Shout Out To Debug Screen Feature

I think a long time ago I advocated for this feature, but even though I knew it had been introduced I never really had a need to use it.

Been having trouble with Alexa since I upgraded to 7.0. “Roomie Remote skill is unavailable” or something like that. Primary controller is a dedicated iPad in my media closet, made sure it is on Ethernet, made sure it had static IP, made sure I was in guided access mode, etc. Everything looked good. Unlinked my Alexa skill. Linked it again. Still no joy.

Then I remembered the debug screen. Pulled it up, told Alex to run an activity, and she failed like expected. Looked through the logs and saw a message from “RoomieCloud” that said “missing login credentials.” It actually took me a minute to realize what this meant. I hadn’t had to log in to my Roomie account in so long I had forgotten it existed. I double checked and sure enough it wasn’t logged in. I don’t recall having to enter credentials during previous upgrades, but I suspect this one logged me out. I logged in, gave Alexa the command, and it worked.

So, gave me the opportunity to self-solve. Saved Will a ticket. Big win for this feature!

In using the feature I have the following observations:

  1. Be nice if the logs could be emailed or saved off somewhere so they could be reviewed on a bigger screen and with more powerful tools.

  2. Be nice if a “no results” search gave you an indication of that. First few searches I tried didn’t bring up any results though I thought they were decent search terms. Realized they weren’t decent once I tried searching for something obvious.

Those old accounts have been in phase-out for years. They exist only for Alexa and they are pretty buried so that users don’t think they actually need to login to make anything else work.

At some point in the next cycle, we plan to delete all historical user accounts and any history thereof. We’ll be migrating any further use of Alexa (and any future related features that require some kind of user identity on our side) to ‘Sign In With Apple’ only.

The log screen does by the way support standard copy semantics, so you can “share” it, simply copy and then with your iPhone next to your Mac in Handoff, paste on your Mac.

Cool. Didn’t think to try copy and paste.

And fully support going to an SSO account.