Apple Family Sharing woes

When trying to accept the invite to Family Sharing on Amy’s phone, I’m stuck at the step “Share your location with your family”. Trying to continue with either of the two available options (Share Your Location, or Not Now) results with:

Cannot Complete Action

This action cannot be completed at this time.

Sadly, I’m not finding any solutions when searching DuckDuckGo or Google with the terms:

“cannot complete action” “family sharing” apple

Looks like I need call Apple Support. I’ll make sure to update this post. 🙁

Update 2015-11-24 16:25 PST: Amy just upgraded from an iPhone 5s to an iPhone 6. Fortunately, she was able to accept the invite this time! 🙌

See ya, Rdio

When I opened Rdio today, I saw a link to the message following message: Important information about your Rdio account. I learned about the beginning of their end a couple of days ago through sad colleagues and friends on Twitter. I started using Rdio in 2012 after a recommendation by Andrew Spittle, and I’ve had fun listening to new music.

Gary Pendergast wrote about replacing Rdio. Referring to his post, our three must have items are:

  • Offline sync to mobile.
  • Ability to play from my Mac.
  • Family accounts.

After I read Macworld’s Apple Music FAQ, I started the Apple Music three-month trial, plus Family Sharing for Amy and myself.

Switching from Rdio to Apple Music might mean scrobbling to my Last.fm account will be inconsistent, which makes me sad because I’ve been tracking since 2007. 😢

On July 8, 2015, Florian Eckerstorfer posted, “Apple Music and Last.fm: Does it Scrobble?“. I have Last.fm installed on my Mac, and I just installed QuietScrob – Background Last.fm Scrobbler. Fingers crossed.

Increasing use of Siri

I’ve been experimenting with using Siri more often. When I use compatible verbal commands, they’re faster than manually typing my requests. Some ideas:

  • Set alarms or timers.
  • Add an event to your calendar.
  • Add to-dos to Reminders. (e.g. Remind me about this email/webpage tomorrow.)
  • Add a to-do to a specific Reminders list (e.g. Groceries). Bonus tip: If you want to add another item to the same Reminders list, you can tap the microphone icon and continue. For example, “Also add spinach.”
  • Check weather.
  • Open apps. (Perhaps they’re buried beyond your home screen, and will take more than a few swipes.)

Some people mentioned Siri recently, which prompted me to give this a try. In the Back to Work podcast, Merlin Mann and Dan Benjamin discussed iOS 9 and improved Siri functionality earlier last month:

Nick Momrik mentioned a few handy examples. Apple also has a few iOS 9 tips and tricks for iPhone.

Obscura Camera removes capture date and time

Between June 27th, 2015 and today, I finally saw that any photos taken with Obscura Camera for iOS no longer includes the metadata capture time, capture date, and camera.1 I estimate at least 700 affected images.2

For now, I’ll contact Ben McCarthy and switch back to Camera+.

Aside: Does anyone know how to manually insert the capture time and date information from the filename of the JPG file?


  1. Instead of iPhone 6, the metadata for Camera says “Unknown Camera”. 
  2. There’s a mix of screenshots and video, so I don’t know the exact count. 

Transporter Sync: Installed!

I ordered a couple of Transporter Sync units after hearing it mentioned on Mac Power Users. It was icing that they offered a 2-for-1 Transporter Sync Mother’s Day special. I felt that Connected Data site sold the strengths of their products well, and I was ready to take some control of my data.

I’ll share my initial thoughts and experience.

I only had a 120 GB USB hard drive, so I ordered a 1 TB Toshiba Canvio Basics USB 3.0 Portable hard drive.

Setup was really easy. Plug in the Ethernet cable, hard drive, then power. And wait.

  • 120 GB hard drive: the Transporter sync took 22 minutes before the light turned solid blue. 100 GB available.
  • 1 TB hard drive: 17 minutes.

So much room for more activities!

A couple of missteps happened during the account setup process. Their site didn’t recognize my Transporter Sync as active, so I had to claim it manually ny entering a couple of fields from the bottom of the device. (For my convenience, I took a photo of information on the bottom of the device.) Secondly, the password length is limited to 32 characters.

I added a couple of Shared Folders with Amy, who doesnt have a Transporter for herself. Yet. Like Dropbox, she’ll need to create an account, then add the apps to her devices befofe she can use the Shared Folders.

On my laptop, I’ll use Selective Sync to uncheck these Shared Folders. I want the data in her folders sync’d to the Transporter Sync hard drive, but the files won’t be copied onto my laptop.

I started moving folders from Dropbox to my Transporter. Aside from on-the-fly organizing, it was simple moving my files. I also added some movie files that weren’t on Dropbox, and was pleased that those would finally be sync’d.

Testing a couple of apps was painless. In nvALT, I switched the folder to my Transporter, then tested a few edits to see if they sync’d. In Alfred, I also had to change the sync folder location from its settings.

Fast forwarding to the present, I have 19.1 GB sync’d to my Transporter, not much left on Dropbox, and looking for more to “migrate”!

I’m stoked because:

  • Transporter for iOS has automatic upload enabled with my camera roll to start when I’m at home and on WiFi. I usually import photos with Lightroom, and delete them from my iPhone with Image Capture. Now any photos that were in limbo won’t be anymore.
  • I have access to my hard drive.
  • I don’t have to worry about my hard drive.
  • Data is encrypted during transfer.
  • Nobody else sees that data unless I allow it.

I’m not sure if I’ll use the Transporter Library, as my laptop hard drive is spacious, but I’m glad I have the option. (Confession: Access speed would be slower.)

I’ll post a follow up sometime to describe some quirks that are super minor, and wanted to publish this right away because I’m pretty stoked. 🙂

Rad action for Drafts: Multiple Things

A few months ago, Ben Whiting shared an action he created for Drafts: Multiple “Things”.

When using Things for iPhone v2.6.3, you can’t add multiple to-dos in rapid succession by pressing Enter after each to-do. This action is a fantastic workaround.

Feature idea for Cultured Code: Copy Drafts’ implementation of their New Draft button (tap and hold) to the New To-Do button. i.e. Add multiple to-dos:

  • Without tags to keep it simple.
  • Within a list, area, or project.
  • Within a new project.

Please and thank you. 😛

Nappy time with Binaural for iOS

Binaural works well.

Binaural beats can help you relax, meditate, sleep, or even concentrate.

Binaural is the simplest, easiest to use binaural beats generator. Just pick a frequency, hit play, and it’ll do the rest.

I took a short break before a final hour of work this afternoon. Selecting an alpha frequency and medium rain setting, I placed headphones on my ears, sat in our comfortable bamboo rattan chair (which can lean back and rock a bit), and passed out within a few moments for fifteen minutes.1 After the noise stopped, I woke up and felt refreshed. Incredible, and free. Give it a try.

Aside: I wrote this post a few months ago.


  1. I used the built–in timer in the Clock app. For the option When Timer Ends, choose “Stop Playing”. Binaural also has a timer if you buy the IAP for $2.99. I wrote this before the feature was added on November 12, 2014.