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myBoxTone Expert announces General Availability this week; BGR gets down and dirty with a review

December 2nd, 2008 at 7:57 AM

After an extensive series of betas and intense testing for bugs, stability and security, BoxTone is ready to announce the general availability of its self-service BlackBerry app, myBoxTone Expert. MyBoxTone Expert can be considered a silent “guardian angel,” if you will, for your BlackBerry smartphone. The application runs in the background and will notify you of any problems with your device before they become serious issues. When myBoxTone Expert finds a problem, it will help you to resolve the issue with a clear, simple, step-by-step process that will allow practically any user to remedy the problem on his or her own. If the issue goes beyond what the user is capable of resolving, myBoxTone Expert offers remote troubleshooting and assistance which quickly resolves the problem. Businesses that manage a number of BlackBerry handsets would benefit greatly from myBoxTone Expert because of its ability to fix problems quickly and conveniently. Long story short, even the most evil IT Managers in the world can’t help but crack a smile when the board finally approves that myBoxTone Expert requisition…

For the less savvy user who was issued or asked to acquire a BlackBerry for corporate use, it can be a headache trying to navigate around the BlackBerry OS (remember your very first time picking up a BlackBerry?). What’s worse is when something goes wrong, they typically haven’t a clue as to where to begin or what to do. The home screen of myBoxTone Expert gives you basic information about the phone, such signal strength, battery life and available memory:

From here, users can see how much their battery life has decreased in the past hour and how much time is left so they can adjust and monitor their usage – very convenient if you’re wondering whether it’s time to plug in or pop in that extra battery. Whereas the Blackberry OS offers you battery percentages by increments of 5%, myBoxTone shows the exact battery life for more accuracy. Unless you’re an extremely tech savvy power user, this screen would be extremely beneficial to most corporate users who may not be aware of their power consumption.

MyBoxTone Expert is constantly monitoring processes on the handset and whenever there is a problem with the phone, the application icon changes from green to yellow (meh, it’s not so bad) or red (ruh roh) depending on the severity of the issue. Clicking the icon while after an alert has occurred will bring the user to the second tab which displays alert details along with the date and time of the occurrence. Alerts in yellow mean that the problem hasn’t escalated to its highest level yet, or it is a problem that can be easily resolved. An alert pictured in red however, is more serious and typically requires immediate attention. Data outages, syncing or connectivity issues, extremely low memory or very low battery life are some examples of red alerts.

Here you can see that the myBoxTone Expert icon has changed from green to yellow, signaling a minor problem, but one that could potentially worsen if it isn’t addressed.

And finally – this may be a little unnerving to see – the icon turns red when there is a serious issue with the device.

The last tab can be appreciated by the extremely picky and curious power users. It shows usage on a time line such as phone calls, data usage and signal strength. If you find any fluctuations in battery life, such as sudden decreases, this tab will likely show you the corresponding activity that caused the fluctuation. Again, this is an extremely useful tool for monitoring and adjusting usage and predicting battery life as well as recognizing which areas provide the best or worst network strength. Detailed reports can also be generated from this tab and emailed to the help desk in the event a user is not able to resolve an issue on his or her own.

Every year, a lot of time and money is spent by corporations on troubleshooting BlackBerry smartphone issues. With myBoxTone Expert, you’ll be surprised at how many calls to IT departments and help-desks can be avoided altogether because the application monitors the device’s health and notifies you immediately if there is a problem. If the issue goes beyond what a user is capable of fixing on his or her own, there is the option to take a screen shot of the issue and send it to the help desk. The image is also accompanied by critical information regarding the state of the device during the time the issue occurred and the image was sent.

Most of our BlackBerry-packing readers are technically adept and very savvy, but not everyone who owns a BlackBerry is quite as slick. As an example, some folks will take many pictures on their devices and suddenly messages and call records disappear – as they had no idea that their free memory was being eaten up by the pictures. Or perhaps they’ll see that battery life is down to 20% and think they still have several hours before it’s time to charge, when in reality it could only be another hour. So, if you’re working for a company with a fleet of ‘Berrys deployed, it is most definitely in your best interest to check out myBoxTone Expert. If you’re at a large company where there might even hundreds of BlackBerry devices in the hands of employees, you’d pretty much be crazy not to check it out. It can potentially save your company tone of time, headaches and most importantly, money.


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