A Look Inside Relay: All About the Relay App



Relay is pretty simple. It does a lot of things with a few buttons, and that’s why we like it. But it can’t do everything all by itself. We’ve seen a lot of questions about the Relay companion app and its role in how Relay works—we’re here to explain the features and capabilities of the Relay app.


The Relay app is kind of like the command center for the Relay or group of Relays. Here are some of the things it can do.

Activate Relay
Activation is a relatively simple process with Relay. First, you install the Relay app. Then, you turn on your new Relay and press the talk button. It will read you an activation code. Type that code into the companion app, submit it with a tap, and you’re good to go!

See Relay’s status
Sure, Relay will tell you its status when you tap the channel button, but it’s nice to have a visual for things like connectivity and battery level, especially if you’re keeping track of a few Relays at a time. From the app, you can see the cell or WiFi connectivity of all your Relays as well as see when their battery levels are getting low.

Connect Relay to WiFi
We frequently heard this question when we first announced Relay. How can a screenless device connect to WiFi? How can it type in a password? Well… It can’t. It needs a friend for that sort of thing. So you use the app to login to WiFi on the Relays’ behalf and then Relay will automatically connect whenever it’s in range.

Find your Relay
GPS is fairly commonplace in smartphones these days, and you can use it for directions, to find your lost phone, and more. With the Relay app, you can tap your Relay’s location on the map and your default directions app comes up with the address so you can get there fast. It is worth noting that the GPS feature is dependent on Relay’s cell or WiFi connectivity. If Relay is off or disconnected, its last known location shows in the companion app.

GPS has also been part of the growing concern over user privacy. Relay comes with the real-time GPS function turned off by default—it’s an opt-in feature, not an opt-out feature. As well, your location is kept between you and your Relays. We do not share any of your location information and do not store your location history. Our Privacy Policy is coming soon, and you can learn more about how we manage location requests there.

Talk to Relay
You want Relays for someone in your life…but maybe not for you? That’s ok, you can talk to your Relays through the app, too. When the Relay app is open, you can have real-time conversation as if you were holding another Relay. When you close the app (and are in a meeting, on the go, etc.) you won’t have the app blaring messages out of your phone. But if someone really needs to get in touch with you, the app will send you a notification.

Add new channels
We’re going to keep adding features to Relay. The cool thing about our channels is that they’re customizable. All of them are opt-in (disabled by default) and can be installed individually on specific Relay devices from the app. You can remove Relay channels through the app as well.

The Relay app is in the final stages of development for iOS and Android, which is why I don’t have pictures to show you. Hopefully, you will be seeing it in-person very soon.

If you have more questions about Relay, we want to hear them! We’re so excited to launch this product and want to tell you all about it. You can sign up for the newsletter by visiting the Relay website and clicking the “sign up!” tab. Click the logo below to get started.


A Look Inside Relay: The Tech Under the Casing

Sounds pretty simple and nicely explained

  • Hopefully “First, you install the Relay app” doesn’t limit the management of Relay to the phones only?
  • Will this function eventually be included within the web based ‘Account’ function?

Edited to separate the two questions that I meant to ask


good question, @jben. Kind of like activating an RW phone with the Republic Wireless app, you activate Relay with the Relay app instead of through your account portal.

Your web-based account is where you’ll see billing info and some other account information, so it is definitely useful!


This is a bummer (since there are more smartphones than people in the US, not a showstopper). I guess I don’t understand why having an Android phone or iPhone with the Relay app installed should be a prerequisite for activating the Relay.


Is there a computer application that lets us do all these things? I would much rather manage this device from my computer… I envision locating the device with Google Maps on my computer. Moreover, managing it from a computer only involves one monthly bill.


@billg there isn’t a computer app at this time. It’s great to hear about your preferred use case, though! It gives us a good idea of what people want from Relay and where we can improve.

Edit: I also want to clarify that the Relay app is not limited to Republic Wireless phones!


I personally would prefer an app so that I could keep an eye on where my Relay was and communicate with it on the go rather than only when I’m home. Everybody’s different though, and its great to hear your preference!


I don’t carry a cell phone (my wife uses our RW phone), but this might be a decent alternative for me since my needs would mainly be limited to getting in touch with family members.

Can Relay (the device) communicate with any phone running the Relay app?
I’ve got two cases in mind besides my wife’s RW phone:

  1. My daughter has an RW phone. If she installs the app, can my Relay be used to talk with her? She has her own, separate RW account.
  2. My son’s phone is company-provided and not RW. If he installs the app, can my Relay be used to talk with him?


Second question, not that this applies to our current situation: Must one have an RW phone plan to qualify for owning/using a Relay? In other words, could a new customer purchase nothing but a couple of Relays and use them without other RW devices? Just curious.


I would recommend asking over on the Relay forum and get answers from that team

that said I don’t think they announced how the channels to phones are fully set up but that have said one does not need to be a Republic Wireless member to uses the Relay as it is carrier independent (which is why the iPhone app will exist )




Got an e-mail for 30% off of a kid tracker gadget today. In some aspects it seems similar to Relay. It’s more expensive with more bells and whistles:


If I wanted to get one for my mom, could I purchase 1 and have 2 other people just use the App? Or to use the App, do you actually need to own a Relay for each?


If I wanted to get one for my mom, could I purchase 1 and have 2 other people just use the App? Or to use the App, do you actually need to own a Relay for each?

Multiple people can use the app to connect with a single Relay. Please see here: https://help.relaygo.com/hc/en-us/articles/360004064874-Can-Multiple-Phones-Connect-to-a-Single-Relay-Using-the-Companion-App-.

For more information:

Relay Help Center:

The Neighborhood (Relay’s Community):



What are the physical dimensions of the Relay?


From https://relaygo.com/relay

Tech specs


68mm x 68mm x 14.5mm


70g (0.15 lb)


Nationwide 4G LTE
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.1 LE


Integrated GPS location tracking


Multiple audio modes
Front-facing loudspeaker and dual mics
3.5mm headset jack


NFC contact sharing
Accelerometer and haptics
Magnetic charging
LED notification ring
Water resistant


Wow, smaller than a post-it note!


Throwing out a feature idea…

Would be nice if the phone app could tell you the power level of another Relay. My mom likes to keep things powered off (like cell phones) which makes them useless. If I could tell her to plug it in (tell her to just leave it on), that would be nice. She does not have a smart phone.

Elderly people can be much less tech savvy than even the youngest children.


Hi @mczajka,

Actual relay on an actual post-it (on an actual Republic Wireless desk)!


Very cool!