This is fantastic news! Having an Apple technician on “stand-by” will surely make all the difference in the world for me. Of course they will have to monetize it at some point. I think that if this works and the services are up to par, then I won’t mind paying!
Boxy makes it easy to get a Genius house call
Thereʼs been a lot of buzz the past few weeks about Boxy.co, a new service that offers free tech support for anything Apple- related, so we took a look.
As soon as it loads, Boxy makes it easy for someone to state whatʼs wrong with their iThing-you simply type it into the big blue box in the middle of the screen. The siteʼs zen-like minimalism isnʼt just for show-there isnʼt anything else to click, making the process very simple, since you canʼt accidentally travel anywhere else on the site.
After stating your issue (“my iPhone 4 is slow,ʼ for example) youʼre given a few more boxes to input contact information, as well as how youʼd like for Boxy to contact you, including iMessage, Facetime or old-fashioned phone call. The way you select isnʼt necessarily the way they will actually contact you-when I used their service, I told them I was down for Facetime, but due to overwhelming cases that day (over 400!) I was contacted by iMessage instead.
The Boxy process is very thorugh, with the tech I spoke (texted?) with asking concise questions about memory capacity and actual occupied space on my iPhone, how many apps I had open, and ultimately prescribed a restore through iTunes. It was exactly the same experience Iʼve grown accustomed to at one of Appleʼs Genius Bars-and lo and behold, thatʼs exactly who I was talking to, for all intents and purposes. The tech I was messaging was none other than Ethan, one of Boxyʼs cofounders, and he was indeed a former Apple Genius who started Boxy as a way to bring Apple-level tech support to the masses at their convenience.
Why you should care
Boxy is the first of itʼs kind-to my memory, to receive Apple technical support in the past, you were forced to go to either an Apple store or an Apple authorized support tech, or the Geek Squad if youʼre crazy. All of these situations, however, require you to make a trip to them-Boxy contacts you and assists you over the air. If youʼre in a ruch, you can receive a phone call. Donʼt have time to talk? Thyʼll iMessage you. Need an in depth walkthrough? They can guide you through an entire process through Facetime, with products in their hands-Boxy has models of Apple hardware both past and present, so whether you want to replace your cracked iPhone 3gs screen or replace the hard drive of your new 27” iMac, there is stock on hand to make sure they can show you what to do.
What support can they offer?
The beauty of Boxy is that they have no restrictions on questions- theyʼll walk you through jailbreaking as easily as theyʼll walk you through restarting your iPhone, which is something I havenʼt seen anyone but Youtube offer before now. They are also a source of live support-meaning rather than buying parts and a guide from a site and getting left to your own devices, they can make sure you actually know what youʼre doing (however, warranty voiding still applies; youʼll have to make up your own mind about that before taking the DIY plunge with your new iPhone 5)
Is it really free?
Yes-for now. Ethan tells me they are working on figuring out ways to monetize Boxy without taking away from their core of providing free tech support. This may involve charges for certain lengths of time or the kind of contact-paying for support over ten minutes, say, or for Facetime calls-but right now the service is completely free, with
details mum on when or even if any service charges would apply. Boxy is also working on providing business support, with a specialist assigned to a business to handle anything Apple-related within their company, including making the switch to Mac, upgrading devices or phones-basically everything Boxy would provide to a consumer, but in house for a business.
Boxy has created their own realm of tech support, offering Genius-level specialists who can contact you wherever you are about anything, without forcing you to make a pilgrimage to a physical location. Itʼs an exciting development, and something that should have happened a long time ago. Give it a try and see what you think.
Wow - the first Apple tech support where you didn't have to go to them, eh?
And all this time - since 1984, in fact - I've been under the impression that I, and other 2000+ members of the Apple Consultants Network, have been going to people's homes, offices and other remote sites to provide service. It's amazing how wrong one can be.