Is it possible to actually make an appointment at the local Apple Store Genus Bar directly from my iPhone? I know there’s a Web interface, but isn’t there an iPhone app for this too, given that there are a million apps available?
Funny you should ask that, because there is an iPhone app from Apple called “Apple Store” and it’s pretty slick, actually, and easily the fastest way to make an appointment if you need help with your Mac, iPhone, iPod or similar. To start out, grab a copy of the app here: Apple Store App [iTunes link]
Tip: If you prefer using the computer, check out my earlier tutorial on How to make an Apple Store appointment on your computer.
Now that you have it installed, I encourage you to allow it access to your location (so it can automatically figure out your closest stores) and to send you notifications (to remind you of upcoming appointments).
Got that all configured?
Now let’s have a look at how to set up an appointment and, as a bonus, how to check in once you’re at the store by again using the iPhone app.
Step zero is to find the app on your iPhone. The icon looks like this:
Found it? Launch it, tap the “Stores” icon along the bottom and let it figure out the closest stores. For me, the closest store isn’t my favorite, as you can see:
I want to make an appointment at the Twenty Ninth Street Apple Store, so I tap on it, revealing lots of useful information, including the store hours:
To make a Genius Bar appointment, I simply tap on “Genius Bar”.
Now the big question is what kind of product I want help with. In this case, it’s an iPhone 4s, but if you have an iPad, iPod or Mac system, well, you can see the options. Tap on the appropriate one and you’ll see the options for appointments, starting with the soonest available:
That 5:00pm appointment today fits well into my schedule, so I’ll select it by tapping on “Select Day & Time”, bringing up a summary of the appointment information:
Worth noting here is that you should always backup your device or data before going into the store, just in case they need to reformat, reset or even repair your system. Easily done, just do a “sync” prior to going in.
I also encourage you to add a few notes so that the Apple Genius can have a heads up about what’s happening. This is done by tapping on “How can we help you?”, though it’s not a requirement.
Ready? Tap on “Book Reservation” and…
Yup. Another place you need an Apple ID for it to work. Enter your credentials, tap “Sign In’ and it’ll ask you an important question:
I always tap “Add to Calendar” because it’s useful, but even if you don’t, the Apple Store app sets up reminders that’ll automatically pop up as you get closer to your appointment.
As you can see, the app knows you have a reservation and changes the interface as appropriate:
A handy tip is that if you need to reschedule your appointment, you can do that directly within the iPhone app too. Very handy if my 5pm Genius Bar appointment gets overtaken by traffic!
When you get to the store, like magic, the phone knows (after all, it is a “smartphone”, right?) and prompts you to check in:
Do so by tapping on “Check In Now” and you’re ready to meet with your Genius as soon as they’re available for you:
While you’re at the store, you can also — get this! — pay for products directly with your phone, no Apple employee required. Really.
Buy stuff while you wait with “EasyPay”. Tap on it to learn more.
I am a frequent visitor to the local Apple Store, often with Genius Bar questions, and I’d never make an appointment without my iPhone. It’s that easy.