Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Apple Will Be Able to Fix iOS Devices Remote Via iTunes or the Web

Apple is no doubt an innovator.  And this next example shows just how far ahead it is thinking about the whole mobile system beyond what its competitors are doing.

Just after a patent application by Apple was published last week regarding diagnostic tools that could remotely fix a device, we’ve read today that such tools already exist and is probably in use in limited capacity if not wide-spread.

Okay, this probably isn’t something that will excite average mobile warrior until the day he or she needs help with a problem on their iOS devices.  However, this just shows how Apple is able to think ahead because of the software and hardware integration that it has control over.

This is Apple’s own words from the patent:

When an electronic device (e.g., a media player or a portable telephone) becomes corrupted (e.g., when a device's hardware, software, or stored data fails to function properly), a user is usually unable to determine, let alone fix, the problem his or herself. Conventionally, the user has to call a technical support helpline in order to try and explain to a technician what the problem may be. Usually, this is insufficient to allow the technician to discover what is wrong with the device, and the user has to go so far as to send the device back to the manufacturer for correction or total replacement of the device. These conventional options for attempting to resolve corruption suffered by an electronic device are time consuming and expensive for both the user and manufacturer. Accordingly, what is needed are systems and methods for reducing the cost and time required for diagnosing and fixing various electronic devices.

Apple states that a disadvantage of conventional electronic devices is that the options for attempting to resolve corruption suffered by such devices are time consuming and expensive for both the users and manufacturers of the devices. Therefore, according to certain embodiments of the invention, an electronic device may be provided with an application or firmware or any other type of program that could collect useful information related to how the device is used. For example, the application or firmware of the invention may be provided in storage device 104 of an Apple device (iMac, MacBook, iPod, iPhone) as a log or breadcrumb program 116 as noted below in FIG. 1.

It seems that there are two ways for Apple to go about this.  Tie the diagnostic services and tools into iTunes or remotely through the Web browser.  The way it works is that an Apple genius will be able to remotely offer diagnostic services and come up with a solution to whatever ails your iOS device.  It could cut down on having to visit an Apple store or if you’re not near one, have a service guy look over what your problem is without having to send in your device for repair, which could cost money and time.  Yeah, I know, I would hate that.

I keep being reminded of this analogy about Apple and the former hockey great of the Los Angeles Kings, Wayne Gretsky.  Gretsky would skate to where the puck is going to go or needs to go while its opponents were still chasing the puck.  Apple has said to forging ahead to where not just mobile needs to go but where mobile offers the best experience for the user.  Meanwhile, I don’t know how its competitors will be able to answer this latest innovation.

Source: Appleinsider, MacDailyNews, Patently Apple.

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