Zello iPhone User Guide

Welcome to Zello!

This user guide will provide information regarding how to use Zello on iOS devices. These instructions are valid for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad devices running iOS 14 and above.

For information about using Zello for one-on-one or small group conversations between people you already know, refer to SECTION 1.

If you want to talk to extended groups including people you may not know using channels, refer to SECTION 2.

Click on any task to jump to that section:

SECTION 1: ACCOUNT TASKS

SECTION 2: CHANNEL TASKS

Zello Icons

You will see these icons used throughout the app:Screenshot 2023-07-17 at 4.16.19 PM.png

Section 1: Account Tasks

Installing Zello

To install Zello, go to the iTunes App Store on your iPhone, iPod, or iPad and search for Zello. Tap GET to begin the installation. Tap OPEN to open the Zello app once the installation is complete. After installing, the Zello logo will appear on your home screen. You can tap the badge to launch Zello.

You're on your way enjoying live conversations!

You can use Zello to communicate with other users who also have Zello installed on their iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, or Android device.

Creating a new account

If this is your first time using Zello, follow these steps to create a new account.

From the Zello Sign Up screen:

  1. Tap Sign Up
  2. Enter your desired username, password, email, and optional phone number. Usernames must be unique and at least 5 characters long. Please note that a username cannot be changed afterwards. Your email address will be kept private and will be used in the event that you forget your username and/or password. Also, your Zello contacts can search for you by using your email or phone number.
  3. Tap Create Account

Your account is created, and you're ready to start talking or continue adding information to your account profile. If you'd rather complete your account profile details at a later time, tap Skip.

Logging into an existing account

If you’ve already created a Zello account, tap I already have an account on the Zello Sign Up screen and follow the prompts to log in.

NOTE: If you are using ZelloWork and not the free app, tap the ZelloWork icon. See user guides at ZelloWork Support.

If you forgot your password or username:

  1. Tap blue Forgot? Prompt
  2. Enter the email associated with your Zello account. You’ll receive an email with instructions and your Zello username(s).
  3. Go to your inbox to look for the email from Zello. If you don’t see an email, check your junk/spam folder.
  4. Click the link in the email to reset your password
  5. Enter the new password twice

Using the menu screen

The Menu has three tabs at the bottom of the screen: Recents, Contacts, and Channels.

The Recents tab shows recent communications sorted by last activity.

The Contacts tab shows everyone you have added as a contact on Zello. Available contacts will show up at the top of the screen. You can use the search bar at the top of the screen to search for a contact.

The Channels tab shows a list of all channels you have joined on Zello.

Doing an Echo sound test

Tap Contacts from the menu tab. From here you can add contacts or tap echo to do a sound test to confirm others can hear you.

  1. Tap the contact named echo, then press and hold the circular orange talk button until the circle turns solid red, which indicates you are transmitting
  2. Say anything to test
  3. Let go of the talk button to play back what you just recorded. The circle will be solid green when playing back. If you can't hear anything, verify your microphone is on and turned up to a comfortable volume. Also, make sure you've granted Zello access to the microphone in your phone's settings.

Changing account profile settings

If you want to make changes to your account profile, tap on your profile photo at the top left corner to open the menu. Tap your username on the top of the menu, which will lead you to your profile settings.

Tap anywhere within the picture frame to display the camera icon to add, change, or delete the profile photo. You can also tap the QR code icon on the bottom right corner, which presents a QR code that others can scan to add you to their contacts.

You can create an alias name to display instead of your username by filling in the Name field. The alias can be changed at any time. Fill out the other fields as desired.

Adding contacts

To add new contacts, start by tapping the Contacts button at the bottom of the screen. Tap the + icon in the top right corner to add a contact.

There are three ways to add new contacts:

  1. Search for Zello contact
  2. Address book
  3. Scan QR code

Search for Zello contact

Search for current Zello users to add to your Contacts list. Enter their Zello username or phone number in the search bar and tap the Search button. If the user is not found, you can send an invite by email or text message.

If the username or phone number you’re searching matches with an active Zello account, it will appear in the search results. Tap the username which will display the user’s profile. Tap the Add button in the upper right corner of the profile. Zello will then send a connection request to the user.

Using the Address Book to add contacts

You can also use your Address Book to add contacts: 

  1. Select + icon in the top right corner of the Contacts page to add a contact
  2. Tap Address Book to access your contacts
  3. A message will appear telling you that Zello would like to access your contacts. Tap OK.
  4. Select the contacts you want to invite or add to your Contacts list 

For contacts who don't have a recognized Zello account, a text message appears with a download link for Zello. Edit the message if you'd like, then tap the arrow button to send the text invitation.

For contacts who have Zello accounts, Zello sends a contact request. When the user goes online, they will see a contact request at the top of their Contacts list marked by a red dot. When selected, the contact will be presented with options to Accept, decline (Not now), or permanently Block your connection request. If they accept your request, they will appear in your Contacts list with a status of Available or Busy.

Scanning QR code to add contacts

Scanning another user's QR code is the fastest way to add contacts:

  1. Select + icon in the top right corner of the Contacts page to add a contact
  2. Select Scan QR code
  3. Focus the scanner on the QR code of the user you want to add until it is in focus and the contact will be added

Deleting, favoriting, and assigning default contacts

To delete a contact:

  1. Tap the Contacts button on the bottom of the screen
  2. Swipe left on a contact to open the contact options menu
  3. To delete a contact, tap the red trash can icon

To assign a default contact:

  1. Tap the Contacts button on the bottom of the screen
  2. Swipe left on a contact to open the contact options menu
  3. To assign a default contact, press the blue pin icon

To favorite a contact:

  1. Tap the Contacts button on the bottom of the screen
  2. Swipe left on a contact to open the contact options menu
  3. To favorite a contact, press the gold star icon

Talking to contacts

When your contacts appear as Available (solid green circle), you can contact them. Tap the username, then press and hold the talk button until the circle turns from orange to solid red. Release the button when you’re finished talking. The talk button circle turns solid green when the contact replies.

When someone is Busy (solid orange circle), Zello sends them a text and vibrate notification and saves your message in their History for later listening. If a contact shows Standby (empty green circle), it means the user doesn't have the app running or the connection has been lost, but you still can send offline messages to the user. As soon as the user is back in Available status, any missed messages will play automatically.

If the contact is Offline (solid black circle), no messages can be sent or saved in the contact's History.

Sending images, texts, call alerts, and location

You can send images, texts, call alerts (with persistent audio alerts), and share your present location with other contacts from the talk screen or History screen.

From the talk screen, send images by tapping on the camera icon or send call alerts by tapping on the bell icon. 

To send texts, images, locations, or call alerts from the History screen, tap on the blue chat bubble at the upper right corner of the talk screen. If you press the blue + button in the lower left corner, you will see options for sending an image, location, or call alert.

Changing status

To change your status, tap on your profile photo in the top left corner of the screen. From there, tap Status to view status options.

When your status is Available, all incoming messages play in real-time unless you change your status.

If you do not want to be disturbed, set your status to Busy to mute audio and save your messages to Recents. You will still receive text and vibrate alerts for incoming messages while in Busy status. Tap the Recents icon in the bottom left corner of the screen to see channels or contacts with unheard messages. Tap on the channel or contact's History screen to play the messages.

When you’re in Offline status, Zello does not receive or save new messages. It retains the messages you already had prior to going Offline. You may still receive push notifications to your device if you have them enabled. When you initially go Offline, other users see you in Standby mode, and they can still send you offline messages for up to a week. If you don’t use Zello for one week or longer, it will automatically change your status to Offline. 

Solo status allows you to listen/talk with one contact or channel while muting conversations from others. You can go into History and replay any missed conversations at a later time. 

There is also an option to have your status automatically change to available any time you press the Talk Button. You can adjust this setting using the toggle button at the bottom of the Status screen.

Listening to new messages

If you have missed messages, you will see the messages appear in the Recents tab with a red dot on the right side of the screen.

Here are the steps to listen to messages:

  1. From the Recents tab, tap the name of a channel or contact
  2. Tap the History icon (blue chat balloon) in the upper right corner
  3. Tap the first message to play it and any subsequent messages 

The message will play and scroll to the next message unless you tap the Pause icon at the bottom of the screen. You can speed up the replay with 1.25x or 1.5x speed settings on the bottom right of the screen.

Managing settings

You can access your account settings by selecting the Settings icon after tapping on your profile photo in the upper left corner of the screen. The options available are briefly described below:

  1. Audio: Controls audio settings including Bluetooth, recording and playback amplifiers, microphone boost, and noise suppression
  2. Alert tones / vibrate: Controls audio, vibrate, and text alerts and notifications
  3. History: Delete and manage history for audio messages, images, and texts for the current account or all history on the device. Note that user messages, images, and texts are not stored on Zello's servers and only on user devices. Once deleted, they cannot be recovered
  4. Push-to-talk buttons: Controls where the talk button is activated: on phone, headset, or remote Bluetooth device. Also allows to you switch between Toggle or Push-and-hold modes
  5. Themes: Change the appearance of the app by selecting light or dark mode
  6. Support: Contains information about which version of the app you are using, includes help, third party info, and advanced settings, and allows you to report problems to Zello’s Support team

Deleting account

To delete your account and data from our servers:

  1. Tap on your profile photo in the top left corner to open your profile
  2. Tap on the icon with your username at the top of the screen
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and tap the red Delete account option
  4. Alternatively, you can sign in at zello.com/user/home to delete your account

Creating private group conversations

You can create group conversations on-the-fly for private conversations between selected Zello contacts. Only members of the group can invite other participants. There is no profile or password required in group conversations. Members can rename the group or leave and delete the group at any time. To create a group conversation:

  1. From the Recents screen, tap the + icon in the upper right corner to begin adding members from your Contacts list
  2. Tap Start to create the group and start talking
  3. To add participants, tap the drop-down menu on the talk screen

Groups are only accessed from Recents. To delete a group, swipe the group name to the left and tap the red trash can icon.

Group conversations can also be created by going into Contacts, selecting a contact and then tapping the drop-down menu on the talk screen and selecting Add participants.

Section 2: Channel Tasks

You can use Zello to talk to your friends and family privately with group conversations as described previously, or you can join one of many public or private Zello channels. Channels are live talk forums created and moderated by other Zello users. There are tens of thousands of Zello channels to choose from. If you can't find a channel you're interested in joining, just create your own!

Adding channels

You can add existing channels in two ways: searching by channel name or scanning the channel's QR code.

Searching for channels to add

You can talk with people from around the world or locally in groups by joining an existing channel. 

Start from the Channels tab in the bottom right corner of the screen.

  1. Tap + in the top right corner 
  2. Tap Add by channel name
  3. Type the name of the channel in the search field (NOTE: channels can only be searched by their exact names, not by keywords)
  4. Select the channel(s) you are interested in adding
  5. On the channel's profile screen, tap Add in the upper right corner to add the channel to your Channel list
  6. The channel talk screen will display where you can connect to the channel and begin talking

Adding a channel by scanning its QR code

The fastest way to add a channel is by scanning the channel's QR code. Once displayed, Zello users next to you can add your channel by going to their Channels screen:

  1. Start from the Channels tab in the lower right corner
  2. Tap the name of the channel
  3. Tap the channel’s profile photo in the upper left corner
  4. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner
  5. Tap View Channel Profile
  6. Tap the channel’s profile photo and select the QR code icon in the bottom right corner of the photo

You can also send the QR code by taking a screenshot of it or printing it out so remote Zello users can scan it.

Deleting channels

  1. Select the Channels tab in the bottom right corner of the screen
  2. Swipe left on the channel you want to delete
  3. Tap the red trash can icon to delete the channel

Talking in channels

  1. To talk in a channel, tap on the channel name from the Channels tab on the bottom right corner of the screen
  2. Make sure you are connected (power icon is green)
  3. Push and hold the talk button until solid red to talk
  4. Release when done talking

As long as no one else is trying to talk, you can talk away without interruption. If others are trying to talk, the talk time before interruption is set by the owner in the channel profile (from 1 second to 10 minutes). Do not press the talk button rapidly without speaking, or you will receive an error message indicating too many empty messages have been sent.

Using Solo mode

When you’re connected to multiple channels, you'll hear every conversation for all active channels. This can be confusing if messages from multiple channels are transmitted at the same time. To listen and talk in one channel without interruptions, do the following:

  1. Tap the name of the channel from the Channels tab in the bottom right corner
  2. Tap the icon in the middle of the bottom of the screen until you see the blue Solo status

Muting channels

You can also selectively mute channels from the talk screen by tapping the gray pull-down arrow to the right of the channel profile picture. Messages from muted channels will be stored in Recents and History.

Creating channels

You can create your own channel to discuss an interest, activities, or just about anything (as long as you follow Zello’s Community Guidelines). Follow these steps to create your channel. Once created, you will become the “owner” of the channel. Users who join the channel are your “subscribers.” There is no limit to the number of subscribers per channel, but only 6,000 can be connected at one time.

  1. Select the Channels icon on the bottom right of the screen
  2. Tap + sign in the upper right corner
  3. Tap Create a channel

Fill out fields and select settings for your channel profile. All settings can be changed at any time by the owner. A subset of settings can be changed by admins. Key settings are described below:

  1. Name: Enter a name for the channel (required)
  2. Channel description: Enter a description of the channel
  3. Channel alerts: Turn channel alerts on/off for subscribers
  4. Type: This is your channel type. This setting is important, as it determines how public or private your channel will be. These are the channel types: Anyone can talk (public, open), Listen only (broadcast type), Zelect, and Zelect+. Only "trusted" users can talk in Zelect type channels, but new users can listen. Only trusted users can hear AND talk in Zelect+ type channels. Users are made "trusted" by the admins and mods on the channel. For more information about channel types, see Channel Types FAQ
  5. Allow voting: Allow subscribers to vote thumbs up or down for other user's messages
  6. Require verified email: Turn this on for added security and subscriber verification
  7. Require password: Turn this on so unauthorized users cannot join or listen for added privacy

Fill out other settings as needed. Not all fields are required and they can be edited at a later time.

Happy with your channel settings? Tap Save in the upper right corner and start inviting contacts to your new channel.

Inviting contacts and sharing channel

To invite existing Zello contacts or share a channel with non-Zello users:

  1. From the channel talk screen, tap on the channel name at the top of the screen
  2. Tap the + icon in the top right corner of the screen
  3. Select contacts from your address book to add or invite to the channel

There is also a QR code located in the lower right corner of the channel profile picture which other Zello users can scan to join the channel.

Regular channels can support up to 6,000 users. Listen only channels can support up to 8,000 users.

Editing channel settings

Only channel owners can edit all channel settings, but admins can edit the channel picture, description, and assign or delete mods. If you want to make changes to your channel, there are two ways to open the channel profile and edit it:

  1. Select the Channels tab on the lower right corner of the screen
  2. Tap on the channel name to open the talk screen

To make changes from the talk screen:

  1. Tap on the channel name at the top of the screen
  2. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner
  3. Select View Channel Profile where you can edit all settings

To make changes from History (blue chat bubble in upper right corner):

  1. Tap on the channel name at the top of the screen
  2. Tap the three dots icon in the upper right corner
  3. Select View Channel Profile where you can edit all settings

Adding channel admins/moderators and managing subscribers

Owners can assign admins and moderators to help moderate channel activity by removing disruptive users and pre-screening users in Zelect and Zelect+ type channels. A well-moderated channel will attract more subscribers.

  1. Select the Channels tab on the lower right corner of the screen
  2. Tap the channel name to open the talk screen
  3. From the channel talk screen, tap the History icon in the upper right corner
  4. Tap the name of the channel at the top of the screen to display all users who are online and connected
  5. Tap the name of the user you want to manage, which will bring up a list of options

Channel moderators can mute, prohibit talking, block, trust, and bounce disruptive users. Channel admins can create or remove moderators and edit the channel profile and description. Channel owners have the highest authority. They can edit all settings and add or remove moderators and admins.

Admins and moderators can also manage subscribers directly from the History screen by tapping their profile picture. This is handy if the person has recently left a message on the channel and you need to take action quickly.

Managing lists of blocked, muted, trusted users, admins and mods

To see and manage users in these lists, go to the Channel Profile screen and scroll to the bottom. You can also delete the channel from here. You must be an owner, mod, or admin to see these options.

Sending texts, images, location, and channel alerts

NOTE: The channel owner can adjust these options from the channel profile settings.

  1. From the channel talk screen, tap the History icon in the upper right corner
  2. Tap the + icon in the lower right corner of the screen
  3. You will then see options to send a photo, your location, or a channel alert

Viewing channel history and deleting messages

  1. On the channel talk screen, tap the History icon at the upper right corner
  2. All received messages, texts, and images are displayed with the newest ones at the bottom. Selecting a message will automatically play all following messages unless you tap pause. You can speed up the playback with 1.25x or 1.5x settings
  3. Press and hold the chat bubble on the message you want to delete
  4. Tap the Delete icon. Deleted messages cannot be recovered

Talking to all channel admins and mods

If you are a channel owner, admin, or mod, you can talk to other admins and moderators without subscribers hearing. Tap the gray pull-down arrow from the channel talk screen, then select Moderators.

Sending channel alerts

Channel owners and admins can send channel alerts to subscribers who have opted to receive them. Channel alerts can be used to inform subscribers of current or upcoming events on the channel:

  1. From the channel talk screen, tap on the bell icon to send a channel alert
  2. Select who you want to send the alert to
  3. Type the alert message and tap Send

NOTE: Only subscribers who have opted to receive channel alerts will receive them.

Adjusting channel alert settings

To maintain privacy, subscribers have to opt-in to receive channel alerts. To opt-in, users should:

  1. Select the Channels tab from the menu at the bottom of the screen
  2. Select the channel you want to receive alerts from
  3. Tap the channel name at the top of the talk screen
  4. Tap the three dots icon in the top right
  5. Select View Channel Profile
  6. Select the Channel alerts option

Select from the four options to specify when to receive channel alerts: None, when In channel, when In Zello, or Always 

 

 

 

Questions? Submit a new ticket for support-related inquiries.

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