Calling one iPhone called another

I saw the strangest thing once with two cell phones that both had an Apple ID on them. When you called the number of one of them, it would call the other one about 10 seconds later from the first phone. I immediately thought this was because of the way Face time associates a phone number with an Apple ID. It was probably trying the second phone since the first one didn’t pick up. Sort of like an automatic hunt group where a number will ring on the next phone in a group of numbers.

So I turned off the Apple ID or “signed out” of the Apple ID on one of the phones. It immediately stopped calling the second phone. So I had the person go to Settings > General > Reset and then Erase all Content and Settings. Then she used her second Apple ID and we called the first phone and no more calls to the second phone.

iphone six plusSo this behavior is very confusing for the typical person. It should have been made explicit when a second phone is added to an Apple ID. There should have been a warning that comes up that says “This phone may be called when other phones with this Apple ID have been called.” This was not obvious to the typical person. In addition, many, many people complain that the iTunes and iPhone are complicated. I agree. I work with them everyday and I learn things everyday about them. For a casual user, it is too much.

One of the things that I loved in software programs was the idea of “context aware icons”. That meant that you got an icon for functionality only when you were in a position where you needed that functionality. This is opposite to the Ribbon in Microsoft where they show you everything, and overwhelm the average person. All software should only show you the options that apply in that moment. There should always be an icon for help or troubleshooting that people can click and it can walk you through a wizard of common things that can go wrong. Software is great, but it has always been too complicated for people.

PDF’s problems displaying in Chrome or IE

For years, web browsers have had problems displaying PDF’s in Chrome and IE. It doesn’t seem to matter the version of the browser, or the PDF viewer, it often caused heavy-duty pdf users to have issues. The issues ranged from not displaying, to getting a vague Adobe PDF error, to crashing the browser. I read and did everything I could to fix this issue including updating the Adobe Professional application, updating the browser, clearing the cache, resetting the browser, doing the Hokey Pokey and turning all about. Nothing seemed to be the permanent fix for this.

Finally I realized that if you can’t fix the issue in the browser, maybe the best thing is to disable viewing PDF in the browser. I went to the Google plugin settings and disabled the built-in Chrome PDF viewer and since the Adobe PDF viewer wasn’t listed I didn’t need to disable it. Then when someone clicked on a URL to download and view a PDF on the web, instead of viewing it in the browser, it downloaded and opened up in the PDF application. This seems to work very well, and it didn’t give any errors.

I am sharing this to say that if you can’t get something working after a few years of working with the system, perhaps its best to avoid the “feature” and just do it another way. The person who needed this was happy it was viewable in the program and that she was able to see the PDF. I had done all of the suggested troubleshooting, but since she views hundreds of pdfs everyday she needed something that was rock solid.