The Relay Channel Store: Customize with Brand New Features!

Victoria S.
August 28, 2018
Want to stay connected to your child when they’re at school, at practice, or out playing with friends—but you feel like they aren’t quite old enough to have their own smartphone? That’s why we created Relay, the screenless smartphone alternative that kids love and parents trust. If you don’t have a Relay of your own yet, here’s what you need to know:
  • Easy push-to-talk communication with powerful nationwide 4G LTE range
  • Made for play with rugged spill-and-splash-proof design
  • Screenless by design so your kid can stay focused on being a kid
  • Relay companion app for iPhone and Android makes talking to your kid even easier
Relay can do many things, but it’s capable of even more. In our newest update, we’re introducing the Channel store. It's a new part of the Relay app where you can access new features and add them to your Relays for free! Here’s a quick look at the Channel Store, how to use it, and what you’ll find there.

Relay Channel Store… What’s that?

The Channel Store gives you the power to transform your Relay into the perfect tool to complement and enable your lifestyle—it sets Relay apart from anything else on the market today. The Channel store is a place to see all available Relay features and add them to your account, customizing each Relay for its owner. It’s controlled from your Relay app, putting you in control of the features each of your kids can access. Like adding apps to customize your smartphone, adding channels is the best way to use Relay your way!

How do I get to the Channel Store?

It’s easy! In your Relay app, just tap the three horizontal lines in the top-left corner of the screen, then tap “Add Channels,” and you're there—free to explore, add, and manage new and existing features! You can also quick-add new channels from the push & talk screen by tapping the “Change Channels” banner at the bottom of your screen, then tapping “Add Channel.”  

Take a virtual walk through the Channel Store with us in our tutorial video!

Which new Relay channels can I use today?

We have some exciting new features to offer—features that will make staying in touch that much easier. Here are some of our newest additions. 

Custom Chat channels

Want to have separate Relay channels for each of your kids? Do your kids want to talk to each other when they’re out playing without mom and dad getting notifications? Simply create custom channels through the Relay app so everyone can reach who they need to reach—without sending the message to everyone on your account.

Instant Chat channels (Beta)

Your kid wants to talk to their best friend via Relay, but they’re on different accounts. No problem—just bump the two Relays together and have an Instant Chat channel that lasts until mom calls them home for dinner. Next playdate, they can bump their Relays together again! This feature is still in its “beta phase,” so we’ll continue to improve it as time goes on.

Echo channel

One of our original channels, the echo channel repeats your words back to you in funny voice filters and is a playtime favorite! Relay has more channels! Check our our updated list of features here.

Which features can I expect in upcoming Relay Channels?

Relay was built to be powerful, versatile, and surprisingly simple—it can support many features, many use cases, and endless innovation. We’re working on several new features to expand what Relay can be and the ways it can make peoples’ lives easier. For a complete list of upcoming features, visit our website—and if you have an idea for a Relay feature, we’d love to hear it!

What does this mean for me?

This means you can create individual chat channels for all your family members. It also means you can choose features that each of your kids will enjoy, making their Relays feel unique and customized to their needs. And with all new features turned off by default, you are in control of the content your kids can access. In the future, this means Relay can take on more features and fill even more useful roles for your family. Relay grows and evolves through channels, and your voice matters when we create new features and content. So don’t be shy about what you’d like to see!  

Learn more

Notable Replies

  1. Sounds fantastic. When can we expect this functionality in the apps available in the Play Store?

  2. Both Andriod and iOS should be rolling out now, and completed by the end of the day.

  3. Yeessss!!! Is there any way to add Relays from another account to a channel without having to bump them together? :crossed_fingers: We just sent two Relays to friends in NY and bought them with the intention of being able to talk together but won’t be able to bump them, being 800 miles away.

  4. Just got the updated app I am now checking out will check in later

  5. Just got the app update and played with it a minute, but I guess the one issue I see is not knowing when someone is trying to reach you. Let’s say I’m on a channel with on child and the other one wants to reach me, but the app is not connected to the channel it’s solely through the Relay, how will I be alerted when someone is trying to reach me on a different channel? Is there a way to notify through the app without giving everyone access to every channel?
    Hopefully someone knows what I’m trying to say here…

  6. Basically, the Family channel is always open to speak and be heard by all. While on the Family channel you can then ask to talk privately and then both users can move to the private channel. It essentially works like a walkie-talkie, where you have people move to another channel but that channel will only work for a subset of users.

    Any family channel discussion will move everyone back to the family channel.

    Example where I want to talk to my wife only:

    Family Channel (Me): Honey can we talk privately?
    Move to Parent Channel (Me and Wife)
    Parent Channel (Us): Private conversation
    Note: Next Family Channel activity moves us back, so we do not have to remember to move back.

  7. That feature is still in the works- but definitely on the roadmap! Don’t worry!

  8. I’m playing around with the new channel feature (love the possibilities with this), but I can’t get it to work. I’ve set up a channel for each relay and enabled it on that relay, but when I select the channel and push to talk, it says no one is online, even though both devices are on. I can talk to both on the relay channel; I just can’t talk to them on the individual channel. What am I doing wrong? Thanks!

  9. We actually played around with our Relays this morning to test this question :slight_smile: You can have as many as you want on Instant Chat (we ended up with 6), and the bumps are viral so all it takes is one person who’s already in Instant Chat. If you wanted to add the neighbors to a channel with your kids, you’d want to use Instant Chat.

  10. Thanks Andi, our neighbor hasn’t gotten Relay yet but we are promoting like crazy around here

  11. I’ll say, after having a bit of time to play with this, I’m pretty impressed with the implementation. This was the big missing piece of functionality for us. Thanks for getting this done Republic Relay team.

  12. Ok now that we’ve had some time to play with them, I’m pretty bummed. When using the instant chat channel, why is the connection transient? It’s lost as soon as the channel is changed (or as soon as anyone talks on the relay channel, forcing a channel change on all account Relays). Then you have to bump them together again to connect them. We really want our kids to be able to talk with cousins and friends who are not in the vicinity and this is impossible with the current instant chat channel implementation. :frowning:

  13. Based on the AMA that the Relay folks did, a different type of cross-account chat channel is in the plans, but this is the current implementation. They’re trying to balance security (who is talking to your kids) versus convenience and this is the short-term solution to providing some cross-account chatting (for instance with neighbors) until they get the full solution fully baked.

  14. The other channels don’t go away. You would just need to go on the primary channel say: “Hey Mary, hop over to the me and you channel”, and then you two would switch and talk there. (the only channel for which this is not true is the tap to create adhoc channel between accounts).

  15. Problem is, what is mom and daughter are talking about girl stuff privately and brother goes on Relay channel and says hey mom I need blah blah and then begins hearing everything being said because they have now all switched back to the relay channel…
    True story
    So private channels are nice but I think there should be a way the LED ring could flash a color for the channel someone is trying to reach me on so we don’t all have to be switched over like that.

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