The iOS 9 operating system may remain hugely popular, but Apple has had its fair share of difficulties with this iteration. After a recent update attempted to address numerous faults with the software, a new problem has emerged with iOS 9 in the last week.

iOS 9 Alarm Bug Causing Irate iPhone Users To Sleep In

Alarming problem

Updates to iPhones are disabling the alarms of users and leading to them sleeping in! This may appear a slightly amusing problem from the outside, but it has had serious consequences for many iPhone users, who are somewhat less amused about the issue!

New versions of iOS 9 feature the ability to install updates overnight. This is generally considered to be a convenient aspect of the operating system which prevents users from having to tolerate inordinate updates during the day. Unfortunately, implementing this particular aspect of the operating system appears to also disable alarms for the entire evening, ensuring that people are ultimately not waking up when they actually need to do so.

As one can imagine, this has had a significant impact on Apple users all over the world, and this led to some extremely strong reactions. While waking up late on a few occasions may not be the end of the world, consider, for example, the prospect of an alarm being cancelled ahead of an examination.

At present, when an iPhone or iPad downloads a software update, Apple users are offered the option to install it immediately, or wait for a more convenient time. If the latter option is selected, it is possible to choose installations to take place overnight, with the software then theoretically installed ready for the next morning. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been working out too well in practice!

Although the source of this particular bug is not yet understood, it is suggested that when iPhones are updated, they take users to a setup screen, effectively ensuring that the phone is not fully operational. This means that it is not able to play alarms when required.

Short-term issue

This is unquestionably a very annoying bug, with the only plus point being that it is a pretty short-term problem. Once the phone is fully started back up, it follows naturally that this should be no further problem, with the issue only occurring on the night that the update is installed. It certainly seems that alarms on the iPhone are not permanently affected by this issue, but it is still one that Apple will want to correct as soon as possible.

The latest update that enables people to upgrade iPhones overnight is part of the iOS 9 operating system. Apple has since released minor and major updates for iOS 9, all of which have featured this particular option and ultimately triggered this problem with the alarm system. One of the smaller updates released, iOS 9.0.1, was intended to address numerous issues related to alarms, but not the problem that has emerged in the last few days.

Other iOS 9 issues

This alarm bug is just the latest problem to appear in the iOS 9 operating system since it was released in September. What can be said with regard to this is that Apple has actually been pretty forthright in dealing with this plethora of difficulties. Usually, Apple likes to take a very taciturn PR approach to problems with iOS, but perhaps the level of issues with iOS 9 has necessitated a more proactive ethos.

Indeed, the recent iOS 9.1 release actually went to the trouble of outlining every single bug fix included in the software, making it certain that all Apple users understood the problems with the iOS 9 operating system. And there is quite a significant list of problems that Apple has already had too contend with.

iOS 9.1 is intended to permanently fix the following issues:

  • Repairing a problem with the calendar which ensures that the software became unresponsive in the month review;
  • Fixing an issue which prevented the Game Center from launching correctly;
  • Resolving an issue which caused inadvertent zooming of content with some apps;
  • Preventing incorrect unread mail count for POP mail accounts;
  • Fixing an issue that previously prevented users from removing recent contacts from new mail or messages;
  • Resolving problems with messages not appearing in mail search results;
  • Preventing a gray bar appearing in the body of an Audio Message;
  • Fixing an issue which caused activation errors with numerous carriers;
  • Fixing an issue that prevented some apps from updating from the App Store;
  • Improving stability including CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari, and Search;
  • Improving performance while in Multitasking UI.

So there has been a quite significant raft of the problems with iOS 9, and issues that affect a wide range of software available with the operating system. Calendar, Game Center, app updating, app content, messaging, carrier data and email viewing, downloading, sending and search have all been affected by these particular bugs, and perhaps it could be said overall that the performance of iOS 9 has been a little bit disappointing in this regard.

There has also been recognition from Apple that CarPlay, Music, Photos, Safari, and Search have all been affected by stability issues. Multitasking has also been rather unpredictable and slow in this version of the operating system.

Rapid iOS 9.1 release

Nonetheless, Apple seems to have got on top of these difficulties rather quickly. iOS 9.1 was released extremely rapidly after the issues in iOS 9 emerged, the final releases appearing just 33 days after the original software went to market. This compares with the typical 60-80 day testing period that Apple would usually apply to software. The company can also be commended for producing the ThinkyBits iOS development tracking blog, witch keeps Apple users up-to-date with the latest developments in this area.

So there does seem to be reason for optimism with regard to the alarm issue, even if it can be considered a relatively minor inconvenience as opposed to a major problem. Apple should be updating the iOS operating system still further in the coming weeks, and hopefully this issue will be eliminated completely at that time.