A few weeks ago, a number of people started reporting having trouble with Siri. Phrases like 'Call my wife' or 'Tell my dad' stopped working. Siri knew who those people were but proclaimed 'Uh oh, I don't have a phone number for Jane Isa Doe." and beneath, there's a message: "Content Not Available."
I debugged this for over an hour and on a hunch, found a workaround that seems to work for nearly everyone who has tried it. All you have to do is delete the middle name of the person in *your* contact card where it is stored as a relationship.
I'm not sure why that works; it shouldn't, but it does. That's why I call it a workaround instead of a fix. I figure Apple is mucking around with Siri and perhaps caused a bug or some sort of corruption.
I'd be curious to know from MacOSXHints users whether they are experiencing this problem in the first place and if the workaround works for you, too. I'd also like to understand why this works and why the problem even exists. I had tried a ton of suggested fixes for the issue before stumbling upon this work around.
You can read more about it in my blog entry. In it, I link to the Apple discussion forums at the bottom, where people have been saying that this workaround fixes the issue for them.
[crarko adds: I find I already don't have middle names in any of my Contacts, so I've not seen this. I wonder if something is going on at Apple's end, where the Siri processing gets done. Perhaps in preparation for iOS 8.]
One of the primary objectives was to document a setup where the VPN-connected iOS device routes all the device's traffic through our network Ė i.e.:
All the iOS device's traffic goes through our network and is encrypted while doing so -- so the cellular data and WiFi parts of the device's traffic can't be monitored.
All unencrypted (and normall SSL browsing, etc.) traffic emanates only from our LAN through our network's (land-based/hard-wired) router.
This gives our mobile devices the benefit of some site filters provided by our firewall appliance (another 'how to' I have planned).
A major objective of the on demand aspect of the VPN capability is to have the a VPN connection automatically created whenever the iOS device is either only on a cellular network or on a WiFi network that's not ours (i.e., so the above requirement is automatically fulfilled).
Both the IPSec and OpenVPN configurations include setups using only user+password/account-based authentication as well as certificate-based authentication.
Although the iOS device instructions are specific to an iPhone, they also work for other iOS devices -- the user just has to find the equivalent items for the VPN settings.
Although the server side of the instructions is specific to the pfSense open source router, the setup configuration will apply to many other routers – the user will simply have to find the equivalent settings for that router/VPN appliance.
For anyone interested in a good router, read my Comments About pfSense for a strong but conditional recommendation.
[crarko adds: An ambitious project, and hopefully it should work with iOS 8 as well.]
It's possible to save power when using Maps to navigate in a car. It's an obvious trick once you know about it, and easy too.
When you're navigating with the Maps app, you're probably used to it chewing through battery life. Even on a full charge my iPhone 5 doesn't last more than 2-3 hours when navigating.
To eke out extra life, just press the Sleep button (top of the phone), once you're on your way and are on a long stretch before the next turn/navigation point (i.e. on a freeway for 50 miles). The screen will blank, but the navigation will continue. The phone will briefly wake 10 miles from your next turn/navigation point, to tell you about it, and will wake 2 miles from it and stay awake until you get past it.
To switch back to non-power-saving mode, just swipe as usual to wake the phone.
To be honest this doesn't save a huge amount of battery life in my tests, but it's better than nothing. For long journeys,you really need a USB power source such as those that fit into cigarette lighter sockets.
[crarko adds: I haven't tested this one, but I will on my next long drive.]
Long frustrated with how calendar events look within the Notification Center I've discovered a way to change it.
As part of iOS 7.1 Apple improved on the ability to view calendar events by adding a list view button in the Daily view. I have noticed that if you toggle this to list view within the Calendar app then your calendar events within Notification Center will also show as a list.
[crarko adds: Is this actually new? I don't remember having looked for this in previous versions of iOS.]
Unlike with the Mac, in iOS there is no way to select text and search for it on Google in a new tab. There is, however, a workaround that brings about the same result on iOS.
Select text in Safari to bring up the context menu on iOS and then tap on Define. This brings up the dictionary panel for the selected text. If you've selected a word that is not in the dictionary, or multiple words or usually even if the word is in the dictionary, on the bottom right there is Search Web. Tapping that opens a new tab and searches for the selected text. This is equivalent to selecting text, copying, opening new tab, pasting the text in omnibar.
Things to note:
Even though the hint mentions Google, this uses the default search engine set in the Safari preferences so your preference is respected.
This is not specific to Safari. Any app that allows selection of text, and brings up the contextual menu will work with this by opening Safari.
[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I didn't try out all the combinations, though.]
As satisfying as the swipe to close feature in mobile Safari is, it becomes a bit of a chore to close more than a few tabs.
To close all tabs at once, tap the new tab icon (two overlapping squares), tap Private, and then Close All. Repeat the first two steps and tap '+' (or the screen) to get back to an empty Safari in your preferred browsing state.
I only have an iOS 7 device to test this in.
[crarko adds: I tested this, and it works as described. I also only have iOS 7.]
Printopia is a great tool for exposing non-Air Print printers on a local network so that you can print to them from any iOS device. But even better is that it can expose PDF Workflow to do your bidding. In my case, I wanted to do n-up printing (n pages per sheet).
To do this, open up Automator and create a Print Plugin. For the workflow, you only need to add a single Run Shell Script action with the following line:
The details of the command will vary depending on your needs. In my case, I wanted 2-up printing to go do my default printer, so I could exclude the -d option.
To see a list of available print queues, type lpstat -a in terminal.
Once you save your Print Plugin, go to the Printopia in System Preferences and add your new plugin as an available destination for printing.
[crarko adds: I admit to being a happy Printopia user, and know there are others around here as well. While not needing this particular item myself, it does suggest some other things to try. Which is why I think it's a useful hint.]
As you probably know the brandnew iOS devices like the iPad Air enable you to download the iWork and iLife apps for free. What I didnít know is that once you downloaded them to your new device, they will also be available for free on your older devices.
In my case I bought an iPad Air and also got the apps for free on my older iPhone 5. It makes kinda sense, since the download is tied to your Apple ID, but I still didnít think about that until I noticed them downloading on my iPhone. In my case Automatic Downlods were enabled. So if you have this unchecked you just need to download the apps manually. The will show the Cloud icon instead of a price.
No great hint, but maybe someone else didnít think about that, too.
iOS 7 uses iCloud to store your passwords for websites you log into. But sometimes, by default, Safari won't prompt you to save passwords for certain sitesósites that explicitly request that web browsers not save such data.
But they're your passwords, and Apple clearly thinks you deserve a vote on whether your iOS device saves them. Head over to the Settings app, tap on Safari, and then tap on Passwords & Autofill. Enable the Always Allow setting, and Safari will now be willing to save every single password you enter, even on sites that attempt to disallow that option.
When you turn your iOS 7 device to landscape (horizontal) mode in the Music app, you get a lovely grid of album cover art from the music in your library. You can tap on one to see that album in details.
But you may not realize just how interactive that grid is. You can swipe across it to drag other album covers into view. But even better, you can pinch and zoom to change how many album covers fit onto the screen at a time.