Q2 2018: What's New and What's in the Works


#1

The end of 2018 is fast approaching but we continue full steam ahead with you, our member, at the forefront. Our team has been working tirelessly to improve your phone experience and we remain hyper-focused on ensuring we are providing first class service.

Before we dive into the details, we are so proud to share with you all that we have been named as one of the ten 2019 Best Tech Startups in Raleigh! Also, @vailgm has accepted an exciting new role focusing primarily on our Relay product. So he’s turning over the reigns of the product recap to me, and I couldn’t be more pumped.

I have served Republic Wireless members in several support and business roles since April 2014. Now I’ve joined the Product team where I’ll be driving product-related content and updates. Stay tuned for more!

Here’s a recap of our team’s achievements over the past few months:

Relay

It’s only been a few months since we launched Relay, the world’s first screen-free smartphone. In those months, it’s become so much more than just a smart walkie talkie with 4G LTE and GPS. Last month, we released the channel store, where parents can customize each Relay for what their child needs. In the channel store, we created custom chat channels in addition to our original group chat feature. We created instant chat so kids could talk to friends on different accounts with a simple Relay-bump. We added features that make Relay even more fun for kids, like music and a language translator. We’ve gotten amazing feedback from our members and even some press attention. And we’re going to keep on creating so Relay can be useful to more families and fun for more kids. Keep an eye on us—we have a voice assistant, joke of the day channel, and more in the works!

New Phones

In the past few months, we’ve refreshed our line up of devices with the launch of the Moto G6, Moto G6 Play and Moto Z3 Play. Coming soon will be the Samsung Galaxy J7 (2018), Samsung Galaxy J3 (2018) and the Moto E5 Play. We also continue to expand our BYOP offering with the availability of the Note 9. We are excited to bring a broad range of devices to ensure we have something for everyone.

WiFi Reminder

We obsess over finding new ways to provide value to our members and listen closely to what our members truly value. That said, we know how important cell data is to you because it’s important to us here at Republic, too! We don’t want you unknowingly burning through your available data so we introduced a WiFi reminder. If WiFi on your phone is turned off for longer than 30 minutes you’ll receive a push notification prompting you to turn WiFi on. Now, we also know you may have turned WiFi off intentionally, no sweat, you have the option to be prompted again in 30 minutes!

Voicemail Greeting Reminder

Did you know that you can record your own personal voicemail greeting? Whether your new to Republic or have been with us since inception, we in fact do allow personalized voicemail greetings! It may be a bit tricky for some to find so we’ve decided to make this easier. Within the first few days of activating a phone on our service we will send a notification to your phone walking you through the process. Rest assured, this will not force you to set up a personalized voicemail greeting. If our pre-recorded greeting is sufficient to you then all you need to do is simply swipe away the notification on your phone!

Data Balance via Account Portal

We are so excited to announce that you can now check your data balance(s) in your online account portal. Simply login to your account and navigate to your ‘Phones’ for a real-time view of the remaining data balance on any phone active on our ‘My Choice’ data plans!

We hope this helps manage the data usage on any ‘My Choice’ phone on your account by making it easier to see how much data you have left before your next bill cycle so that you can plan accordingly.

One-Click Data Buys (Coming Soon!)

Have you ever run out of data at an extremely inconvenient time and had trouble adding data to your phone? I’ll be the first to admit that this has happened to me and I panicked like it was the end of the world! Lucky, I survived and eventually got it to work. Nevertheless, we really don’t want what happened to me also impact our members, so, we are making the one-time data add process much more seamless! Coming soon, you will have the option to add 1 GB of data via a single click in your app. Keep your eyes peeled for the rollout of this new feature…

Pro Tip

We at Republic think it’s important to have the option to set parental controls on our kids phones. Luckily, Google Play has a Parental Controls feature that will allow you to restrict your child from downloading and viewing content that you don’t want them to see.

To access this feature, follow these steps: Open the Play Store app > Click Settings > Click Parental Controls.

You will then be prompted to create a personalized PIN and set content restrictions. We recommend keeping the PIN code private so that only you can make changes to the content your child can view. In addition there are many free and paid apps in the Google Play Store that offer extensive controls and monitoring capabilities. We know researching can be a pain so we’ve done it for you! Check out our PWK article for some of the best free parental control apps for your Android.


Apple Phone Support Update?
#2

Thanks for the update! There is a lot going on, and it’s helpful to have a post like this to show it all in one place.

Has there been a thought given to how to expose feature or enhancement requests to the community? The old community site had that functionality, but I’m not aware of anything like that on the new one. Is that something that’s been moved away from intentionally?

Personally, I find the kind of transparency that comes with making that information public helpful. It serves to give community members a voice to share ideas that we think would be helpful. If an idea is planned, it provides a way to keep track of functionality that you’re interested in. It also provides a way for Republic to let us know that although some things are desired, they’re either not going to be implemented or don’t have a high enough priority to get attention right now.


#3

@jigamo thanks for the reply and the question!

Yes, thought has gone into offering a space for feature requests but it’s not something we’ll be doing in the immediate future. If that changes, we’ll be sure to update our members!


#4

This was very nice to see @The_Chase! I haven’t seen a “What’s New and What’s in the Works” since I believe August '17, at least in my email that is. I hope we get to see more of these again, per like things were before we had Cell to Wifi, Wifi to Cell handovers, etc. It’s nice to know what’s going on from the inside when things are quiet (or perceived that way) to us members.

Thanks!
–Ben


#5

Thanks for the kind words, @benjaminf.haklmn! Don’t worry, you’ll see more post like this in the future :slight_smile:


#6

Hi, @benjaminf.haklmn you can find all of our previous Product updates in the Republic Blogs section of the Community forums. Our last recap was in April of this year, check it out here.


#7

Thanks for pointing that out, @shannono! I missed that one.

I miss the State of the Republic emails and those that were similar. They really helped me see what Republic was working on. Like it listed what the long term goals and the short term goals were. It was like a roadmap of what is being worked on even though we can’t see it