The new Samsung+ app will rescue you from your parents’ incessant tech questions

Sometimes you just hit a dead end in troubleshooting what’s going on with your phone. You’ve tried everything you can think of, but no dice. For tech-savvy users this may be messing with carrier settings or navigating file menus, for the less-digitally inclined it might be connecting a pair of bluetooth headphones.

Samsung is updating its Samsung+ app to a new 3.0 version, with features aimed at helping people navigate their Galaxy phones and tablets to get issues resolved in a quick, personalized manner.

Samsung Assist is by far the coolest feature upgrade in the updated app. Say you’re live chatting with support and just have no idea what they’re asking you to do. You can actually just ask them to do it themselves through remote access. You’ll have to give them a one-off code over a secure connection to establish the access and then give them verbal permission each time they do something like change a setting. Your phone can be flashing through setting screens all while a real human Samsung remote assistant is walking you through what exactly they’re doing. Unfortunately, this feature is only available at the moment on new GS7 devices.

Samsung+ 3.0_Active Help

Samsung detailed that most of the inquiries fed to live support at the moment were in relation with wifi or bluetooth issues, things that were often resolved by navigating a few settings screens and then hitting a toggle. It definitely seems like the phone is geared towards either new Samsung users or more likely less tech-savvy older phone users.

Samsung Assist was surprisingly snappy from end to end in the demo, but time will tell when the updated 3.0 service launches whether people will be getting tossed to a hold line. For what I would imagine is a majority of users, it makes sense for the most common phone issues to be rectified by consulting a digital assistant versus making a video call to a real human, but there are a lot of customers who Samsung+ makes a ton of sense for.

One of the unique things about the app is that its suggestions and tips change with the life of your phone. Visit the app on the second day of owning your phone and you’ll have some relevant guides on setting up your notification preferences or importing contacts, then perhaps on day 25 of owning the Galaxy phone you’ll hear about space saving or battery saving tips. On that note, the app also includes a diagnostic feature that can inform you of what you could be doing to speed up your phone, save battery life or otherwise make it better.

Overall the app’s new interface is really focused on being more personalized. You can register separate devices from your phone to your tablet to your… fridge. And Samsung will switch up the app’s home screen with relevant guides and tips accordingly.

The app’s a little bloated, there’s a good deal of “Galaxy Life” branded lifestyle content that I can’t imagine will ever be meaningfully viewed, read or used by 99.8% of the people who download the app. Instead it serves as a hub for PR content which I imagine is designed to give the app less of “Use this app when your Galaxy is wonking out” vibe. The app also has a moderated community section for user generated forums, which I’m sure some people will use occasionally when they don’t feel like spamming a real person with questions. There’s also an On Demand Answers section for people just looking to browse some FAQs.

I remember helping my grandma set up a laptop a couple years ago. Routine seems like the best way to show someone how to navigate a new piece of tech so I labeled all the different icons “use this for the internet,” “check e-mails” etc. etc. All of this worked great until some website upgraded their interface then everything went to shit. Samsung+ is mainly great for solving small problems, but even the smallest issues can keep some people from using their devices at all. With Samsung Assist there’s nothing left to be lost in translation and provided users aren’t going to be paranoid about giving remote access to their phones (which is far from a given) this could be a major step in getting certain Galaxy owners more comfortable on the platform.

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