.
You simply asign yourself as a contact.
Every single app requires you to sign up or use your phone number.
So, what makes Roger so special?
Surely not just the quality of the sound?
If it's the quality alone, then why bother with it?
Whatsapp is probably the most popular one out there, even though they don't do realtime voice chat.
By that I mean you record your message, then upload it, so it's more like voice clips.
Heytell is the same, but no text.
Voxer can do both, then again so can zello.
Ah but Zello has something the others don't have, public channels.
Going back to Voxer, well they have group messaging, you can go pro and get more features, such as talk up to 100 people, why anyone would talk to that many people I don't know, maybe if you've got some sort of business?
Then you have Kik, which is text only, but they use usernames instead.
No voice on that, at least not yet.
Facebook Messenger, another popular one but audio messaging is phone quality.
So let's get back to the main question, why Roger?
The way I see it, it's just another WalkiTalkie app.
Zello has a way to talk to people all over the world with channels, this site even use to have a channel on there.
The only thing I don't like about Zello channels is they only close once people actually unsubscribe from them.
I actually like the way IRC use to do channels, and that is when said channel was empty, no more channel.
Hello Yushu, Would you give us your contact email? I have a question about the code to use the app. Thank you.
Whoa, be careful there. The app that has just been made is pretty cool, and now you're ignoring it? That's kind of offensive to the developer. Just saying, because how I read it looked like you were not even interested in this app, but if you're curious or said it with a curious feeling in mind, that's fine, disreguard this comment.
Well kool_turk no one is making you use it? I mean there are different phone companies that do the same thing why do we have them just ignore the thread next time. I actually like Roger over whatsapp or the others you mentioned because it's easy and so clear.
The quality of this app beats all the others hands down. My only question is is there a way to hear each individual message in a conversation like what's app does? If you double-tap on each message in the conversation you can hear each one. With Roger it seems like you can only hear the other person's messages, and not your own mixed in with them. Does anyone know if there's a way to do this somehow? I like hearing my own just so I can confirm that it was sent, it's kind of like being able to read your own email sent to an email list or being able to read your own comments in a conversation thread like this one. If I could have the entire conversation thread right there in front of me I'd go to Roger full time!
i love roger so much because of 1. audio clairity and 2 ease of use and 3. wonderful voiceover ease of use:)
Hey guys, if anyone wants to talk to me use:
I've recently acquired this app during a visit from a friend. She informed me about the app and to see if I can try it. I do love its audio clarity, even better than whats app audio, and I do like the fact that you don't have to hold your finger on the button while you're reciting your version of the Ghetisburg Address! I give that name affectionately to long messages. Anyway, I find the app pretty useful for the most part. I do have a couple of questions though. I have a friend who has an android phone, and continuously send audio attachments in text messages to me that are in phone quality. If I were to send her a message with Roger, would it go to her phone as a link to then download the app to hear my message? Also, if I can see a message thread, that would be wonderful, because I'd like to know how many messages I may have missed. Also, in real-time chat, if the person has the app open, and the other party starts talking, does the message play automatically? Thanks for the answers in advance, and thanks for making efforts to make this app accessible to voiceover users! Awesome stuff!
Thank you so much for taking the time out to reply :) We agree with you completely as well, and the apps that you mentioned are really great in their own ways. Our aim since the start has been to get people to talk more often, because we realized that over time we have begun to shy away from conversations- even those that are necessary.
Many of our users (including all of us in the Roger team!) live apart from their loved ones. At times, video calls and phone calls, or even texting can become inconvenient, given the difference in timezones. That is why we place really high importance on the high quality of our audio on Roger, because listening to them speak is what helps them stay in touch with their loved ones, and we want to ensure that when they speak, it feels almost as though they are right beside you. This is the same with Glimpses, a feature that allows you to see the local weather, time and temperature of the person you are speaking to.
We are constantly listening to feedback from our users to find out how we can further improve the experience on Roger. Over the past few months, we have implemented several features like being able to speak with Alexa via Roger, signing up via email, Groups and Buzz. We have received lots of great feedback from our community that have helped to enhance the experience on Roger, including accessibility with VoiceOver.
If you have any feedback or suggestions for new features, then do feel free to let us know. There is definitely room for a lot of exciting developments to take place in Roger and we would love to have you as part of it :)
Thanks for your reply :)
That's right, with Roger you are only able to hear the messages that your contacts have sent to you because we realized that many of our users are actually uncomfortable with hearing their own voices. We are trying to get people to talk more often and we are taking little steps towards achieving this goal. Maybe one day when more of us start becoming more comfortable with our own voices, then we could bring that feature in :) Would love to hear your thoughts on this :)
Right now, when you have sent a message over to your contacts, there will a line "hasn't listened yet" below the recipient's name, along with a timestamp at the bottom of the screen right below his avatar that shows the time your message was sent. But of course, we are open to any suggestions and we definitely consider them for future implementations :)
Thanks so much for your kind words @Melissa_Roe! :) We realised that many of our users do have their own version of the Gettysburg Address, so one tap of the microphone button will allow them to speak for as long as they want. We're really glad that you like it.
For your friend with an android phone, if she is currently not using Roger then an SMS notification will be generated and sent to her whenever you converse with her. The SMS will include a link for her to listen to your message, and can be opened via a web browser.
For having real time chats, we do have an option that allows you to "Turn on Autoplay". To do so, just long press on the avatar of the contact or group of your choice :)
Right now we do not have a message thread, but that's a great suggestion that I will let the Roger team know about :) We do have notifications that are generated after 24h to alert you about a message that you have not listened to, so that you would not miss it before they expire after 48h.
Let me know if you have any other feedback, would love to hear about them :)
I agree. You don't want to hear your own messages. You just have to know it sent. I too hate hearing myself even though I'm an amature radio operator, performer, singer, and sound ingineer and am behind a mic almost daily. I do not like hearing myself, so good on you guys for not implementing that feature, on second thought why not just make it a toggle so the user can have choice?
Well I finally signed up, and yes, the audio is amazing.
I don't know if I did something wrong or wheather signing up with your number is broken, cause I typed in the code a few times and it didn't work.
I did manage to get it to work by signing up through my email instead.
I do have a question however, I received an invite from someone, but when I went to listen to their message, it said it was a 0 second message.
Are invites blank?
There also a couple of unlabelled buttons, mostly on the signup section and the help screen.
Voiceover just reads them as button.
Here's a possible idea.
Kik has a really cool feature where you can pull up a QR code and add each other as a contact.
Perhaps something similar can be implemented for Roger?
Or how about something like when bluetooth is on, you can see who has the app around you and talk to them, like an actual walkie talkie.
There are a few walkie talkie apps in the app store that rely on bluetooth to function.
The QR code is probably easier.
You go somewhere and need to keep intouch, add each other via QR code, no need to exchange details cause it's all in the code.
For Kik to use QR codes, you need to go into settings and find your code, while the other person does the same, except one desplays their code while the other uses their camera to scann the code.
They're then instantly put into the conversation window.
That's how Kik does it, a bit of jumping through hoops with their method.
I'm not sure how Roger would do it and keep it simple.
I'm not dissing the app with this suggestion, far from it, this is just another way people can talk to each other.
I don't actually trust QR codes. Many studies have been done where viruses and other nasties have been put in a QR code and the users are unaware until they scan the thing and it's too late. Also for bluetooth not all of us have that on, and not all of us are in range of our buddies.
I agreed with you @ke7zum and @kool_turk how can I find you on roger? I use the app on my phone a lot.
I'm getting ready to go download this app but after reading this post and the comments I wanted to take a second and thank the Roger team for their focus on accessibility. WHIle some may wonder "why another walkie talkie app" for me the difference is right here. Perhaps I missed them but I haven't seen any other developer of an app like this be so involved with our community and open to feedback.
Big thanks to the Roger team! Please keep up the good work!
Before I go there is one thought I'll throw out there. When sending and receiving audio in iMessages it's possible to just raise the phone to my ear to listen then do the same thing to respond. When I put it to my ear there's a beep to let me know it's recording then when I lower the phone it sends it. I don't know if there is an API for this but it's a feature I've really grown to love!
Thanks again Roger!
Thanks for your reply! :)
Right now, we would still like to further enhance the experience for our VoiceOver users, in terms of further improving the accessibility of Roger for the community here. In the future, we could definitely implement options for our users who would like to listen to their own messages before they send them out, but one step at a time is the way we're going about doing this!
Also, we would love to hear some of your works one day :)
We are definitely looking into other ways for our users to be able to reach out to those who are currently not using Roger. Pedro, our Android lead at Roger, actually did a hack on using Android Beam to share contacts with our Android users and that was really cool! The ways that you suggested could be a viable option for us on iOS, and I will let the team know about them:) Another thing to consider is that we also highly value the privacy of our users and would definitely not want it to be compromised at any point and that's when things might get a little tricky.
Thanks again for helping us with your great feedback :)
Just downloaded the app and I do agree that the voice quality is much better. My question and perhaps suggestion, is there a way to chat with those using the app on Android? Or does this currently work iDevice to iDevice?
Keep up the great work!
It would be really awesome if there was a way to run your own Roger server on your own, for those that would like too.
I'd like to have something like this, but embedded in to my own personal site for talking perhaps as a nice feature, that would be cool!
All the person would do is install the server app, (if they have one) and some how get/retrieven Roger HTML codes and put them where you'd like to have the feature at.
Thanks so much for that! We have received so much help from our VoiceOver users ever since our launch, so we would really love to be able to do our part as well :) We're also strengthening our support for Talkback on Android, so that our users on both platforms will be able to use Roger.
With regards with being to raise your phone to listen and raising again to respond, we currently do not have it on Roger and we could look into that one day! Do you mind sharing why you like that feature? :) Right now, we are maintaining the simplicity of the app, so that tapping on the microphone button will allow you to speak for an unlimited amount of time and tapping again will send your recording over :)
Thanks for replying! :)
Yes, you are definitely able to talk to your friends and family members who are using Android phones with our recent Android launch early this month. Roger is available on the Google Play store and you can find it via this link: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.rogertalk.roger&hl=en. We are working hard to improve our support for Talkback as well, so do get your Android friends onboard :)
Just trying it out here. If you want to try me my thing is rogertalk.com/ke7zum I think I got that right. By the way what is that link for? And what happens when a user clicks it? I also have to say (spoiler) the roger bot sounds very human like. It's kind of creepy but I love it.
hey guys roger rocks! if you guys want to get in contact with me use: rogertalk.com/djmacradio
and for @ke7zum once you double tap on the roger link, as long as the user has the app installed, it will let you talk to the person. Hope that answers your question
Ah thanks for that. I just sent it out over twitter. So we'll see.
The reason I love this is because if I have a conversation open with someone I don't have to push any buttons at all to start and stop recording. All I do is raise it up, speak, then lower it and off the audio goes. Same thing when listening. I can raise my phone and instead of the audio playing on the speaker it just plays through the earpiece so using it in public doesn't get weird.
I do love how simple Roger already is so maybe this isn't worth the effort but it's really nice not needing to push anything at all and keeping the audio private.
I can't stand raise to talk personally. I can't get it to work no matter what phone I'm on. For the users who want this though maybe a toggle in settings. Also the people portion looks pretty bad. The people along the bottom then a people section where you choose. Why not have a list of contacts you are talking to now then the contacts you can choose from. The contacts who already have roger could be in the prior list.
So how hard would it be to make an Apple Watch app as well? It would be rad of we could listen to messages then respond from the watch!
hello @mike_malarsie no, but maybe in the future. @roger will explain this further.
I commend the Roger team for incorporating accessibility into the app and taking an interest in continuing to improve accessibility. I have not downloaded the app, but I'd like to put in my two cents about why I think it would be helpful to be able to listen back to the messages I send. I use IMessages frequently, and kik on occasion. I sometimes get a response from someone I'm talking to and I need to remind myself what I said to them before they responded. Thus, I frequently review the message threads. I think the ability to listen back to my messages would be a great feature for Roger. Perhaps it could be a toggle.
I agree that raise to speak would be a nice addition to an already nice application. I am all for it being a toggle so that those who do not want it could switch it off.
Let me say firstly that i too like Roger even though i'm the shy type and don't talk much unless i know who i'm talking to. That being said i wonder if there's some way to group chat in Roger, and if so how do you do it and if not, could you consider it as a future option?
Hi again @Mike_Malarsie! Thanks for asking. Blixt from the Roger team has been working on an Apple Watch version but we haven’t gotten it right just yet. With that said, we’ll let you guys know as soon as we have something to show :)
Hi @flcomputergeek! I agree with you, we experience that problem sometimes as well, especially when your contacts take some time to reply! The ability to listen back to your own messages could be a future feature one day on Roger :)
Thanks and I hope you have been enjoying Roger! :)
That's a good suggestion, and we will look into that. On the same note, we are also interested in finding out how the community listens to the messages received. Do you usually use the speaker or do you raise it to your ear? :)
Hi again @Krister_Ekstrom,
Here's the good news, you can actually already create group chats on Roger! Just scroll to the add people (+) icon at the bottom right of the homepage, and then select the icon on the top right. That will allow you to select multiple people at once and form a group :)
I do both actually. When I'm on the bus I raise to listen. When I'm at home I listen via the loud speaker.
Oh I see! Thanks for the feedback @KE7ZUM :) It appears that many of our users do the same as well :)
You can contact me on Roger at rogertalk.com/rowdyamerican
I am having a very odd problem. I can't grant Roger the permissions it needs to send me notifications. When I installed the app, I was asked to confirm my name for Roger. After that, there was a button to enable notifications. I tried double-tapping it but nothing happened. I even turned VoiceOver offf and tapped the button and still nothing happened. I have deleted and re-installed the app with the same results. Roger isn't even listed in my notification settings so I can't do it from there either. If anyone has any suggestions I would really appreciate it.
I am really enjoying Roger and I definitely appreciate you guys making sure it's accessible. One thing that I think needs a bit more work are notifications. I can feel my phone vibrate when I'm in the Roger app but outside of Roger, Voiceover reads the notifications but there's no vibration or sound. I've missed notifications before since there's no sound. I don't always take my phone everywhere in my house so if I'm further away, I would still be able to know that I have a notification. On that note, it would also be good to choose notification sounds.
I didn't have the notification issues that Earl has. Works on the first try. Also I love the sound and remember it's apple so you cannot customise it unless you JB your phone. A toggle for vibration when phone is unlocked would probably be a good idea as not all of us want that, me included.