Since the launch of our rebooted blog, Phone. Wallet. Keys. (PWK), we've been brainstorming as to how we can continue to use this area (formerly known as the Republic Blog) to keep in touch with our Community members. Starting today, we're repurposing this area
to be your news feed for quick access to support-related content. We're going to simply name this area "Help Updates." Here, we’ll bring together help and operational updates from across the support channels provided below (for example, information on the latest app update. A new appversionjuststartedtoreleasetoday!). You’ll see fewer posts here than previously and they’ll include things like summary links about critical updates as well as support-related PWK posts.
PWK is still going strong and will focus more on lifestyle based Republic content with new dynamic features, such as subscription feeds and customizable content filters that let you decide what you want to read and how often. If you’re missing the Republic Wireless voice, don’t despair - we’re still talking! Head over to PWK to immerse yourself in all the things you love about Republic Wireless.
Meanwhile, in Community, we’ll continue to publish helpful information to keep you running smoothly. Here’s where you can find different types of Support information:
System Status - If we’re having an outage or service issue, you’ll see it here.
Today, we're starting to roll out the next version of the Republic Wireless app, version 126.96.36.1990. The release will be rolling out to our member base throughout the week. Please see the release notes below as well as instructions on how to update the app.
Better Open WiFi dialog UX.
Better handling of billing date on data usage view.
Better handling of certain auto-authentication (captive portal) types.
Enhanced Open WiFi network prompting to optionally ignore specific networks.
Fixed several crashes
How to update your app
To update to the latest Republic app version, you can either tap on the notification you receive, which will take you to the Google Play store where you would then tap on Update, or you can check for updates by following these instructions. Keep in mind that app updates are rolled out throughout the week, so you might not see it available right away.
As always, please feel free to leave questions or comments here.
One week ago, on December 5, 2014 at 7:05 a.m. EST, NASA’s newest Orion spacecraft successfully launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida. I was offered a rare opportunity by NASA Social to experience and witness the launch up close and personal with 149 other space enthusiasts.
I considered writing out all of the things I got to see and experience, but I realized that wouldn’t fully get across what this meant to me and what this means for all of us. So, instead, I wrote this:
I am writing this message to all space enthusiasts.
All nerds, scientists, doctors, lawyers, teachers and janitors.
To all brothers, mothers, fathers and sisters.
To your neighbor across the street, and the children playing at the park.
To the young, the old, the foreign and domestic.
This message is for everyone.
I ask all of you to take a moment out of your busy day.
Take a break from paying bills, arguing with your spouse,
Staring at that Excel spreadsheet or worrying about what to make for dinner.
Just take a moment to listen.
Listen to the gurgling of your coffee maker,
The jingling of your dog’s collar as he scratches behind his ear.
The pitter patter of your child’s feet scurrying down the hall,
And their angelic giggling as they hide, and you seek.
I even want you to listen to the absence of sound.
These are the sounds of life.
These are the sounds that sometimes go unnoticed
Because we are so focused on the everyday mundane tasks.
We forget that there were people here before us,
And that there will be people here after us.
Other brothers, other mothers, fathers and sisters.
We have all been on a journey together.
We have travelled millions of light years through space and time,
Witnessed catastrophic yet brilliant star collisions, spiraled through
Swirling black holes and suffocated through clouds of gas, fire and ice.
We have been nurtured and comforted in star nurseries
And held tightly until we finally found our way home to Earth.
As we grew from single-celled organisms to apes
And from apes to humans, something miraculous started to happen:
We became intelligent beings.
We discovered fire, invented the wheel, built pyramids
And monumental structures that still boggle our minds today.
We survived floods, fires, earthquakes, volcanoes and disease.
And still our minds grew curiouser and curiouser.
It seems, however, no matter what we did,
We were always looking up at the stars.
Always wondering where we came from and why we are here.
That journey began on April 12, 1961 when the first human was sent to space.
We changed that day.
We proved that we are willing to push ourselves beyond any obstacle,
Any task, no matter how challenging or how high the risk might be.
Even with all of the inventions, all the gadgets and technology,
Let us not forget our infinitely small beginnings.
Let us not forget that the reason we are here is not yet known to us.
And that we are but a speck of paint on the largest canvas known to mankind
On a clock that has only reached about a millisecond in time.
Space exploration isn’t only about advancements in technology,
It’s also about exploring ourselves.
The insights and knowledge we gain can be used
To improve the lives of each and every one of us.
To become a better species. To become a place that’s in
Perfect balance with the universe.
Knowledge isn’t power, knowledge is wisdom.
As I stood on the grass of the NASA Causeway, just moments before launch,
The atmosphere was buzzing with conversation and laughter.
It almost felt more like a cocktail party than a launch viewing.
Through the humming of the dozens of buses that lined the roadway,
I could hear muffled voices over the loudspeakers.
It was the Launch Control Center running down their checklist.
All I could hear was Go, Go, Go.
T minus 30 seconds and everything got quiet.
The buses turned off their engines, the streetlights dimmed
And the whole world seemed to stand still.
5, 4, 3, 2, 1
Orion’s engines ignite like a furious erupting volcano
“And Liftoff, the dawn of Orion and a new era of American space exploration.”
In the few short minutes it took Orion to reach space,
Listening to the thunderous rumbles of the rocket engines,
The clicking of hundreds of cameras and the gasps and cheers from the crowd,
I knew I had witnessed something more than myself,
Something more than all of us.
For me, the impact of this launch didn’t really hit me until later that night,
When I was looking up at the sky from the 5th floor balcony of my hotel.
The light from the nearly full moon illuminated the clouds in just the right way
To make them look like they were glowing. As the clouds floated softly
Through the night sky, I saw glimmers of the constellation Orion.
In that moment, I thought about how small we really are,
And how insignificant my own problems seemed to be.
It gave me hope that maybe one day,
We will all realize this too.
Thanks for reading! Please leave your questions and comments here.
P.S. Here’s the video I took of the launch (with my Moto X 2nd Gen. ;)) and you can also view my photo album here.
The universe. When most people hear that word, they think of planets, moons and stars. But have you ever really sat there and pondered about its vastness? It’s pretty much impossible to wrap your head around how large it really is. Our galaxy alone is ~100,000 light years in diameter (that’s 5,878,499,810,000 miles across!) and contains anywhere from 100-400 billion stars. And that’s just our galaxy. There are roughly 100 billion galaxies in the observable universe. We are but a speck of paint on the largest canvas known to man.
Really puts things into perspective, doesn’t it? It’s for this reason that I am in complete awe of all things universe related, like space exploration. Lucky for you, that means you get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look into my latest adventure: Live coverage of the maiden launch of NASA’s Orion Spacecraft that will take astronauts farther into space than ever before.
Join us, tomorrow, December 3rd, for a live multi-media tour of NASA’s facilities over on our Instagram page. All leading up to the launch of Orion December 4th, 2014 at 7:05 a.m. EST. Republic Wireless (and you!) will be there to watch history being made. For its first mission, the unmanned Orion will orbit the earth two times at up to 3,600 miles above the surface of the earth before splashing back down in the Pacific ocean. Loaded up with sensors, the spacecraft will be put to the test through solar radiation zones and temperatures up to 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit during reentry at 20,000 mph.
For anyone that knows me, they quickly become aware of my obsession with space and that this is a dream come true. I’ve also been to Kennedy Space Center three times (so far) and have toured the Vehicle Assembly Building, the Launch Control Center and Launch Pad 39A, which is where most of the Apollo missions were launched from. Last year, I witnessed my first launch on December 3, 2013. SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket carried a SES-8 communications satellite into orbit as its payload. I can’t even begin to tell you how exciting it is to watch a launch from the historical Cocoa Beach pier, so I’ll just share a video of it instead
I follow NASA, SpaceX, Elon Musk, Space.com…(you get the picture) on social media. Back in October, NASA Social announced an opportunity of a lifetime: Witness History: Preview Orion’s First Flight Test Launch in Florida. Up to 150 selected participants would have the opportunity to attend a two-day event covering the first launch of the Orion Spacecraft on Exploration Flight Test-1. Participants get to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the facilities on Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, hear about the missions and goals from NASA engineering teams, meet and interact with astronauts and members of the NASA social media team. And, of course, view the launch of the Delta IV heavy rocket carrying the Orion spacecraft. Suffice it to say, I applied and was chosen as one of the 150 participants!
The Orion Crew Exploration Vehicle, originally created under the Constellation Program in 2005, was to support the International Space Station with both cargo and crew, as well as further exploration of the Moon and Mars. In 2010, the Constellation Program was canceled. The Orion spacecraft was renamed as the Orion Multi-Purpose Exploration Vehicle in 2011 under the space policy of the Barack Obama administration. Weighing in at 46,848 lbs, the Orion spacecraft is designed specifically for beyond Low Earth Orbit human exploration of asteroids, the Moon and eventually Mars.
We’re more than thrilled to be able to share this historic moment with all of you. Follow along with us on Instagram as I tour the facilities, meet astronauts and witness the launch that will change the course of human deep space exploration. And, as a bonus, I’ll have our latest and greatest phone, the Moto X 2nd Gen. to capture all of the events. Please also feel free to share your own comments here.
P.S. Fun fact: For our previous phone launches, we codename our phones for privacy and security reasons. All of them, so far, have been named after space programs (Mercury, Gemini and Apollo). The Moto X 2nd Gen. was codenamed Apollo II. So, in essence through the transitive property, Republic goes to space!
We’ve talked a lot this week about collaboration, either in other companies we admire or within Republic. Working together as a team to come up with a creative solution is a way of life for us. It’s in our DNA. It’s for this reason that we created the Community and the Think Tank. We want to extend our spirit of collaboration with our members. Just like ajmaphone pointed out earlier this week in his blog about Tesla, sharing an idea with many can only improve it for the greater good.
We fully recognize that we have some pretty smart and knowledgeable members in our Community. Some of them spend large amounts of their time helping other members, just because they want to. They embrace the same collaborative philosophy that we do and want to help make Republic even better for everyone. It’s for this reason that we’ve given some of our members their own personal blog. It’s a way for them to share with the rest of Community what they’ve learned and how it can improve your experience with Republic.
In time, we’ll share all of our member’s personal blogs with you, but today, we’d like to highlight carlh'smost recent blog about an offline navigation app that doesn’t use any cell data. With our recent Data Roaming Policy change, and the cost of cellular data rising in general, this couldn’t have come at a better time. When we announced the policy change, navigation was one of your biggest concerns. Nobody wants to feel lost or helpless while out traveling, including myself.
Carlh has tested several different types of offline navigations apps, but strongly recommends a new one offered through Nokia called HERE. While still in Beta, carlh explains that it’s already better than most of the other free or inexpensive offline navigation apps out there. It includes turn-by-turn directions and you can search for an address or a point of interest. And, the best part about this app is it’s free! So, check it out, give it a try and let us know what you think. Or, tell us about other offline navigation apps that you’ve tried. I know I’m going to give it a try the next time I travel.
As some of you know, Jive is the software platform we use to run this very Community. Last week, seanr and I had the opportunity to attend the JiveWorld conference in Las Vegas. In spite of the famous saying, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” I’ll share our experiences with you today.
First, let’s get you a little more familiar with Jive and what they do:
For those of you that didn’t (or couldn’t) watch the video, the spirit of Jive is to get people to work better together by connecting, communicating and collaborating. They accomplish this by providing a full suite of their own products, plus partner with technology corporations such as Cisco, Okta, Totango and Bunchball in order to provide seamless integration with the latest and greatest features.
Now that you’re a little more familiar with Jive, I’d like to share with you my experiences and takeaways from the JiveWorld conference.
Nothing like a rock show to get your blood pumping at 8:15 in the morning—which for me is usually 20oz of coffee, but this seemed to do the trick as well. In case you don’t know, OK Go is a quirky alternative rock band best known for their elaborate music videos, such as the treadmill video. It’s because of their elaborate videos that attracted Jive to them. By connecting, communicating and collaborating, they were able to create these highly imaginative and incredible videos.
As a demonstration, Adam Sadowsky, CEO & Founder of Synn Labs had the opportunity to work with OK Go on a large scale Rube Goldberg machine. For those of you that don’t know, a Rube Goldberg machine is some sort of contraption or device that is set up to perform a simple task in a complicated way, usually in a chain reaction. After three months of building, 85 takes, over 100 Home Depot runs, a broken high heel, and destroying more than 10 TV’s and two pianos, this was the outcome:
JiveWorld wasn’t just about OK Go and Rube Goldberg machines, although they were quite entertaining and their spirit of working together really resonated with me. But, as with any conference, there were lots and lots of sessions to attend. Depending on where you fit in your organization, there are different tracks to follow. I hunkered down mostly in the external and internal community tracks for obvious reasons, but there were also advanced, developer and product tracks. I attended sessions like: Increasing and Managing Engagement with Gamification and Analytics, Building Communities that Engage and Delight and the JiveX Product Roadmap.
So how does all of this correlate with Republic?
Being able to connect, communicate and collaborate with other Jivers (yes, that’s what we call ourselves) really opened up the floodgates to what is possible with Jive. It isn’t just a software platform, it’s a better way to work together and to remind ourselves that you aren’t just our customers and this isn’t just my job, but that we are all members of something much bigger than that, a Community.
I, myself, am looking forward to some of the enhancements available with our next upgrade to JiveX in the coming months. With the upgrade to JiveX, we’ll be able to integrate with our ticketing system and Google Drive. We’ll also be able to introduce a gamification module and new features for discussions and documents.
I hoped you enjoyed reading about JiveWorld ‘14, please feel free to share your thoughts here.
P.S. For those interested, here are some pics I took while in Vegas. And for the curious, I did get a chance to gamble a little and ended the trip $40 up, woohoo I’m rich!
Entrepreneur:noun, a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.
Republic and Bandwidth (Republic’s parent company) were founded in the spirit of entrepreneurship. It’s in the very core of each and every one of us, and is how we’ve gotten to where we are today.
This week, Bandwidth and Republic celebrated this entrepreneurial spirit by holding our annual charity event benefiting HOPE International – a non-profit organization that provides financial literacy training, savings services, and investment assistance for families living in poverty across 17 countries.
We particularly like to focus on the the micro-finance loans program HOPE International provides to families, which helps them grow a business for themselves and benefits their entire community.
Marilyn Ciprian stands outside her store called La Gran Comision or “The Great Commission”—in San Pedro de Macorís, Dominican Republic. Picture provided by HOPE International.
For Entrepreneur Week, we wanted to create the same type of atmosphere by hosting our own Micro Marketplace, where Bandwidth/Republic employees sell handmade goods and services with all proceeds benefiting HOPE International’s microfinance loans department. This year, we had everything from used monitors to baked goods and handmade coasters to knitted headbands.
In addition to the Micro Marketplace, we also held a silent auction with items donated by local businesses. Items included a four pack of Hurricane’s tickets, professional photo shoots, handmade holiday wreaths, 48 hours in an ELF (donated by Organic Transit) and much more.
The final item offered at Entrepreneur Week was a Big Trip Raffle where the winner chooses from one of seven destinations. The trip includes hotel for three nights, flight and a $300 gift card for two. The trip was donated by Bandwidth using our frequent flyer miles. The winner gets to choose from: Nassau, Cancun, New York City, New Orleans, San Francisco, Key West or Las Vegas.
One of the things that I love so much about Entrepreneur Week is that we get a chance to celebrate all of the benefits that come from entrepreneurship. With just one idea, perseverance and a whole lot of dedication, you can build something from the ground up that influences an entire community. HOPE gets this very basic understanding and instead of just donating money to the cause, they actually go out there and give communities the opportunity to get themselves out of poverty. How rewarding is that?
Who are some of your favorite entrepreneurs or charities? Tell us here.
It’s baaack! The State of the Republic has returned. For those of you that don’t know, we used to publish a weekly blog that summarized what was going on behind the closed doors of Republic. It included anything from product updates to Republic cultural events. We’re bringing it back as a monthly edition. We hope you enjoy! So without further ado, here we go:
Update to Cellular Data Roaming Policy
On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, we announced a change to our cellular Data Roaming Policy. It’s centered around providing our members with maximum value for the same low price. We’re working diligently to manage costs and to keep monthly service costs low. As a result, we’ve enacted this new policy change. Be sure to check out our FAQs about the change if you have more questions.
Republic App Update
Now you can easily see how much WiFi data, on-network cellular data and cellular roaming data you're using, as well as which apps are driving the most data usage. Get the latest app version and learn how to use this new feature.
Turns out the auto-play video setting on the Facebook app could be eating up TONS of your cell data. Yikes! We’ll show you how to turn this setting off here.
Handover Free Zone
Are you noticing that your calls are switching over to cell even though you’re connected to a great WiFi network? Learn how to turn handover off for specified wireless networks, so you can stay on WiFi as much as possible.
Got an Idea?
If you have an idea for something awesome, head straight to the Republic Think Tank to share it with us, and your fellow members. We use the Think Tank to help us make Republic even better, using your ideas.
Know Your Free-nome
Breaking away from contracts, high prices, and giant cell phone companies takes guts. Tell us which free-wheeling trait best describes you by taking our poll.
Each Tuesday, we review another of our favorite apps. Check out our YouTube channel for all the ones we’ve done so far. Got a suggestion for an app you love? Leave it in the comments section of the video.
Smart Watch Week
Over the past week, we’ve been knee deep in the Smart Watch world. Check out the playlist for candid, in-depth info on the Pebble Steel and the LG G.
Republic in the Pyrenees
Our fearless Community leader, kashley is more than halfway done with her epic 500 mile journey in the Pyrenees mountains. She’s been updating us throughout her journey with pictures and thoughts.
"Lost my RW neckerchief in a shepherd's hut in the Basque region, but the MotoX is serving me well." #WiFiIsEverywhere
Please join us in congratulating beachb for surpassing 10,000 points in Community. Beachb has been with Community since November of 2012. Since then, he has helped a lot of Community members with his technical knowledge and witty sense of humor. Congrats beachb, Republic wouldn’t be the same without you!
Get to know katrina.k from our Community team. She's responsible for a number of important projects including member engagement and support documents in our Knowledge Center.
That’s all we have for you for this month’s edition of the State of the Republic. Thanks for reading! As always, let us know what you think here.
Since the early days of Republic Wireless, we’ve received requests from some of our members asking for the ability to transfer numbers from Google Voice. Today, we’re very pleased to announce that transferring from Google Voice to Republic is now available.
Important Items to Know Before You Transfer
Before you transfer your number from Google Voice, there are a few things you need to know upfront.
Transferring your number to Republic
Before submitting a request to transfer your number to Republic, you’ll need to unlock it. Please note there is a $3 fee to do this(charged by Google Voice), unless you originally transferred your own number into Google Voice, then the fee is waived.
Google Voice only transfers numbers that are listed as wireless number. Republic's numbers are listed as landline numbers, so you will be unable to transfer directly from Republic to Google Voice. You can, however, transfer your Republic number to a different wireless provider and then transfer to Google Voice. Please note there is a one time $20 fee charged by Google, payable via Google Wallet, to transfer in to Google Voice.
Some of you may be asking why we didn’t have this functionality sooner, and that’s a great question to ask. Bandwidth (Republic’s parent company) partners with Google Voice to provide telephone numbers. These numbers are housed by Bandwidth, which also provides numbers for Republic, meaning they live in the same system. Seems simple enough, all you have to do is transfer numbers within the same system right? Actually, therein lies the challenge.
Number transferring (a.k.a. porting) is a very complex process with lots of FCC rules and regulations. If even the tiniest bit of information doesn’t match, whether it’s an incorrect address or a mismatch in a provider code, it can cause the number transfer to fail. Each provider is given their own code, which helps to identify where the number is being routed to and from. The biggest challenge our engineers ran into was how to differentiate between Google Voice and Republic numbers, since they live in the same system.
With hard work, dedication and a little creativity, our engineers were able to build into our system a way to properly recognize Google Voice and Republic numbers with their appropriate provider code. Thus, allowing us to make this announcement today
Tomorrow, August 6, kashley will begin an epic 500 mile journey on the Haute Randonee Pyrenean (HRP) trail, starting on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean at the French/Spanish border, walking across the roof of the Pyrenees (including over 35 border crossings and 30 miles of elevation gain/loss) and then descending to the Mediterranean Sea on October 4, carrying nothing but a backpack and peace of mind.
Most of you know Kim as our fearless leader of the Republic Community. She does a great job of creating a fun, healthy and welcoming environment for all of us to enjoy. And, while most of us unwind by going to the beach, a movie, or curling up with a good book, Kim is usually found on a mountain top breathing in all that Mother Nature has to offer.
Kim’s passion for hiking began about 10 years ago when she decided to go to a local hiking meetup. She went on a few trips to see if she would like it and immediately became addicted, never looking back. Within the last 10 years, she’s traveled and hiked the Appalachian Trail up through Pennsylvania, and spent 8 days on the Continental Divide Trail in Colorado. Her favorite spots in NC include: Black Mountain Crest Trail, Roan Mountain, Grayson Highlands, Mount LeConte, and anything in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
When I asked Kim to tell me why she loves hiking so much, she replied with the following:
“Being steeped in nature is the bliss of backpacking. It’s a walking meditation that centers and delights all the senses. From the smell of pine needles baking in the summer sun to the muffled silence of a snow covered trail, being in nature offers an extraordinary depth of sensations. There’s also something fantastically strong and empowering about carrying all the essentials of life on one’s back. It’s an amazing feeling to be entirely self sufficient for a week, seeing no one and consuming nothing more that what’s in my backpack.“
About two years ago, she was talking with one of her co-workers, who is also an avid hiker, about a trip he’s been planning for years. He went on to tell her about his aspirational trip to the Pyrenees along the border of France and Spain that spans 500 miles. I may not have known Kim at the time this conversation took place, but I know her well enough now to tell you I can imagine her face lit up with wonder and amazement. And now, she’s actually doing it.
Map of the HRP Trail:
Elevation Profile of the HRP Trail:
Please join us in wishing her a safe and happy trip. You can also follow along with her journey here, as she will be sending me photos and updates throughout her trip that I will then pass along to all of you. We’ve equipped her with a GoPro camera, a satellite communicator and, of course, lots of Republic stickers to share with new friends she meets along the way.
Safe travels Kim and we’ll miss you while you’re gone!
We wanted to send out a friendly reminder that the Jelly Bean rebate (offered by Motorola) will be expiring June 30, 2014. Time really does fly, doesn’t it?
If you, or someone you know, still owns a DEFY XT and would like to upgrade to the Moto X and get a $100 prepaid Visa gift card, please make sure to upgrade and submit your rebate prior to June 30, 2014 in order to be eligible.
We hope everyone is doing well. We wanted to let you know about a new My Account feature that we released today—accessory returns. This new feature allows you to submit an accessory return request from the My Account portal. Here's a highlighted overview of the new feature:
The accessory return feature can be found by signing into My Account and selecting Orders from the My Account drop down menu.
Accessories can be returned within 30 days of purchase and are eligible for a full refund if the accessory is unopened and undamaged.
It's important to note that the accessory return process is separate from the cancelation process. So if you're canceling service and want to return accessories, you'll need to complete those processes separately.
We've also put together this document that includes the full accessory return and replacement policy and a step-by-step tutorial for how to submit an accessory return request.
That's all we have for you today. Thanks for reading and as always, we welcome your questions and comments here.
Happy Monday everyone, we hope all of you enjoyed the weekend and the warmer temps!
We wanted to let you know about a new document we just published. In an effort to keep everyone up to date with current issues (or existing conditions as we call it), we created, "Republic Health and Wellness." This document is the place to go when you want to know what issues are currently being reported, symptoms you may experience, current status and what steps you should take to correct it (if any).
This is a living breathing document so be sure to bookmark or follow it so you can always be up to date with the most current information. We'll update the document as we have any new information for each condition. We'll also post new releases and fixes at the bottom of the document so you can keep up to date with new features we release or when we've implemented a fix for one of the conditions.
We hope this gives you a better understanding of what types of issues currently exist and where we are in the process of resolving them. Let us know what you think here.