FaceTime Failing In OS X Mavericks 10.9 With “The server encountered an error verifying registration”

After updating to Mavericks (OS X 10.9) I’ve seen a few instances where “The server encountered an error verifying registration” errors appear when trying to open FaceTime after an upgrade. I think this comes down to the GUID/username entry for the Accounts not matching the AuthID in ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ids.service.com.apple.madrid.plist file. It seems as though the accounts that work have a consistent entry here and those that don’t have random or missing information. If some of the keys are filled in and the Status for each alias is 3 it doesn’t appear to try and connect again. The easiest and quickest way to fix this for me has been to delete the ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.ids.service.com.apple.madrid.plist file with Messages closed. ftAlso, the ServerHost key needs to be init.ess.apple.com. I’ve noticed that when the AuthID is inconsistent that the ServerHost is missing.

Accepting Always-On FaceTime Calls

I’ve been experimenting with using FaceTime as an always-on video conferencing system. However things like network interruptions happen. Therefore, it’s never a bad idea to plan for that and allow either end of a call to initiate a new call without someone on the other end hitting accept. To do so, we can just send a boolean AutoAcceptInvites key to com.apple.FaceTime: defaults write com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvites -bool true After restarting FaceTime, incoming calls will automatically answer. Since we might take a machine and do something differently, we might need to disable this again. To disable this feature: defaults write com.apple.FaceTime AutoAcceptInvites -bool false

Apple's Customer Facing SystemStatus

Apple now has a new system status page for their services, available at http://www.apple.com/support/systemstatus. This site goes through many of Apple’s services and shows an indicator light for when they are up. Additionally, you can scroll down to the detailed timeline and see a historical account of what services are online. This is yet another step in Apple’s continued progress at providing more and more information to the community on, well, everything. This includes seeing Apple popping up at conferences here and there, most notably at Black Hat this year, publishing more kbase articles that detail problems and allowing more community involvement from some employees. A more open Apple is a more enterprise, education and consumer friendly Apple.

iPhone 4: Where is My FaceTime?

I am almost embarrassed how long this took me to figure out. FaceTime was missing on my iPhone 4. Apparently, if you upgrade from 3 to 4 it doesn’t automatically show up. Instead you need to go to Settings and then tap on the Phone settings. Right there, staring back at you is a screen that says FaceTime and it gives you the ability to turn it ON or OFF. Tap ON and it should reappear in your apps (required me to reboot to show up).

Scripting FaceTime

I will go through long stretches without playing with new technology until I either get unbusy or get talked into figuring out how to do something remotely interesting with it. Like linking FaceTime up to a help desk database. It turns out that Apple made it a very straight forward process. Simply use a facetime handler as the prefix to a URL with the phone number of the other person (iPhone 4) or their FaceTime email address (usually with the desktop app). For example, if my email were krypted@krypted.com then you could use the following from terminal:
open facetime://krypted@krypted.com
Or if my phone number were 310-555-1212 (it is you know;):
open facetime://3105551212
Happy FaceTiming