jared_c

Track Your Data

Posted by jared_c Dec 16, 2014

If you’ve been following along with our Year in Review, then you know 2014 has been a big year for Republic.  This year has been full of awesome moments like surpassing 100,000 Facebook fans and updating the handover algorithm 5 times for an evermore seamless experience. But, one milestone stands out above the rest.  Our members offloaded 19.2 Petabytes of data onto WiFi.  To put that number into perspective, one petabyte equals more than one million gigabytes...that’s a whole lot of cat photos. 

 

After seeing the massive amount of data we’ve run over WiFi, I was curious to see how my offload contributed and decided to investigate.  It was neat seeing how much data I’ve used throughout the year and thought it would be interesting to create a how-to using our handy-dandy data usage dashboard!

 

First things first, you’ll need to open up your Republic App and press the three white bars in the top left hand corner. You’ll see several options and will need to press on Data Usage to bring up your usage dashboard.

 

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From the Data Usage Dashboard, you will see your usage from the current month, as well as the amount of data used by each application for that month.


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Now that you’ve arrived at the dashboard, it’s time for things to get fun! There is a field in the upper left of the dashboard with a drop down menu that will allow you to display your cellular, WiFi, or roaming data usage.  This feature allows you to compare and contrast your data usage on each network, as well as which apps are using the most data on each network.  There is also a field in the upper right of the dashboard with a drop down of date ranges, as well as a Custom Date Range option. Toggling between date ranges will display your data usage based on the corresponding month.  Selecting Custom Date Range enables you to display an aggregate of data usage across a designated period of time.  You can also simply drag the white date markers to adjust the date range.


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Note that the custom date range will only display data information dating back to when the new version of the Republic app with the Data Usage Dashboard was launched.  I was able to take a look back at all of the data I’ve offloaded to WiFi since early September, and the number is pretty astounding.


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In just four months I’ve offloaded over 40 gigabytes of data!  Using that information, I can estimate that my total offload for the year will be right around 120 gigs.  120 gigs doesn’t even seem like a drop in the 19.2 petabyte bucket, but every little bit helps!  My goal is to turn 120 gigs into 200 gigs offloaded in 2015.  I hope you’ve found this helpful. I’d love to hear how much you’ve contributed to our gargantuan offload this year and what, if any, techniques you use to stay connected to WiFi.  As always, leave your comments and questions here.


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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.

 


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On your mark, get set, GO! Our new flagship device, the Moto X (2nd Generation) is finally available, and we are letting our awesome Community members know first. So say “Hello”, “Hey, handsome” or “What’s up, Doc?” (Choosing your own launch phrase is just one of the many cool features on the phone.)

 

With incredibly personalized settings and features, YOU get to choose how your Moto X looks, works, and fits into your life, all for a base price of $399.

 

DON’T FORGET! If you order before 11AM EST on Dec. 11th through Republic Wireless or Moto Maker, you’ll receive $50 off your new Moto X (2nd Gen.). Choose between 16 or 32 GB through Moto Maker! Just add the phone to your cart on either site, and the discount will be applied automatically.

 

We’ve given you the 411 on this phone in our announcement blog, but since we know you’re all busy during this crazy holiday season, we’ll give you a quick recap:

 

  • Awesome news: The Moto X (2nd Gen.) has been called the best Android phone by CNN and the Wall Street Journal!

 

  • It’s bigger, better, and faster than ever with 16GB of internal storage (and more options through Moto Maker), a 5.2” full 1080p HD screen, and the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ quad-core processor.

 

  • You have options: You can order a phone with a nice, simple black matte finish through our online store, but if you’re looking for more pizzazz, you can order your phone through Moto Maker as well! Personalize your new Moto X (2nd Gen.) as much as you want with genuine leathers, natural woods, or matte color backs.Through Moto Maker, you can also choose a metal accent color or laser-etch your name or monogram into the back.

 

‘Tis the season, and while this phone makes for a great gift for others, we won’t judge if you decide to treat yourself to an upgrade for the holidays - you deserve it!

 

For all the details on the new Moto X (2nd Gen.), check out our overview page or browse the phone’s tech specs.

 

As always, leave us any questions or (excited) comments here.

 

Still interested in the Moto X (1st Gen.)? Have no fear! We’ll continue to offer it on our website, along with the Moto G and Moto E. For a comparison of the Moto X (1st Gen.) and the new Moto X (2nd Gen.), head here.


rwproductteam

X-TRA! X-TRA!

Posted by rwproductteam Dec 8, 2014

ApolloAnnounce_Facebook_post2.jpgYou’ve heard it here first: The Moto X (2nd Gen.) will be here on Wednesday, Dec. 10th and we’ve got a limited time offer coming your way...

 

Starting late morning (EST), you’ll get $50 off your Moto X (2nd Gen.) purchase through either our Republic Wireless online store or Moto Maker!

 

We will be announcing it in another Blog post as soon as the phone is available for sale, so keep checking in with us here or on our website for the green light! (HINT: The button on our site will say “Add to Cart” instead of “Coming Soon”).

 

Please note: Some of you have asked us about the Motorola promo code you snagged on Cyber Monday. These codes aren’t going to work on any purchase through our store or Moto Maker, but have no fear! You’re still getting a $50 discount at checkout! This offer cannot be combined with other promo codes.

 

See full Terms and Conditions here. And leave us any comments you might have here.

jared_c

2014 Year in Review

Posted by jared_c Dec 5, 2014

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If you’re like me, you’re just now getting over that half-awake, half-asleep food coma that Thanksgiving feasts always seem to induce.  As I stumbled into work this week, wiped the sleepies from my eyes, and looked at my calendar, I was floored by the fact that it is already December.  Where did the year go?  It seems like just yesterday we were kicking off our third year as a company.


In the fast-paced world we live in today, people tend to get lost in the day-to-day and don’t take the time to reflect.  This year, as a company, we want to pause for a second and look back. 2014 was a tremendous year for Republic. A LOT happened.  Like, a lot, a lot. For instance, did you know that in 2014, you helped us offload 19.2 petabytes of data?! That’s 380 times the amount of all the information stored in the Library of Congress. We’ll let that sink in for you for a minute…


Ok, are you back with us? Good. Throughout the entire month of December we'll be reviewing all the things that made 2014 the greatest growth year in the history of our young company. It’s the Republic Year in Review.


Each week from now until the end of the year, we'll be highlighting our favorite moments from 2014, and we want you to follow along!  You can check out each week’s post on all of our social channels - Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram. You can also follow along with our entire Year in Review, here, where we will be rolling out updated milestones through the end of December. If there are certain awesome Republic moments that stand out to you, we’d love for you to share them. Or, just share your own personal awesome moments of 2014 too.


They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so post your favorite pics from 2014 and tag them with #RWreflect2014 for a chance to be featured on our Instagram account and win a free Republic shirt!


Let’s end 2014 with a bang! Leave your comments here.

 


Universe.jpgThe 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.

 

 

Photo Credit: HubbleSite

 

 

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.

 

 

 

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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!

 

 

 

 

 

Orion VAB.jpgThe 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.

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: NASA Facebook

 

 

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!


Happy Post Thanksgiving.  We hope everyone is ready to shake off their tryptophan-induced drowsiness for an exciting start to December.  In case you were traveling in a snowstorm and missed it, we announced that we’ll be selling the new Moto X (2nd Gen.) for $399 starting Dec. 10th. You may have noticed what Motorola is doing for Cyber Monday as well. Worry not thrifty savers, we plan to roll out a similar opportunity to save even more on the 10th along with Moto Maker customization. More on that to come!

 

 

Some of you might be curious why we haven’t referenced that we were working on the new Moto X in our prior monthly recaps.  As is most often the case, we were precluded from sharing this information given our agreements and negotiations with our partners.  We can tell you now though that we’ve had our engineers, operations, and marketing staff working on this project for a good while along with Motorola’s and we hope that those who purchase a new Moto X will enjoy the product & service as much as we have.

 

 

 

NEW IN NOVEMBER:

 

Phone and Service Related:

 

Support Enhancements:

 

 

 

IN PROGRESS ITEMS THAT WILL IMPROVE YOUR EXPERIENCE:

Smaller scope items:

  • Device Trade-in Trial Program
  • New Shipping Options

 

Larger scope items:

  • Launch of new Moto X (2nd Gen.) on Dec 10th
  • WiFi Sharing & WiFi Login Features
  • Web-Based Calling
  • Email to SMS
  • Cell to WiFi Handover
  • Website Cart & Checkout Redesign
  • Maintenance Releases for Moto X & Moto G for Android 4.4.4
  • New Customer Facing Metrics within RW App

 

 

 

As always, please feel free to leave your questions and comments here. See you next month!

 

P.S. The Think Tank is a great spot to participate and get updates.

ajmaphone

Give Thanks. Turn it Off.

Posted by ajmaphone Nov 26, 2014

Break out the sweatpants with the extra-wide waistband cause this guy is getting ready to eat! In fact, the Republic team is already ahead of the game and had our huge company potluck last Friday. It was amazing! Golden turkeys roasted to perfection. Sweet potato casseroles of every make and fashion. And, some sort of weird yellow goo that, while unidentifiable, was still delicious (yes, I tried it. No regrets). Indeed, Republic knows how to Thanksgiving pre-game in style and we are ready for round two.

 

In true Republic spirit, we’re powering down tomorrow too. We LOVE smartphones. But we love our families even more (and weird yellow goo).  So we hope you’ll join us in powering your phone down, enjoying a great meal with your loved ones, and celebrating everything you're thankful for tomorrow.  One of the things we’re especially thankful for this year is you (latest Consumer Reports ranking anyone!?). 

 

Now, worry not, if you happen to have an issue, we’ll still be available through the regular help channels.  We understand that for a lot of you, you’ll be using your smartphone to stay in touch with some of those loved ones you’re so fond of. We aren’t gonna leave you hanging. If you need help, just shoot us an email at help@republicwireless.com or open up a help ticket over on our help portal and we’d be glad to do whatever we can.

 

So, with that, happy Thanksgiving from all of us here at Republic. You’re good people and we wish you could play the annual games of Balderdash, Catchphrase, and Settlers of Catan with us. Until that day, leave us any comments here. Happy Thanksgiving!

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Our detectives in the Think Tank got it right: We’re excited to announce that the all-new Moto X (2nd Gen.) is coming to Republic Wireless on Wednesday, December 10th—just in time for the holidays. And it’s worth celebrating, too, because This. Phone. Is. Awesome!

 

CNN calls it the best Android phone ever made. For those of you looking for the latest and greatest, this is it. The beautiful 5.2” full 1080p HD screen will make you—and more importantly, your friends—salivate. It knows when you’re driving and will read texts aloud to you for better safety. Or, you can even wave calls away with built in sensors that react to your hand. The new Moto X, with 16GB of internal memory, is faster, better looking and just feels good to hold. And, the best part? It’s available in black starting at just $399 from Republic Wireless – about $100 less than other no-contract options.

 

All the same “gotta have ‘em” features unique to Moto smartphones are back and easier to use than ever. Moto has housed Moto Voice and Active Notifications in just one Moto app, which helps make personalizing and using your phone a breeze, not to mention, you can switch up your launch phrase from “OK, Google Now” to “Hey, Handsome.” And, as always, Moto Migrate lets you transfer your contacts, pictures, messages, and more from an iPhone or other Android device in just minutes.

 

Still a novice in the smartphone movement? No worries! From on-device activation to daily, on-the-go use, the Moto X (2nd Gen.) is incredibly user-friendly and will walk you through the basics of getting started.

 

 

TAILOR-MADE

On the same day the new Moto X becomes available on Republic, you’ll also be able to order a custom device from Moto Maker. Make it all yours with genuine leathers, natural woods, or matted color backs. Accent it with metal, and laser-etch your name or monogram into the back.

 

For a base price of $399 through Moto Maker, you’ll get a quick, durable, top-of-the-line phone that can be as plain or as personalized as you want. There are thousands of ways to be one of a kind.

 

 

NEED MORE INFO?

For all the details on the new Moto X (2nd Gen.), check out our Overview page and browse through the phone’s Tech Specs.

 

As always, leave us any questions or (excited) comments HERE.

 

Still interested in the Moto X (1st Gen.)? Have no fear! It will continue to stay in the Republic Phone Family, along with the Moto G and Moto E. For a comparison of the Moto X (1st Gen.) versus the new Moto X (2nd Gen.), head HERE.

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At Republic Wireless, we are fans of the unconventional. From our service offerings to our office culture, we spend a lot of time thinking outside of the proverbial box. At the forefront of our thoughts, of course, are our unconventional methods of member support. We work hard to ensure that our support model is constantly evolving to best fit the needs of our members. To put it simply, a positive support experience is important to us, because we know it’s important to you.

 

With that being said, the ultimate test for our support model happens on our launch days. A lot goes into adding a new device to the Republic Wireless line-up and we are always extremely excited to see the questions and orders roll in. We enjoy helping people stay better connected. Last month, we brought the Moto E to Republic Wireless (and the year isn’t over yet either ). Keeping on-trend with our past launches, as soon as that beautiful green “Buy Now” button appeared on the website, our members were out of the gate and racing to purchase their shiny new phones.

 

On the outside, this launch looked familiar, much like launches of the Moto G or Moto X, but there was one outstanding difference. The Moto E was our first launch to offer the option of LiveChat support. Meaning, that if you had a quick question about the tech specs of the Moto E or were experiencing an issue with your cart, you had the option to chat in real-time with one of our support agents. To no one’s surprise, this option of immediate resolution through LiveChat was incredibly popular with our member base.

 

With the launch of the Moto E, we saw six times the normal amount of chats. The member help area turned into the home base for a LiveChat rally. We had every possible agent from every possible department lending a hand in LiveChat. Needless to say, the member support floor got a bit loud. Through the furious clicking and clattering of keyboards and questions, our support team made sure our members’ questions were answered quickly and accurately. With fist bumps and high fives flying about, the Moto E launch was exciting, electric and the absolute epitome of what we want our member support model to look like.


We’re not claiming that our support model is perfect by any means, but we do like to celebrate our wins. With the smoothest launch to date, the addition of LiveChat to our online support model can definitely be considered just that, a win. Collaboration has always been a key part of our support model and we want to keep it that way. While we seek out new avenues to enhance the  Republic Wireless experience, we also look to you, our members, for your feedback on our support model and service. As always, we would love to hear about your experience with our LiveChat tool or our support model here. Thanks for being with us!

What Do You Love?

Posted by katrina.k Nov 21, 2014

At Republic, we aren’t actually corporate robots stored in closets at the end of the work day (although I, for one, welcome our new robot overlords). We’re people with talents, hobbies, and interests outside of our work providing value for our members through our phones and service. If you happen to wander the halls of Republic HQ in Raleigh, North Carolina, you’ll see dozens of framed photos of employees that answer the question: What Do You Love?

 

 

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The photo series started out the same way most projects here at Republic do: wanting to do something different and more personable. Our art director (and official Mayor with ZERO votes), Sledge, used to take hundreds of routine headshots of employees, but came up with the unique twist to fill Republic HQ with art for just the cost of the frames. “A lot of people [who visit] say ‘Wow, that’s really cool!’. It has an effect on people,” he said, mentioning that visitors are excited to bring the idea back to their own offices.

 

There are a few rules (no live animals or guns), but employees are free to bring items to decorate the shot. Each photo brings a little of the subject’s personality, even if there’s more than one photo representing a hobby or interest. “We did three or four versions of shoes [photos], and they all came out different,” Sledge said.

 

 

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This month, we’re adding new photos to the collection. Since the first photos were taken a few years ago, we’ve added quite a few new team members...and there’s plenty of wall space to keep decorating!

 

Have a hobby you’d like to share with the Community? We’d love to see your What Do You Love? photos (as long as they follow the Community Guidelines, of course)! Leave your comments (and share your photos) here.

This August, I set off on an audacious goal - to backpack almost 500 miles across the tops of the Pyrenees, from the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean. The journey, which would take me 47 days and about 27 miles of elevation gain/loss, followed the Haute Randonee Pyreneean (HRP), which is considered to be “the idea of a trail” rather than a well marked path. Well, just “the idea” of it was a little bit terrifying, and a whole lotta thrilling.

 

Yet Another 5 Star Tent Site: I’ll give you a second to find my tent...that’s it down by the water, dwarfed by this beautiful bowl, where it’s almost impossible to tell the mountain from its reflection in this pristine alpine lake.

 

The most common question people ask is, “What was your most memorable experience?” Oddly, the most memorable experience wasn’t an experience, it was the sensation of being fully present for almost 2 months. Every day followed the same basic structure:

 

  • Wake up, face east
  • Walk 3-4 hours up the side of a mountain
  • Walk 3-4 hours down the side of a mountain

 

 

Trail Traffic Jam: I affectionately renamed the trail the Path of Poo, as the livestock have diligently fertilized every inch of the landscape. The daily soundscape was dominated by cowbells, marmot shrieks, the piercing call of vultures, and the never-ending tromp of my boots.

 

 

 

“Vente de Fromages” - Buying cheese from a shepherds cabane. Unlike the wilderness backpacking areas I frequent in the US (eg; Great Smoky Mountains National Park), the Pyrenees have been cultivated for thousands of years and you’re never more than a few hours from a village or refugi. Food was abundant, fresh, and reasonably priced.

 

This purity of purpose, the single-threaded nature of simply moving forward every day, and the complete lack of distractions around me - these allowed me to be fully present in a way I’ve never experienced before. Every day, I was privileged to crest a mountain and be surrounded by 360 degrees of forever. And for 47 days, that experience never lost its blissy (yes, that’s a word, I made it up) awesomeness.

 

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Trail Culture: If you haven’t backpacked, it sounds terribly gritty and harsh. In reality, the grit is 100% balanced by the moment captured in this photo: you’ve hauled yourself up over a mountain and at the crest, layers of mountain ranges unfold behind and before you as far as the eye can see. You’ve been dancing in and out of the clouds all morning, and you collapse for a blissful rest, soaking up the midday sun, exhausted from a mornings accomplishment and surrounded by your tribe of fellow backpackers.

 

Daily Averages

 

  • Miles:  16.26 (According to FitBit. Doesn’t add up to 500 miles, I know.)
  • Flights of stairs up: 292  (down should be the same, too)
  • Elevation gain/loss: 0.6 mile up, 0.6 mile down (aka; 3280 feet)
  • Steps: 35,635 (1.74 million steps total)
  • Calories: 3627

 

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Scary Moments: We crossed over this snow mass without the proper equipment. When we met others at the Refuge that evening, the conversation focused on the question: if you slipped, would you get enough momentum to bounce over the crevasse and maybe survive the freezing lake, or would you fall into the crevasse and be done for? Gulp.

 

I’ve always believed that travel is a mind opener. A good trip forces you to step outside your comfort zone. From something as simple as not knowing how to ask for the restaurant bill to something as complex as not understanding the Catalan Independence protests taking place outside your restaurant window, experiences outside of your routine shed new light on your normal and mundane habits. And seeing the mundane with fresh new eyes can allow you to make innovative connections and emotional leaps of faith that can change your life.

 

 

 

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Who Needs a Shower? When you’re surrounded by pristine mountain lakes with views like these, a shower just can’t match the experience. A plunge into freezing water build character!

 

It occurs to me that these same qualities are what attracted me to work at Republic Wireless. We’re a company that isn’t afraid to challenge the norm, step outside our comfort zone, and take on audacious goals. Just like my trip, that can be a little bit terrifying, but it’s a whole lotta thrilling!

 

 

Hey, is that a Republic Wireless shirt? RW was awesome in supporting me to take this trip. They had no hesitation about me taking a 2 month leave of absence, my coworkers enthusiastically followed my preparations and journey, and Republic even loaned me an emergency tracking device. They were also gentle with me during re-entry to civilization - not laughing too hard when I had an emotional breakdown over the huge number of choices on the office coffee machine.

 

Moto X Marks the Spot: My Republic Wireless Moto X was a great travel companion. I used the GaiaGPS app to find my way across this “idea of a trail.” That’s not to say I didn’t get lost - for example, crossing a boulder field like in the photo below, where’s the path? - but GaiaGPS always got me back on track with amazing precision. The photos...well, they speak for themselves (disclaimer: not all I posted here were taken with my Moto X, but the Moto X ones are just as spectacular, clear, and crisp). And while there wasn’t much WiFi in the mountains, on the rare occasions when I hit a WiFi spot, I could call home seamlessly to reassure my mom that I was having the time of my life.

 

It's no coincidence that this company supported me in pursuing this adventure. Similarly, I'd like to encourage you all in the same: identify your own dream and find a way to make it happen. It's worth it, I promise.

 

Up the Chimney, Tears of Amazement: This photo was taken just before one of my most emotional moments of the trip. After 43 days of backpacking, I was vaguely aware that the finish was near. But it still didn’t seem real, neither that I could accomplish this amazing route nor that this beautiful trip might end. After scaling this rock face, I looked east from the summit and saw the Mediterranean for the first time...and burst into tears. The dream had become a reality, I had actually done it. And in 4 days, it would be over.

 

The End...or not: Relaxing on the beach at Banyuls-sur-Mer, after a quick dip in the Mediterranean. Seven weeks previously, I had collected a vial of water from the Atlantic with a plan to pour it into the Mediterranean. But as I stood gazing across the water, I suddenly knew that pouring it out would signify an end, and I just wasn’t ready for that. So for now, the vial remains in my backpack in my closet, ready for my next move.

 

Full day-by day descriptions at my blog

 

Please feel free to share your thoughts here.

Open WiFi Prompt.pngConnecting to WiFi just got easier. Today, we’re launching a new WiFi feature (in Beta) that will prompt you to connect to nearby open WiFi networks. This new feature will come in handy when you’re away from your typical WiFi networks. So, how does it work? If you’re around an open WiFi connection with good signal strength for around three minutes, you’ll receive a pop-up message on your screen. Simply tap Connect and you’re all set. There are so many public hotspots these days, you probably aren’t even aware that you can connect to one. With this new feature, you’ll be able to connect to more WiFi more often, which is better for everyone.

 

For example, let’s say you’re out having a cup of coffee with some friends. You’re having a good time, not even thinking about if you’re connected to WiFi or not. Your friend starts talking about a movie he saw recently and for the life of him, he can’t remember the main character’s name (don’t you hate it when that happens?). You immediately grab your phone to check IMDB, because you want to be the hero that relieves your friend’s suffering of the classic “it’s on the tip of my tongue” syndrome.

 

You’re not the only one grabbing for your phone though, all of your friends are grabbing their phones as well. Now it’s become a race. Who will get to the answer first? You will, because you have Republic’s newest feature telling you that there’s an open WiFi network available. While your friends are stuck waiting for the page to load on 3G or 4G, you’re already connected to WiFi. Who’s the hero now? You are.

 

Since this new feature is in Beta, we’d love to hear your feedback, so we can continue to improve it.

 

Thanks for reading!


486105169.jpgToday, our Republic Wireless Community added our 100,000th registered member! That’s a lot of people connecting, communicating and collaborating to create new solutions together. Our Community members, all of you, are committed to each other as human beings. Not just because you need help with your service, but because like us, you believe we’re all in this together. You prove it all the time with the incredible things you do for each other that are well worth celebrating.

 

Every day, we’re inspired by the support and encouragement that we see flowing between members. From celebrations to troubleshooting, from stories of despair to stories of success, from “rants” to kudos - you’ve helped build a community that is so much more than a tech support forum. It’s the heartbeat of Republic Wireless.

 

To mark 100,000 registered members and this awesome milestone, let’s spread the power of what a vibrant Community can do by taking it to the streets! Here's a challenge: let's perform 100,000 good deeds in the communities where we live and use our RW phones. Here’s how:

 

Celebrate our Community in your community:


  • Do something good over the next 4 weeks (Nov. 14 - Dec.14). You choose - donate food to a food bank, perform a random act of kindness, volunteer for a cause you believe in, whatever.

 

  • Record your good deed(s) here so we can add them up. How you represent your deed is up to you. If you volunteer for 10 hours, count 10. If you do 1 random act of kindness, count 1. If you donate 10 lbs. of food to the food bank, count 10. Just keep it real, folks.

 

 

That’s it! The reward is simply the satisfaction of giving something back through the power of positivity. Thanks to everyone who participates, and thanks to all 100,000 Community members who have gotten us to this point!

 

As always, leave your comments (and share your story) here.

UPDATE: The maintenance will take place on November 20, 2014 from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. EST. Please follow along here for the latest updates, during and after the maintenance.

 

This post is primarily for our amazingly loyal, dedicated, members still rocking our BETA device - the DEFY XT - on Republic service. But it’s important, so we wanted everyone to be aware of what’s happening.

 

During the week of November 17th, we'll be doing some server-side maintenance that will move DEFY XT phones from their old legacy servers onto the newer server infrastructure as all our other Republic devices like the Moto X, Moto G, and Moto E.  Keep an eye out for an email from us announcing the actual date and time of the maintenance.

 

But first, we encourage all DEFY XT members to install the latest version of our software to ensure the best possible experience. If you aren't able to update, that's okay. We've ensured that your phone will still work even after the migration to the new server.

 

How do I know if I am on the latest software version?

The latest version of the software is Build Number 1_65K_1027.  If you have this version, then you don't need to do anything.

 

You can find out what version you are currently running by looking at your device settings:

 

From the main screen, tap the hamburger-looking Menu icon (the one that looks like three horizontal lines stacked on top of each other- you like our super-technical description?), choose Settings, choose About Phone, then scroll down to the bottom, where you'll see Build Number.

 

How do I get on the right version of the software?

If you aren’t running the version listed above, you'll need to do a software update. You MUST be on WiFi to download the update.



Here’s how you do that:

 

Detail Images

(click to enlarge)

  Follow the step-by-step tutorial below
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1.

Tap the “hamburger” Menu icon (looks like three lines - again, real technical) on the bottom left of your phone.

clicksettings.png

2.

Tap Settings.

settings.png

3.

Tap About phone.

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4.

Tap Phone updates.
phoneupdate.png5.Tap System updates.
device-2014-10-20-094106.png6.An Update available pop-up will appear. Tap Download.

 

Note: The download will take some time.
updateinstall.png7.

Tap Install now.

 

Your phone will restart once installation is complete.

complete.png8.Once the update is complete, your screen will display the message "The software update was successful!"

 




Reasons the latest version might not install for you:

 

  • Out of Memory
    Older builds may need to uninstall Facebook updates and other apps in order to have enough space to download the update.  Once the update is done you can simply re-install these app updates.

 

  • Already on the latest version
    If this is the case, you are already prepared and ready for the move. Way to be ahead of the curve!

 

 

Why is Republic doing maintenance?

Better service! There are a number of updates that we've made to calling performance since launching the DEFY XT on the new infrastructure that we want you to be able to take advantage of.  Additionally, we're replacing parts of the infrastructure that have been in place since we originally launched with the LG Optimus (RIP dear friend) in 2011 that need to be taken outside and “Office Spaced.”

 

We also want to make sure that you're getting the latest updates on the server for your DEFY XT, like short codes.

 

What is the maintenance going to fix?

Stability, call quality, and a longer life for the DEFY XT devices! Oh, and short codes for SMS will be available for you. Neat, huh!?

 

What is the maintenance NOT going to fix?

This will have NO impact on handover and MMS.  As we have mentioned in prior posts, these are things that can only be fixed with new software on the device.  This is not new device software.  This is just to ensure that as many of the DEFY XT phones as possible are on the latest version.

 

What happens after I update my DEFY XT software?

Look out for an email from us outlining exactly WHEN the maintenance will be happening, and some additional instructions about what to do AFTER the maintenance has completed, to make sure that your phones are fully operational on the new infrastructure.

 

Thanks! We look forward to those DEFY XTs move into their new homes as smoothly as possible next week. As always, leave any comments or questions you might have.

 

Stay WiFi my friends,

 

The Product Guy

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