We're going David Letterman style today, and giving you the news about the OTA in the form of a Top 10 list. Although the skit is pretend, the fixes are not.

 

Dave: Top 10 reasons the DEFY XT will be improved after the OTA. And here to introduce the Top 10 for today is the Product Guy… really, that's his name?

Product Guy: Thanks Dave, it’s good to be here.

Dave: Glad you could make it. Nice shirt…  Ok, Top 10 reasons the DEFY XT will be improved after the OTA …

 

Here we go:

 

Number 10

Echo on Calls: We’ve done a significant amount of work on call quality and have improved the echo cancellation algorithms in the device. This is software-based echo cancellation so you’ll still hear echo for the first 10 seconds or so, but the phone will clamp it down after that and your experience will be much better.

 

Number 9

Cell call dialing: There’s a lot of post-dial delay when making a cell call. We’ve completely revamped the approach and it is significantly different. Much less delay and more successful connections.

 

Number 8

International calling: Inbound and outbound calling while overseas and connected to Wi-Fi to US numbers will be fully enabled and included as part of the republic experience meaning you can receive and dial US numbers while connected to Wi-Fi while overseas.

 

Number 7

911 on Wi-Fi: This is a major piece of functionality. Now, if you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, and your phone can’t access a cellular network at all, republic will route 911 service over Wi-Fi.

 

Number 6

Space on the phone: We worked with Motorola to remove apps from the device. Some of them we’re not able to remove, but we took away as many as we were able to. Every little bit helps… The Google apps had to remain, and after that there were very few that we could remove. The Dashboard and Facebook apps are gone (you’ll need to download the Facebook app after the OTA update if you want to use it). The others were so small that it would have made no discernable difference to the phone. The largest one remaining is QuickOffice. This is a $5 app that we felt gave you access to viewing Office documents on your device.

 

Number 5

Voicemail: That password is annoying, isn’t it? So we’re removing it. You’ll be able to access your voicemail directly by pressing the 1 key and if you’re on Wi-Fi, it connects FAST.

 

Number 4

Wi-Fi Connection: We’re adding additional checks to see how well the network will handle a voice call, so the green arc will be a better indicator of connectivity significant enough for calling when you’re on Wi-Fi.

 

Number 3

Swype: There was a bug with the Swype license on the device. That will also be fixed, giving you full access to the Swype functionality.

 

Number 2

Dialing star codes and X11 numbers: We’ll be relaxing these dialer restrictions and making more codes available. Currently, only *28 and *38 are enabled and 911.

 

and finally, the top reason why your DEFY XT will be better after the OTA update...

 

Number 1

SMS: We’re adding SMS over IP. We’ll be gradually rolling it out across the customer base to ensure that our infrastructure can handle the volumes, but every phone will be enabled for it. When you’re connected to Wi-Fi, your SMS messages will be sent over Wi-Fi. SMS is also transported over data when your phone is connected to cellular data and will only be sent as a true SMS when your phone doesn’t have a data connection. These changes will significantly improve delivery of SMS, and republic to republic SMS will be virtually instantaneous.

 

Dave: Ladies and Gentlemen, the Product Guy… (applause or crickets) What do you think about that, Paul? $19 for unlimited cellular coverage. That's pretty amazing. Paul? Paul?

 

P.S. The OTA update is scheduled to go into the lab the second week of December.

 

Please leave your comments and questions here.