Relay to cell app communications?


I read on the Q and A that the relay app will not send notifications to your cell phone when a Relay tries to contact you. Does this mean that unless I have my phone open, and the relay app on, that the relay will not be able to contact me? I was very confused by that particular post and would like some clarification before I move to purchase Relay for my kids.


doubt it will work that way or else we would all become helicopter parents by default…

that or the children would think we are ignoring them.


Same question here! I understood it the same way. That sounds like the relay app doesn’t offer push notifications. It’s a non-starter if our kids can’t contact us without the app being open. Push notifications are very basic for apps in iOS and Android.


Hi all,
Here’s how communication will work with the Relay app:

Your child with a Relay will be able to trigger notifications within the Relay app to let you know that they want to talk with you. This feature is called a “channel alert”. Your child can trigger a channel alert by navigating to the Relay channel and then holding the Volume button for 2 sec. This will trigger a notification on your smartphone that says “Persistent Fox (or other device name) wants to talk with you on the Relay channel”. If you click the notification, you then will be taken to the Relay channel in the app where you can begin messaging your child.

We made an intentional decision to not trigger notifications for every message in a particular channel because we have found that Relay channels can often be pretty chatty when children are playing, and this could generate hundreds of notifications. To spare parents from getting bombarded, we limited notifications to only the times when a child was trying to reach their parent.

We really appreciate your feedback on this and will be eager to tweak and improve it based on your feedback once you have the app in your hands and start getting a feel for how your family uses it to communicate. Hope this helps!

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

This sounds ideal! Thank you. We’re looking forward to using it.


There seems to be a lot you are considering when using the app to talk with a Relay. Thank you for the insights and clarifications!

It seems most likely to me that most parents will get Relays for their kids and use their phones with the Relay app to talk to them. If that is actually the case, and seeing as how more channels for communication are being developed why wouldn’t the kids just switch to the “parents” channel and start talking? Rather than make them learn something else (i.e. hold the volume button down for 2 seconds).


I think the issue isn’t the channel, but how smartphones will behave with incoming voice traffic. You don’t want the smartphone notifying you of each and every bit of voice traffic when the app is closed, but you do want your kids to be able to get your attention when they need to talk to you.

Even if there were a “parents” channel, you wouldn’t want your kid’s talking to suddenly come out of your phone’s speaker at any time. Learning to press for 2 seconds strikes me as easier than managing too many channels via one button.


To simplify things for the children or seniors using the Relays it seems like a separate home or parent alert button would be good to add to the next hardware version of the Relay. If my child needs me now I’d like a siren go off on my phone. I’d also like the alert button to auto select the home channel.


I wasn’t clear enough. I just meant that once the kid switches to the parents channel and starts talking it would alert the parent’s phone of activity on the channel.

You make a good point about navigating too many channels, but right now we only have one for communication. It would be nice to be able to disable the echo channel via the app to prevent it taking up a channel slot.


You should add that to the Ideas category.


My kids love the echo channel. To the point where it’s almost annoying.

I think the double tap or other trigger method makes more sense than to have kids start talking. You couldn’t hear them until you unlock your phone and open the app, so there is no point in them saying anything until you are ready to listen.

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

Thank you all for your sharing and input. I like the idea of the child being able to send a notification that they want to talk but also very much like the idea put forward by Plane Therapist of some sort of “need me now” button or notification. I’m just thinking that in the event of an emergency, young children usually don’t pause to think too much about what they are doing. At the very least I would hope that now or in the future you would be able to change the specific notification sound for the app. Often times I don’t hear my phone’s regular notification sound and I would hate to “miss a call” from my child in need. I think that the Relay has some developing to do but overall I really like what I am seeing and am looking forward to trying it with my 3 younger children.


I have the same worry. I’ve thought about getting a Relay for the parents to have, but I’m going to wait and see how the phone app works.