AdminInstant Housecall (Support Specialist, Instant Housecall)

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  1. 108 votes
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      27 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

      Hi Allan, you can download the OSX Specialist at https://instanthousecall.com/SpecialistMacBeta.zip

      I understand this is a very high priority some folks. We've been doing some roadmapping, and I want to share with you where this stands.

      As an Android and iOS owner myself, I want to see this on new platforms as much as anyone.

      For the past year, we've been re-doing a lot of the "plumbing" on the back-end. The new back end lets us make way for some very cool features.

      We've been working on this transparently so you and your customers experience zero disruption.

      Since it's mostly back-end, this is one of those rare circumstances where it's difficult to do parallel development.

      We want to deliver new features to you as quickly as possible. The new platform will help us deliver those features to you at a significantly faster pace.

      From a practical standpoint, it doesn't make sense to re-program everything twice -- once for the old plumbing and once for the new.

      As with anything, timing is everything. We need to devote our resources to the new plumbing and to the upcoming release of Windows 10 at this time.

      In short, it's this dependency that's holding this up. I know the next question is going to be when. I can't commit to a specific time at this moment.

      The good news is that there are options.

      If you're running Android or iOS today, you can run the modern Windows app on your Android or iOS device.

      Using RemoteApp, the Instant Housecall modern app will look as if it's running on your iOS or Android device seamlessly. Details about RemoteApp here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755055.aspx. If you want to try RemoteApp without the steps to install Instant Housecall, you can try Microsoft apps on RemoteApp here: https://www.modern.ie/

      The other option of course is to buy a Windows tablet and tether it to your phone. At this time, I'd suggest giving a serious look to the Surface 3. It's Intel-based, so you can run both legacy and modern apps, with an compelling pricetag.

      I know that RemoteApp and Windows tablets aren't perfect solutions for everyone. I know that there is a strong demand for native apps for other platforms. I can promise you this: whether you use RemoteApp on iOS, Android or run natively on a Windows device, no competitor's app will even come close. Screenshots here: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/instant-housecall-remote-support/1dfc2db9-9a52-4cff-b71f-a19c846fcd28

      I sincerely thank everyone for their feedback in these forums, by e-mail and by phone. Your feedback helps us build a better product for everyone. We couldn't do it without you. If you have questions, you are welcome to reach out to me directly any time at corey@instanthousecall.com.

    • 0 votes
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        1 comment  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

        Yes, you can connect to a Surface Pro with Instant Housecall. Please send a screen shot of which button is not clickable or call 1-888-838-4050 for assistance.

      • 2 votes
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          3 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

          Hey Colin, I'm a Linux fan myself. You can use the Specialist software on Linux by using Wine -- it works great. At this time, there aren't any plans for a Linux native specialist, but the Wine option lets you get the job done. Hope that helps.

        • 242 votes
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            21 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

            I understand this is a very high priority some folks. We've been doing some roadmapping, and I want to share with you where this stands.

            As an Android and iOS owner myself, I want to see this on new platforms as much as anyone.

            For the past year, we've been re-doing a lot of the "plumbing" on the back-end. The new back end lets us make way for some very cool features. We've been working on this transparently so you and your customers experience zero disruption.

            Since it's mostly back-end, this is one of those rare circumstances where it's difficult to do parallel development.

            We want to deliver new features to you as quickly as possible. The new platform will help us deliver those features to you at a significantly faster pace.

            From a practical standpoint, it doesn't make sense to re-program everything twice -- once for the old plumbing and once for the new.

            As with anything, timing is everything. We need to devote our resources to the new plumbing and to the upcoming release of Windows 10 at this time.

            In short, it's this dependency that's holding this up. I know the next question is going to be when. I can't commit to a specific time at this moment.

            The good news is that there are options.

            If you're running Android or iOS today, you can run the modern Windows app on your Android or iOS device.

            Using RemoteApp, the Instant Housecall modern app will look as if it's running on your iOS or Android device seamlessly. Details about RemoteApp here: https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc755055.aspx. If you want to try RemoteApp without the steps to install Instant Housecall, you can try Microsoft apps on RemoteApp here: https://www.modern.ie/

            The other option of course is to buy a Windows tablet and tether it to your phone. At this time, I'd suggest giving a serious look to the Surface 3. It's Intel-based, so you can run both legacy and modern apps, with a compelling pricetag.

            I know that RemoteApp and Windows tablets aren't perfect solutions for everyone. I know that there is a strong demand for native apps for other platforms. I can promise you this: whether you use RemoteApp on iOS, Android or run natively on a Windows device, no competitor's app will even come close. Screenshots here: http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/app/instant-housecall-remote-support/1dfc2db9-9a52-4cff-b71f-a19c846fcd28

            I sincerely thank everyone for their feedback in these forums, by e-mail and by phone. Your feedback helps us build a better product for everyone. We couldn't do it without you. If you have questions, you are welcome to reach out to me directly any time at corey@instanthousecall.com.

            In the interest of staying on-topic, discussion about Windows 8 has been moved here: https://instanthousecall.uservoice.com/forums/227074-general/suggestions/5499441-windows-8-device-buying-tips

            Hi Marc,

            The Instant Housecall app works all platforms:
            - Windows 8.1 (formerly RT)
            - Windows 8.1 Pro
            - Windows Server 2012 R2
            - touch and mouse
            - tablets and desktops, all form-factors
            - LTE, WiFi and Ethernet

            It bears mentioning the Instant Housecall app will require Windows 8.1 with all updates applied.

            Further improvements are expected to be announced at BUILD in April for Windows 8.1 Update 1. We have our fingers crossed on a bunch of improvements.

            I've created a post with Windows 8 buying tips, for those who are interested:
            https://instanthousecall.uservoice.com/forums/227074-general/suggestions/5499441-windows-8-device-buying-tips

            -- Corey.

            Hey Marc, thanks for reaching out! The Windows 8 app puts us in a stronger position to build apps for other operating systems, including Android and iOS. It also builds a foundation for some really great stuff we have planned for the future -- things you've never seen in a remote support tool before, and possibly never even imagined.

            The Windows 8 app hasn't been released yet. I hope that when it is, you'll enjoy using it as much as we enjoyed making it.

            You can be assured that we thought long and hard about which platform to move forward with first.

            For countless reasons, Windows 8 came out on top: it's industry standard, a unified experience on tablet and desktop, used by large corporations and home users alike, secure, compatible with everything, and it networks easily. Windows 8 lets you get the job done on-site and remotely in the best way imaginable, which to me makes carrying a Windows 8 tablet a no-brainer for a tech.

            Windows is also the platform that all of your existing tools work best on. It's the platform that 90% of our customers use as their daily driver.

            I completely understand that you have spent good money an Android and that you want to enjoy it. We have spent good money building a Windows 8 app, and want you to enjoy it.

            We're both pretty invested here.

            My job isn't to convince you of the value of any particular ecosystem -- it's to provide you with the best remote support tools for you and your customers.

            When we're making decisions like these, a lot of thought goes into whether we can help you best by improving our existing products or building another on a new platform. That discussion happens often, and notes like yours help us better understand the needs of our customers. Thank you for that.

            I am confident that if you try Instant Housecall on Windows 8 that no competitor on any platform will even come close. That doesn't mean we're not going to build for Android, but I hope that the quality of what we can offer you today with Instant Housecall, the deep feature set, and the great stuff we have coming will be enough to keep you as a happy customer.

            If the gauge we used to make these decisions was raw Market Share, then we'd be scrambling to add features for Windows XP. Windows 8 has already eclipsed all versions of OS X combined in under a year -- it's not the slouch you may have been led to believe.

            I played a lot of hockey as a kid, and my coach always said, "Don't chase the puck, put yourself where the puck is going to be."

            I sincerely believe that between our existing products and the Windows 8 app, we are putting you and the rest of our customers in the best position to score.

            -- Corey.

            Update from Corey:

            The first tablet version of Instant Housecall will be for Windows 8 tablets and desktops. We'll evaluate options for other tablet operating systems, but I can't offer an imminent release.

            For the sake of a level-set: we will not be able to create an Android or iOS app that is as elaborate as our Windows 8 version.

            Android and iOS just aren't able to do everything that we've done with Windows 8. If we move forward with alternative operating systems, we're going to do it right -- not just so we can add it to our marketing material.

            Your votes have been heard loud and clear. Keep the feedback coming, it helps us build what you need.

            We'll be doing more evaluation on this one. Feedback and thoughts are welcome and appreciated.

            This request originally included both IOS and Android. I've split them into two requests so we can get a better idea about demand for each operating system.

          • 4 votes
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              under review  ·  4 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

              I'm of two minds on this one...

              - On one hand, I don't love the idea of having the Customer's password stored in Instant Housecall. Those passwords add an extra layer of security, especially for unattended access, and if someone ever got your Instant Housecall password, they'd also have access to all of your customers' locked down computers.

              - On the other, I see the convenience factor.

              You can always put the Customer's password in your Customer Notes (File -> Notes /Profile > Customer tab) and retrieve it from there... But for us to make it automated, I'd want to know it was secure.

              There may be some features two version down the road that will make this possible and properly secured. For now, I'd like to hear community thoughts on the points above.

              Thanks for the suggestion! Currently:

              - a Customer must grant permission to a Specialist before a Specialist can use unattended
              - a Specialist needs login with his username and password to connect to a machine
              - once connected, if the PC is locked, he needs to know the username and password of the local machine to login.

              The here is that adding another set of credentials can become unwieldy to maintain. Can you describe how you'd use this and how you'd want to see it work?

            • 15 votes
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                4 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                Thanks for the suggestion!

                How would you feel about certificate authentication vs two-factor authentication?

              • 54 votes
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                  5 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                  To get a bit more clarity on your requests, do you want:

                  a) a web interface; or
                  b) a chat interface in the Customer software that works while you're not in a remote support session?

                • 11 votes
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                    3 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                    You can transfer multiple files using both the Desktop App and the the Modern App, both from Specialist to Customer and the other way around.

                    There is an idiosyncrasy when transferring *folders* from the Customer to the Specialist. I have detailed that below.

                    Using the Desktop app:
                    1) To transfer a *folder* from Specialist to Customer, choose the Folder on the Speicalist PC and drag it onto the remote window.
                    2) To transfer *several files* (excluding folders) from the Specialist to the Customer, highlight those files, then either (a) drag and drop them onto the remote window; or (b) right click, choose Instant Housecall -> File Transfer

                    Using the Modern app:
                    1) Choose File Transfer from the App Bar
                    2) Pick the files or folders you wish to send

                    The idiosyncrasy occurs when using the *context menu* (right click) to transfer files as opposed to drag and drop. Since context menu is the only option on the Customer side, you must highlight the *files* within the folder (Ctrl+Click or Shift+Click) that you want to transfer in bulk, then right click and choose file transfer.

                    Thanks for reaching out. Is this a feature request for the Modern app or the Win32 Desktop app?

                  • 7 votes
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                      4 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                      Thanks for the feedback, Jeffrey! I expect that the Windows 8 app will suit your needs in terms of multi-tasking out-of-the-box.

                      But if you prefer to use the Win8 app on the Windows desktop, then you can run Modern UI apps in a window using ModernMix.

                      Details can be found here: https://www.stardock.com/products/modernmix/

                      Thanks for reaching out! This applies to the Win32 app. It is not an issue in the Windows 8 app. If you are running Windows 8.1, I suggest downloading the Instant Housecall app from the Windows Store.

                      I've added this request in the Win32 app as a feature improvement. Kindly vote for the idea or comment here if you, too, would like to see this change.

                    • 79 votes
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                        under review  ·  2 comments  ·  General  ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

                        This has been added to the feature enhancement request list.

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