Support E-Mails are Fixed in iOS 15
Back in March I wrote about how an update to iOS 14 had completely turned our very simple support inquiry strategy onto its head and I wrote about my frustrations while trying to adopt the, old at this point, iOS share sheet. It is still completely broken and impossible to pass along any kind of formatted text into certain fields in a predictable way. As far as I was able to follow the breadcrumbs with iOS 15.0.1 or iOS 15.0.2 Apple at least fixed the
mailto:// links they had broken in iOS 14.6 to address a 0-day (I am failing to find the links now but here is the Security Update Disclosure).
In order to send details about the state of our app we allow customers to opt into sharing details via simple UISwitch-es. We receive data in a somewhat predictable format as well as a written message with context about the problem and our customers have the ability to verify and edit which details are being shared with us.
Our goal is to make things as convenient as possible for them to share crucial information with us to help them, but not beat them over the head with it by forcing anybody to share something they don’t feel confident in sharing. We prefer having to ask for more details over collecting any data automatically without the users input or explicit acknowledgement. Discipline and restraint will win you long-term trust in this situation and it is always worth it in my opinion.
To give a concrete example, this is what a support inquiry formatted on iOS 14.8 looks like:
<BR><BR>Please describe in detail the issue you are experiencing <BR><BR>###<BR><BR>VPN Hostname<BR>sanjose-ipsec-4<BR><BR>Subscription Type<BR>Quarterly<BR><BR>AppStore Receipt<BR><BR><BR>App Version<BR>2.2.4 (4)<BR><BR>iOS Version<BR>14.7.1<BR><BR>iOS Timezone<BR>America/Los_Angeles<BR><BR>Network Type<BR>WiFi<BR><BR>Cellular Carrier<BR>REDACTED<BR><BR>Subscriber Credential<BR>REDACTED<BR><BR>Issue<BR>App doesn't work (Not Guardian)
I think it is obvious to anybody why receiving such messages would suck. Yes we could setup triggers or webhooks to clean this up and simply replace all instances of
\n but we shouldn’t have to do that in the first place.
Thanks to iOS 15 being such a solid update and the great adoption rate we are seeing, these E-Mails are less and less common. Instead we are now receiving support inquiry E-Mails looking like this:
### Please describe in detail the issue you are experiencing ### VPN Hostname frankfurt-ipsec-10 Subscription Type Pro AppStore Receipt No App Receipt Available App Version 2.2.6 (20211103.5) iOS Version 15.1 iOS Timezone Europe/Berlin Network Type WiFi Cellular Carrier T-Mobile Subscriber Credential REDACTED Exceptions Log REDACTED Issue App doesn't work (Not Guardian)
Critical details like the app version are glanceable again reducing the support overhead significantly. Looking for details in an ocean of
<BR> once is easy. Do that all day and you will quickly look for alternatives.
I hope that we are able to inspire more developers to adopt this kind of support ticket system as plain-text will work with any regular E-Mail account as well as more fancy systems like Zendesks and the like.