App Necessity and Compatibility Questions


#1

A few questions about the Relay companion app…

I gather that Relay devices purchased together will come pre-configured to communicate amongst themselves, and the app will only be necessary to configure WiFi (and perhaps talk groups or sub-groups?). Will there be an alternative way to do that, perhaps with a laptop and web browser, that won’t require a smart phone?

Will the phone app run on any android device (subject to OS version limitations, perhaps) or will it be artificially restricted to phones only (no tablets)?

Will the app be usable regardless of the device’s cellular carrier? While I’m sure the earliest adopters will be current Republic subscribers, I can imagine many people who’d be interested in Relay but are also happy with their existing phone and carrier and wouldn’t want to have to switch phone providers just to be able to add Relay to their communication options.

If the companion app will be carrier and device agnostic, will it be limited only to Android? Or are there plans for an IOS version? Not that I care personally, nor do I expect Apple users to be a big potential market, but just because if I don’t ask, someone else surely will anyway :wink:


#2

They have said there will be an iOS version of the app


#3

Thanks for lining these up @homelessonwheels! I’ll do my best to address everything you’ve asked here:

Ideally, folks will activate via a mobile device as we want them to use the companion app like a Relay, when they’re on the go-- and we’d like them to get comfortable with that process as soon as they activate. At this point, we’ve planned for activation only on mobile devices.

Our Relay app will require Android 5.1 and above, and will need to be used with a phone (no tablets). However, we will support both iOS and Android.

Yes :slight_smile: We want families to be able to use Relay no matter their carrier or operating system.

Thanks again for asking these. If it’s alright with you, I’ll add some of these to our Relay questions thread: Relay Questions Answered as I’m sure they’ll be on a lot of peoples’ minds.


Relay Questions Answered
#4

Thank you for the thorough answers. Yes, feel free to use my questions in your Questions Answered thread! Mostly as I expected, but not necessarily as I’d hoped. In particular,

What is the reasoning behind excluding tablets? I can understand not creating a tablet-specific version, but I see no technical reason for not allowing tablets to use the app. In fact, this would be great for one of the potential Relay target markets - the visually impaired.

To stray slightly off topic, this is a distressing trend I’ve been noticing - the intentional disallowing of tablets by some apps when there is no valid reason. Most frequently this occurs with banking apps, based on a somewhat misguided belief that a phone is somehow more secure than a tablet (even one with cellular access) merely because it has a telephone number attached to it. That is perhaps excusable. But I can’t see why the Relay app wouldn’t be useful on a tablet, nor why you’d want to disallow tablet use. But it isn’t the worst case I’ve seen. There is a particular speaker manufacturer, who won’t allow the speaker’s app (which offers equalization and other controls) to be used on a tablet. It seems to be that such practice artificially limits the reach of the product.

It’s really the equivalent of having a piece of computer (apple/windows/linux/whatever) software and saying you’re only allowed to use it on a laptop, but not a desktop. Or, perhaps a better comparison, a program that you’re only allowed to use with devices having a small screen, but not allowed on larger-screen devices.


#6

For this first iteration of Relay, it has to do with the stage of app development we’re in. I could definitely see us opening up to tablets in the future though. To piggyback on your points about tablet-use, (and this is not meant to exclude other demographics) I know I see a lot of children with tablets/learning pads, etc., so I could see integrating Relay into that tablet-culture a logical step for us (though we also like to encourage unplugged-play around here). I can say that anti-tablet sentiment is not part of our culture, but we do tend to focus on phones/service-quality first. Hopefully this initial answer to the “why no tablets?” question doesn’t discourage you and other potential Relay users from giving us a shot. We’re not ruling many features/capabilities out at this point, we just want to get our bearings and grow from there!