Assigning Default Channel or Contact

Default channel (contact) allows users of Zello app on Android to skip a step of selecting a contact or channel to talk before making a push-to-talk call with hardware or screen button. It could be most useful in the following cases:

  • User only talks to one channel or contact as typical for many dispatch scenarios
  • User predominantly talks to the same channel (i.e. team channel) or person (i.e their supervisor) with occasional conversations with others
  • When using specialized push-to-talk devices including screenless network radios

Assigning the Default channel (contact) has the following impact on the application behavior:

  • When first started, Zello will automatically open the talk screen for the default channel
  • When using hardware PTT button it'll broadcast to the default channel. This is especially useful with screenless devices such as network radios
  • You can still talk to anyone and any channel in your list, however, after 20 seconds of inactivity the app will switch back to the default channel
  • When "Automatically activate a contact" option is enabled, Zello will temporarily switch to the sender of the last message giving user opportunity to reply before reverting back to the default in 20 seconds
  • When the app switches back to the default channel a special notification sound is played

The Default channel (contact) has a pin icon and displays at the top of the list.


Note: You can only select one default contact or channel from within the app.


How to set the Default channel (contact) from the app

From the drop down menu on the talk screen select Set as default



You can remove the Default the same way as it was added (the menu action changes to Clear default).

Note: Ad-hoc channels cannot be added as the Default.


How to set the Default channel from the Admin console

As an admin, you can set the Default channel from the Admin console and have a consistent setup for all of your users in the field. For example, by selecting Dispatch channel as the default for drivers you will eliminate the need for them to ever interact with the app other than talking reducing distraction and improving safety. 

  • You can only set the Default channel not the Default contact
  • Once set from the Admin console, users will not be able to set their own Default channel
  • If a particular user is not a member of the channel, which was assigned as default in the Admin console, the console setting won't have any effect for them
  • To set different default channels for different groups of users you can create user templates 

Here are the steps to set the Default contact from the Admin console:

  1. Visit the settings page by going to Settings > Common  > General
  2. Select the Default channel from the drop-down menu.
  3. Click Save & Apply

Note: Default channel (contact) is currently only available on the Zello Android app. Setting the Default channel from the Admin console works with Zello version 4.91 and above.

Questions? Contact us or submit a new ticket for support-related inquiries.

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