Siri: workaround Content Not Available error

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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.]

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