29
Jan
rwwifi

If you're a Republic Wireless customer, then you probably already know an OTA update started rolling out yesterday to the company's Motorola Defy XT (which also happens to break root – you can remedy that problem here). As a result of the update, Republic Wireless has also released an app into the Play Store that improves the reception on the DXT by adding a few enhancements to the way it manages calls and network connectivity.

  1. Devicescape - In July of last year, we announced a partnership with Devicescape to take advantage of their Wi-Fi access work. It has been a long road getting here, but this is the first fruit of that partnership. We’ve integrated their technology to automatically log your device into available hotspots. More Wi-Fi is a good thing.
  2. Network interrogation - We’re looking at each connection and doing a more rigorous test to look at the quality of the network to see how well Wi-Fi calls would perform on that network and setting up the phone accordingly.
  3. Wi-Fi connection state - In most network scenarios, there are really two states for the Republic arc: green is connected and grey is not connected. In reality, there are a number of in-between conditions that resulted in poor quality Wi-Fi calls. This caused a lot of questions. "I'm connected, but my calls are bad." Well, we’re doing all these new checks, and we’re surfacing that information to you through the Connection widget. Put this widget on your home screen and you’ll get much better feedback on your Wi-Fi connection. It also helps that it’s the familiar arc shape. If you ever want to find out your network connection state, tap the arc.
  4. Wi-Fi Offload - If Republic is a Wi-Fi based company, we should be providing you with your offload numbers. We’ve been promising it since we moved to our updated portal infrastructure and that launched this week, but you’re more likely to want to see that on your phone, so we’re also giving you a widget to display that info. The number you’ll see is your daily Wi-Fi calling offload percentage compared with the Republic community. We’ll be iterating on this over the next few weeks to incorporate SMS offload (now that we’re getting SMS over IP) and data offload.

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The app is free, but is of absolutely no value to those outside of RW's network. If you are a RW customer with the Defy XT, though, this app's a must-have.

More info: Republic Wireless Blog

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • http://twitter.com/ssantinelli Steven Santinelli

    Great idea, good service, can't wait for them to get better phones. :)

    • gsaurus

      ditto. my gf just signed on with RW and it seems like a great value but to echo other's sentiments i'm holding out to see if they get more competent phones. if they offer a phone with good battery life, dual core, 1gb ram, 4"+ screen & full hd video I'll b sold. 3.7" screen? 5mp cam? dark ages indeed. basically i.d b happy with a galaxy S3. Samsung are you listening??? my Samsung Charge can't keep up and im ready to switch.

  • olbp

    .

    When the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 comes out, if they pick it up, I'll pick THEM up. Otherwise, no thanks. I'm not going back into the dark ages with their current phones.
    .

  • JG

    T-Mo needs to do this as well -- at least for their Nexus owners. Since it's pure Google Android, T-Mo wasn't able to add in their WiFi calling feature like they do with other phones. I'd assume Google wouldn't have an issue with T-Mo adding a similar app into the carrier section of the Play Store - or even setting up a private channel (or whatever the new feature is called) - technically everyone gets a carrier specific email ([email protected]).... Yeah it'd be "carrier bloat", but it'd be optional - you wouldn't have to download it... And unlike a silly NFL game, it could actually be useful.

    I'm especially digging the "Automatically log your device into available hotspots" bit... I'm assuming it'll automatically take care of the annoying "I accept the terms" landing pages before you can officially authenticate & start using various wifi networks, allowing for a seamless switch from cellular to wifi - like how I automatically switch over to my home wifi... I wouldn't mind that, just for browsing purposes, much less being able to automatically transfer over mid-call to VoIP....

    • rap

      There are some apps that will automatically login you into startbucks and mcdonalds and some other networks..I use Starbucks WiFi Auto Login from VZALIVA to login at McDonalds. There are multiple apps in Google Play.

    • http://codytoombs.wordpress.com/ Cody Toombs

      I'm not a TMO customer and I could be way off here, but I think I remember reading that the wifi calling feature required some kernel modifications. Short of encouraging people to unlock their Nexus and manually flashing an alternate kernel, there wouldn't be a way to do it. Even if they cared enough to do that, they would have to officially support that, which is definitely against their best interests. Also, it would require an updated version and re-flashing most of the times when Google updates the Nexus 4 firmware. Again, I might be wrong about the kernel modifications, but I thought it worth mentioning if I am remembering it correctly.

      • JG

        I'm currently a Verizon customer, but have been looking into the company a little lately for a possible (through not very probable) switch as they currently are the only carrier in the US on which I might get a Nexus with unlimited data.... I live in a rather rural area, so signal strength is a main concern. Their website has voice "OK" at my house, but various parts of my home town drop down to "acceptable", where data coverage is all over the area.... I suppose the whole kernel thing makes sense... Otherwise T-Mo probably would have already released such an app.... I wonder if CM or any of the other ROM groups could make it work... It'd still require flashing & you'd lose the Nexus update schedule, but they seem to keep up pretty well (a lot better than the OEMs anyway)....

        Of course if I go for the custom rom option, I really wouldn't need a Nexus branded device, so I could keep my current unlimited Verizon plan, know I can use the phone anywhere I'd go and be able to pick a phone that still has an SD card slot.... Plus Verizon is apparently planning on having full LTE conversion completed by end of the year... And I believe I read (or maybe it was just a speculation?) shortly after they were planning on using VoLTE to phase out demand for their CDMA network... I'd assume it'd work just as well over WiFi as it does LTE, so I'd be back to using my new n-router as a cell tower after all....

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