We love this handy little phone....BUT



The only downer is that the app has to be open to hear my daughter call me. This is my only negative thing I have found. It really needs to be fixed. Hugh issue.


This has been discussed a few times. This works this way because of the way audio channels on the phones work. For Republic to “stream” audio constantly, it would have to grab and hold the audio channel, preventing you from using it for anything else and fundamentally changing the way the app works. Phone operating systems work this way so an app can’t suddenly and without warning start playing an audio advertisement or other possible such actions.

Republic recently added the feature that the app holds the channel for 1 minute after exiting.

In addition, your daughter can hold down the volume button to send you a channel alert, and let you know she wants to talk to you. You can then open the app to speak with her.


Hey folks - Thanks for the thoughts and feedback…keep it coming. I just wanted to affirm that we are working on a few solutions to this problem. Stay tuned.


This request is the top voted feature in Ideas and Feedback and the recent change gets closer to solving the problem. Why was 60 seconds chosen for the background monitoring? If the background timer was user configurable instead of fixed at 60 seconds this request would probably be met.

It would be even better to be able to toggle monitoring from a persistent notification. Thanks for the continued development on solutions.



Hi everyone, I love the idea of Relay, it is quite practical when you want to communicate with your child without involving a cell phone.

The only drawback I have found is not being able to communicate with my kid when the application is inactive; could not there be a way in which messages can be saved?

Thanks for the great work that you are developing! I just think that this would make Relay more practical than already is.



fighting :slightly_smiling_face:


I just got a Relay today and wanted to chime in. I find the alert system to be both very underwhelming and inadequate. The forced alert with the volume button is nothing more than a soft vibration and doesn’t seem to differ from if my child were to just hold down the button when I’m not in the channel. From my view what it really needs are some options on notifications. I would like the app to vibrate/ring (depending on my ringer settings) as if I were getting a phone call (for 30 seconds or so). Not everyone probably wants this so make it an option, set how long it vibrates for. I don’t like the option of always having the channel open because I may not want my phone talking to me in certain situations, but others may want that functionality.


Hi @thisismyusername,
Over the next few weeks we will be making a few changes to improve your experience. First, at the beginning of April, we will be upgrading the alert feature (triggered by holding the volume button) to a higher priority SOS feature. If your child urgently needs you, they can press the Talk button five times in rapid succession and this will send a higher priority alert. If you have your ringer on, it will play an extended notification sound. If your ringer is off (on vibrate only) it will vibrate like it does today. Unfortunately iOS and Android have restrictions on vibration notifications.

A few weeks after releasing the SOS feature, we will be adding preconfigured 1:1 Chats between your phone and each Relay on your account. We will call these Direct Chats. You will receive a notification for every Direct Chat message and the messages will be stored in the app in case you miss one and need to listen to it later. The missed messages will also be accessible on your child’s Relay in case you say something to them and they are on another channel or away from their Relay.

Father down the road, (maybe summer), we hope to release calling between a Relay device and the Relay app on your phone. This would feel like a normal phone call where your phone would ring and you could answer and have a conversation without pressing and holding the talk button for each message. We can’t commit 100% to this feature yet because we still need to do lots of field testing to make sure we don’t have lots of dropped calls or poor audio quality due to poor coverage. We will share more once we are confident that this is a feature we will release.

Thanks so much for your feedback. I hope this window into some of our upcoming releases is helpful. Please feel free to let me know if you have other thoughts or questions.


Super excited to see the road map you are laying out. Keep working hard.


This is helpful and sounds great. Thanks!


I know they are working on an sos feature now but I was able to change the alert tone to a custom sound when my daughter pages me so I know that it’s from Relay and she is trying to reach me.

That said. She has a really hard time getting the page to actually work. The volume button is so tiny that I’d say 9 out of 10 times she just screws up the volume level instead of alerting me.