iOS bug prevents New Year's alarms

[Update, 1/1/11 at 12:41 p.m. PT: Apple spokesperson Natalie Harrison confirmed to Macworld that Apple is aware of the problem. "We're aware of an issue related to non repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2," Harrison said. "Customers can set recurring alarms for those dates and all alarms will work properly beginning January 3."]

Users in 2011 have sent a message back to those of us in 2010: one-time iOS alarms don’t seem to be working right in the future.

According to numerous Twitter reports, which were then picked up by blogs including Engadget and TiPb, there’s a problem with non-recurring alarms set from within the Clock application.

I was able to confirm this after a couple of false starts. For the bug to show itself, your iOS device must actually tick over from 11:59 p.m. on December 31, 2010 to 12:00 a.m. on January 1, 2011. (Good news for time travelers!)

Once you’ve passed that special minute and your iPhone has shot off its virtual confetti cannon, the bug occurs: one-time alarms set for 12:01 a.m., for example, won’t go off. (I was able to set a recurring event for every Saturday at 12:03 a.m., and that one went off.)

The workaround for this is easy: set your alarm for New Year’s Day to be an “every Saturday” alarm.

According to a 9to5mac report, this bug lasts through January 3, then fixes itself. I haven’t had a chance to test that claim.

Shop ▾
arrow up Amazon Shop buttons are programmatically attached to all reviews, regardless of products' final review scores. Our parent company, IDG, receives advertisement revenue for shopping activity generated by the links. Because the buttons are attached programmatically, they should not be interpreted as editorial endorsements.

Subscribe to the Best of Macworld Newsletter