First use feedback: pretty useless in the 1 Relay + Parent App scenario


Hey @gangstead, not trying to be dismissive. Just trying to make sure I understand the experience that would meet your needs. I appreciate your feedback and will see what we can do to improve the Relay app experience.


theresar, how do I do this? I tried to find a way to do exactly this but couldn’t figure it out. It seems on my phone (Android 7.0), notification sounds specific to an app have to be selected by the app.


In Android 8, go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > select the App > click on App Notifications. You can then select Relay Chat and change the notification settings.

I checked my old Moto X1 and there is no option to do this in Android 5. I’m not sure about Android 7.0.


As a parent app - 1 Relay user, @gangstead’s thoughts resonate with me; I was hoping this would be a true push-to-talk device. The obstacles presented by smartphone OS’s seem to be difficult to overcome, but hopefully the engineers and developers behind Relay can do it.

Short of that, I would really appreciate something like what happens with Facetime or Google Hangouts: A difficult-to-miss alert is provided by the phone via the app so that when you pick up your phone there is a screen asking you to engage in conversation with the Relay user or ignore the alert.

Folks have raised the point that this would pose an issue of incessant and unnecessary alerts in instances of multiple kids communicating Relay-to-Relay; instances in which the parent with the app does not need to participate.

Can anyone think of any instances in which this would still be an issue once multiple channels have been rolled out?

Multiple kids communicating Relay-to-Relay could be on a channel that does not include the parent with the app, so no alerts are sent to the parent’s phone via the app. If they need to get ahold of the parent, they would have to switch to a channel that does include the parent.

Assuming messages transmitted directly from a Relay to the parent’s app are not allowed to be automatically played as streaming audio, I would suggest developing a more aggressive alert that wakes a smartphone and allows the parent to get into the app immediately (ala Hangouts), something that, now, is perhaps not attractive to parents with multiple kids using multiple Relays to talk to each other (but not the parent), but would be more attractive once multiple channels are rolled out.


Glad I saw this post… here are some of the same issues I just emailed support…

I have a bunch more questions. I’ve played around with it a little and sent it home with my boss to run some tests. It’s not looking good for use with my mom, but I do have the 90 days to play around with it. I bought 3, but haven’t opened 2 of them because I was waiting to test the phone app.

  1. Is the Relay always on? How do I turn it off? How do I tell it’s turned off?

  2. Have you considered push to talk, then push to stop talking? Especially on the phone app? Or at least give someone a way to configure this as an option in the app for both the Relay and app?

  3. The location finder is a little weird. It logged that I had it at work, but it never showed the location where my boss used it at home. When does it log the location? Is it not immediate? I wanted to be able to see where my mom was immediately (when/if I give it to her).

  4. Could two people use the phone app and a third use the Relay? How would this work? Would the two people use the same account?

  5. Could notifications be used on the phone? It appears the app always needs to be running for someone to be able to contact you on the phone app. Would be nice if someone if someone with a Relay could contact you without the app running, and you get an alert, then you would open the app. Consider the application where an elderly mother has the Relay, but other family members use their phones.


It is always on unless you’ve turned it off or the battery has died. You turn it off by holding down the power button on the side. Simply quick tap the main button and if on, you’ll get a bloop.

I can’t say whether or not this was thought of or not. Personally, I like it the way it is. You can make such a suggestion in the Feature Request area.

You need to request location in the app.

Yes. And yes, they’d both need to be signed in to the same account.

That’s exactly how it works. By holding the volume button for 2 seconds the app will receive an alert indicating a Relay is asking for attention.


Ok, thanks. I just tested the alert thingy. Oh those buttons are small and not distinct… Hopefully they will consider this in future designs.


I’ve thrown a black sharpie dot on the volume button to differentiate. I know Republic is aware.


So, which one is the power button?


The one with the little indentation on it.


Got it - same as the channel selector, I see. Yikes. I thought this would be easy for an older person (80+). Definitely needs some work for that application.


Use a sharpie. Use one color for power and another for volume. Works well in my family.


I still might return it, so I don’t think I want to do that.


Would coloring the buttons as suggested be considered minor cosmetic damage or other and incur a $15 or more deduction from a refund if the relay is returned? Thanks.


This is what I was expecting, and I’m disappointed as a parent with 1 child and 1 Relay. We’re still going to give it a try. My husband and I use the Zello app to communicate from our phones, and it does deliver the message to the phone even when the app is operating in the background. I was expecting Relay to be a similar experience.

We’ve been with Republic since Wave M, so we are expecting improvements. I did not realize that Relay was in such a young development stage and that the app was still Beta.


Would this feature in the Ideas & Feedback section fix it for you? Give it a vote if yes.

Add a “channel monitor” function to the app


I think so.


So, you have to click one of the side buttons for a few seconds to send an alert to a smartphone that does not have the Relay app running. Would it have made more sense to just send the alert when the user of a Relay hits the main button?

I’m thinking of the panic mode situation of an elderly person who’s trying to get a hold of you, and all you have is your phone.


This issue is that that could amount to dozens or hundreds of unnecessary alerts. Think of this scenario. Two kids with two Relays running around and talking to each other on the Relays. Over the course of the day they talk to each other 10 times, each time involving 10 back and forths. That would 100 notifications. Out of those 100 times, the parent needs only be involved once. How would the parent know to pay attention to that one time and not the other 99?

The equation is of course different when there’s only 1 Relay and is different later when there are channels and the app can be excluded, but for now Republic has chosen a solution which is viable under the current functional set.


That’s why it might have been better to allowed these buttons, in some respect, to be user configurable. Or at least some of the options.