Results of Initial Testing

I thought I’d post regarding my experience, so far:

Voicemail

It’s true there isn’t a push notification for received voicemail. Within an iPhone’s Phone app, however, the Voicemail icon (lower right) is badged when voicemail is waiting. One may also tap the Call Voicemail button where one would normally access visual voicemail in addition to dialing 1 from the keypad.

What’s completely missing currently is support for visual voicemail. For what it’s worth, Republic isn’t the only provider with lack of visual voicemail on iPhone.

Messaging

iMessage and SMS (standard text messages to non-iPhones is working. MMS (picture and group messaging to non-iPhones) is not. Generally, MMS failures on iPhone would be an APN settings issue. My eyes may be deceiving me, however, I believe the information I entered matches that in Republic’s Getting Started article. I suppose the MMS failure might also be the result of exceeding the MMS Max Message Size. I’ll do some further investigation…

FaceTime Over Cellular

Indeed, the option to set up FaceTime over cellular isn’t presented. FaceTime does work over WiFi. I’m curious; do any of my fellow beta testers regularly use FaceTime over cellular?

Personal Hotspot

To my surprise this is working for me. Anyone else?

Additionally, the ability to use Apple’s FaceTime and Messages apps on other devices (Macs and iPads) to call (audio only) and/or message telephone numbers via one’s iPhone works as expected. Absent an iPhone, FaceTime and Messages on other Apple devices are limited to interacting with other Apple devices using an email address.

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Hi @rolandh,

Thanks for your careful testing and feedback!

Could you watch this and see if the badge is consistently accurate?

Is it only outbound MMS to non-iPhones that’s failing? Is there any error message, or does the recipient just never receive the MMS?

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Of course!

Inbound indeed does work. Outbound fails with a “Not Delivered” status on the iPhone. The recipient does not receive the MMS message.

I resorted to copying and pasting the APN settings and tried taking a picture from within Apple’s Messages app. Neither helped, so I don’t think it’s me but don’t rule it out.

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Hi @rolandh! Thanks for digging into all of this so quickly! For the messaging issue, once you ensure the APN values are properly set, please try power-cycling your phone once or twice. Please let me know if you continue to experience issues.

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As it turns out my experience is looking like an attachment size issue. I’ve been able to get an image attachment as large as 300 KB to send. Images over 400 KB are, so far, still failing.

A Max Message Size limit of 1048576 bytes suggests it would be theoretically possible to send attachments approaching 1 MB, however, that doesn’t seem to be my reality. Like high end Androids, my iPhone XR’s camera takes high resolution photos whose file sizes are typically well over 1 MB. At Settings -> Messages, I’ve toggled on Low Quality Image Mode but it doesn’t seem to matter. I’ll keep playing…

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Hi @rolandh,

Thanks for your thorough details as you’ve thought through the MMS limitation you’ve experienced. We’d love to know if other @iphone_beta members are seeing the same thing?

Roland, your testing included multiple recipients so that a variety of service providers was represented, right?

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More than one, yes and it’s true attachment sizes may be limited on the far end of the conversation. That said, I do not yet have a broad enough basis to be confident. That’s what I meant when I said I would continue to play. It’s also to a degree why I referenced initial testing in the thread title. There’s more to be done. Meanwhile, I’m hoping other @iphone_beta members jump in help broaden the testing base.

In other testing, I’m happy to report LTE coverage remained more than adequate while grocery shopping. Typically, being the cost-conscious Republic member I am, I connect to store WiFi but for today decided to see how well LTE signal penetrated the big box building. Coverage switched between LTE bands 2 and 66 (mostly band 66). iPhone has a field test mode allowing one to see that. Field test mode is accessed by dialing *3001#12345#* Yup, iOS has an arcane dialer code too.

In another “for fun” test, I may have Republic’s first supported dual SIM phone:

The “AT&T” SIM is actually a data only eSIM purchased through an app pointed out to me by fellow Ambassador @louisdi called Airalo. Airalo is like an app store for data only eSIMs for many parts of the world. It’s pretty cool if one has an eSIM in their phone, which is, sadly, far more exception than rule today. Calling on the Republic SIM remains active with the eSIM enabled for data.

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@rolandh, thanks so much for this feedback! I have started to aggregate a list of feedback as it comes in, so please continue to provide details as you experiment further!

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That is the intent. :relaxed:

Please disregard my earlier comments regarding MMS. With more systematic testing this morning, I’ve determined I’m able to reliably send MMS attachments up to 1.5 MB.

Whether one’s recipient will receive MMS attachments that large is dependent upon their carrier (and perhaps their device). Household Republic Androids receive whatever I’m able to successfully send from a Republic activated iPhone.

AT&T’s limit appears to be 1 MB. Sprint’s is supposedly 2 MB. T-Mobile’s is 1 MB for sending, 3 MB for receiving. Verizon’s is apparently 1.2 MB (3.5 MB for a video, 100 MB if using Verizon’s proprietary messaging app on WiFi).

tl;dr: What’s received will depend upon a variety of variables but my Republic activated iPhone Xr reliably sends MMS attachments up to 1.5 MB. Though seemingly more generous than the APNs would allow, there’s apparently some network compression involved. The 1.5 MB file sent is received as an 830 KB file.

This afternoon’s experiment was further voicemail testing.

When voicemail is received there is no badge on the Phone app icon:

If one opens the Phone app, one will see a badge (red dot), however, unlike most iOS badges there is no number (which in this case would indicate the number of voicemails waiting):

One may tap the “Call Voicemail” button in lieu of dialing 1. After listening to waiting voicemails, the badge will clear:

I did note, there are no timestamps on voicemail messages when listening to them. So, I checked “Recents” and there are timestamps for the missed calls that resulted in voicemail:

Tapping the circled i results in more detail:

While functional, I wouldn’t call this particularly elegant. I understand, Republic is working on some method of voicemail notification. Ideally (and I don’t know what it would take), proper visual voicemail support might be added at some point.

As an aside, though native VVM does not currently work with Republic’s iPhone beta offering, the free version of a third party VVM service (YouMail) does. Ironically, the free version of YouMail does not currently work with Republic’s Android service.

Thank you for your persistence in testing! This update is definitely more in line with our expectations - I will update my documentation with your findings.

Your experience as described here is exactly “working as designed” in this less ideal state - so that part is good news. We are working on a better voicemail solution, until then I will look into this third-party app to see what in can offer as well. Thank you @rolandh!

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