How to use Zello on Android

Android App Quick Start Guide

From Zello Support – posted this on April 01, 2013 15:33

Updated August 2, 2013

Installing Zello

Search for Zello in Google Play and install directly in your Android.

After installing, the Zello Z icon appears on your screen. Tap the icon to launch Zello. You’re on your way enjoying live conversations!

You can use Zello to communicate with your friends who also have Zello installed on their Android, iPhone, Blackberry or Windows PC.

Signing into an existing account

If you’ve created a Zello account on another platform, tap “I already have a Zello account” and follow the prompts to sign in.



If you need help with the password or username, do the following.

  1. Tap “Forgot password.”
  2. Enter email associated with your Zello account. You’ll receive an email with instructions and your Zello username.
  3. Go to your email app to look for the email from Zello.
  4. Click link from email to reset your password.
  5. Enter the new password twice.

And you’re set with your new password.

Creating an account

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

  1. Tap “I don’t have a Zello account”
  2. Enter your desired username. Please note that a username cannot be changed.
  3. Enter password twice to make sure it’s exactly the way you want it.
  4. Enter your email. (We promise not to email you anything. This comes in handy if you ever need to change or reset your password.)
  5. Tap “Create” and you’re in!

If you want to make changes to your account information, tap the Menu button > Options > Profile > Edit.

Update the following fields to your preference.

  • Camera icon lets you add a profile picture.
  • Speaker icon lets you record an audio intro.
  • About box lets you add information about you.

When you’re done updating your profile, tap “Apply changes.”


If you have an @Zello@work account, here are tips on how to switch to your @work network.

Viewing trending channels

You can use Zello to talk to your friends privately or join one of many public Zello channels. You might start with Trending Channels, which are currently the most active channels.

Tap Power icon to listen. If you want to save the channel, tap the channel’s name and then tap “Add” to save it to your channel list.


Doing a sound test

Do this sound test to confirm others can hear you.

  1. Tap “Contacts.”
  2. Tap “echo.”
  3. Tap and hold the big button.
  4. Say anything, sing a song or tell a story.
  5. Let go of the big button to hear Zello play what you just recorded.


If you can’t hear anything, verify your microphone is on and turned up to a comfortable volume. Run the test again until you hear yourself speaking.

Adding contacts

Now let’s fill that Contact page. Tap + in the right upper corner of the screen to start.


You have two ways to add a contact:

  1. Search. Search for current Zello users by their Zello username, email address or phone number.
  2. Address book. Press the “Address Book” button.

Searching for contacts

Enter a Zello username, email, or phone number into 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 user has an account, tap the username and Zello sends a connection request.

Until contacts approve your request, they will show “Awaiting authorization” in your contact list. As soon as your friends go online, they will see a notice with an option to either confirm or decline your request. After they agree to connect, their status will change to Available or Busy.


Using the Address Book to add contacts

Tap “Address Book” to see two tabs:

  • All contacts: Opens your Android address book.
  • Contacts on Zello: Lists contacts from your address book with Zello accounts.

Tap the names of the people you want to add or invite to Zello, then tap “Import” on the bottom of the screen.


For contacts with Zello accounts, Zello sends them a connection request. After they agree to connect, they appear in your contact list.

For contacts who don’t have a recognized Zello account, a dialog box displays options for sending an invitation. Select your preferred option. Zello creates a message with all the information filled in for you. Edit the message to your heart’s content. Happy? Tap “Send” to email the invite.

The request to connect appears in the Notification Area. Here’s what it looks like on the other side to receive a request to connect.


When you receive a connection request, you’ll see a green flag with a red circle in the upper left corner. Follow these steps to accept, decline or block the user.

  1. Open Notification bar. (Tap top of Android screen and slide down.)
  2. Tap the box below “Notifications.”
  3. Tap the username.
  4. Tap “Accept,” “Decline” or “Block.”

Contacting users

When your contacts appear online, you can contact them. Select the username, press and hold the push-to-talk button, and say something. Release the button when you finish talking.


If the person is Available, you should get a reply soon. When someone is Busy, Zello saves your message in history for later listening. If a contact shows Standby, it means the user doesn’t have the app running at the moment, but you still can send offline messages to the user.

Receiving calls when in a private conversation

As long as you’re not in solo mode, you can receive calls when you’re talking to a contact.

Sending call alerts

You can send alert tones and text messages to a contact. The receiver will hear an audio tone or feel a vibration that repeats every minute until the person responds or clears the alert. You can add a text message or links.

To send a call alert, tap the Alert icon from a contact’s talk screen and enter optional text.



Deleting a contact

To delete a contact, press and hold the name of the contact in your list and tap ”Delete contact.”


Searching Channels

You can talk to 1 to 300 people by joining an existing channel.


To find and join a channel, follow these steps.

  1. Tap “Channels” tab.
  2. Tap + in the right upper corner of the screen.
  3. Enter a channel name or keyword into the search box.
  4. Tap Search icon.
  5. See one that interests you? Tap the channel name for more information.
  6. Sound like an interesting channel? Tap “Add” to put it in your list of channels.

Talking in a channel

To talk in the channel, tap the channel name and push the big button when you want to talk. As long as no one else is talking, you can talk away.

When you’re connected to channels, you’ll hear every conversation for all active channels. To disconnect a channel, press and hold the channel name in your list, then tap “Disconnect channel.”

Using Solo mode

If you want to listen to one channel without disconnecting all of them, do the following:

  1. Tap channel name.
  2. On the talk screen, tap Settings button located on the upper left side of the big PTT button.
  3. Tap “Solo” to activate Solo mode.


Solo mode allows you to tune out all channels except for the selected one.

Creating channels

You can create your own channel to talk about an interest, activities or just about anything goes (with respect to community guidelines).

Follow these steps to create a channel.

  1. Open Channels tab.
  2. Tap + in the right upper corner of the screen.
  3. Tap “Create a new channel.”
  4. Enter a name for the channel.
  5. Enter a description of the channel. If you want to make it easier for people to find your channel and stay on topic, ensure the description explains the topic of the channel and includes related keywords.
  6. Select the language(s).
  7. Select up to three categories.
  8. Tap the channel type to use. Your choices are “Open,” “Zelect” and “Zellocast.” In Zelect, owner, moderators and approved users can talk. In Zellocast, only the owner and moderators can talk.
  9. You can also mark your channel as “Explicit” (content not suitable for kids), “Promote” (OK to show in Trending Channels list) or both.
  10. Decide whether to add a password for accessing the channel (optional). If yes, tap “Require password” and enter a password in the box that appears.



Happy with your channel settings? Tap “Create” to start inviting contacts to your channel.

On the channel talk screen, tap “Users” button to see the list of online channel members. In the right upper corner of the screen, tap Invite User icon, select the contacts you want to invite and tap “Invite.” Everyone with a checkmark receives an invitation.


Another way to invite someone to a channel is to tap a channel from the Channel list and tap “Invite friends” from the pop up menu.


Want to make changes to your channel? From the list of channels, press and hold your channel’s name > Channel details. On the channel profile screen, tap “Edit” to view and edit channel details, add a channel picture and create an audio intro.


To block a user or assign a moderator on your channel, do these steps.

  1. Tap Users icon to open the list of channel users.
  2. Press and hold the name of a user.
  3. From the pop up menu, select “Block user” or “Make moderator.”


To manage channel moderators and blocked users, scroll down to the bottom of the Channel profile page where you see two buttons: “Blocked users” and “Moderators.”


To unblock a user, tap “Blocked users” button to see the list of blocked users. Tap the user’s name and “Unblock.”

To remove a moderator, tap “Moderators” button to see the list of moderators. Tap the user’s name and “Remove from moderators.”

Deleting a channel

To delete a channel from your list, press and hold the channel name and tap “Delete contact ”

Please note that there’s no option to delete a channel you created from Zello. A channel will be automatically deleted only when all channel members unsubscribe.


Changing your status

When your status is Available, all incoming messages play in real time unless you’ve changed your options. When you change your status to Busy, Zello saves your messages in History. You can access them at a convenient time.

You can customize a message for others to see when you’re busy. To do this, tap the Menu button > Status > Set status message… and enter the message. When you switch to busy, the text message appears.

When you are offline, Zello does not save any new messages. It retains the messages you already have prior to going offline. Also, when you’re offline, other users see you in Standby mode and they can still send you offline messages.

If you don’t use Zello for one week or longer, it’ll automatically change your status to Offline. While Offline, you won’t be able to receive offline messages.


To change your status, tap the Menu button and “Status.” Tap your new status or “Set status message” to customize the message for Busy.

Listening to conversation history

Here are the steps to listen to messages:

  1. Tap a username or channel in your list.
  2. Tap the “History” button on the talk screen in the upper right corner.
  3. New messages are marked with green dot. Tap to listen.



Deleting history

On the History screen, press and hold a message and then tap “Delete message” or “Delete all messages.” Currently, there’s not an option to delete the entire history for all contacts at once.


You can also share a message in SMS, email, Facebook or Twitter.

Managing notifications

Zello can notify you with an audio alert or vibrate. To change these options, tap the Menu button > “Options” > “Alerts.”


Selecting the push to talk (PTT) key

Tap the Menu button, select “Options” > “Under the hood” > “Map” and press the preferred key.


Deleting an account

Tap the Menu button and “Options”> “Accounts.” Press and hold the account you would like to delete and tap “Remove.”

Exiting Zello

Unless you exit Zello, the app runs in the background regardless of your status. You’ll continue receiving messages and notifications. To shut down Zello, tap Menu button and “Exit.”

This quick start guide should kick-start your Zello experience. When you’re ready to dig deeper and discover more features, check out the forums.

Thanks for using Zello!

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