Apple acknowledges 1970 iPhone bug, but a fix has already been found

February 15, 2016 10:11:32 PM
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Last week, a very strange bug was discovered on the more recent versions of the iPhone. A bug so bad that if you took the right steps, you could manage to brick your phone permanently. Of course, those actions involve either traveling back in time, or simply trying to get your phone to believe that it was January 1st, 1970. Well, today, Apple finally acknowledged that this bug does indeed exist, and has offered up some advice.

By now, I'm pretty sure that most people with an iPhone (and even those who don't use one) have heard that you shouldn't set the date on your device to January 1st, 1970. Should you do this and then restart your phone, then it's likely not going to come back on. So why does this happen? While there's no way for us to know for sure, that date is a very special one for computers. Virtually every computer clock counts up from 0, starting at the very beginning of 1970. Setting your clock back to 0 is obviously causing some unforeseen issues, possibly making the phone try to calculate a time that is less than 0, or something else equally difficult.

Thankfully, Apple has decided to come out and comment on the issue. Their statement is very enlightening, and comes along with some much-needed advice, that we have yet to see:

If you changed the date to May 1970 or earlier and can’t restart your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch
Manually changing the date to May 1970 or earlier can prevent your device from turning on after a restart.
An upcoming software update will prevent this issue from affecting devices. If you have this issue, contact Apple Support.

Okay, so maybe their advice wasn't exactly ground-breaking, but there really isn't any other advice to give, in this situation. After all, how often do you even consider setting your phone's time back that far? It is good to know that they are working on a software update that will prevent this from happening in the future, for all of the time travelers out there who want an iPhone with the correct date and time when they travel to the past.

The other good news is that there is a way to fix the phone, should this happen to you. It requires opening up your phone, and briefly unplugging the battery. Doing this resets the date and time on your device, and allows it to boot properly.



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