iPhone 'Do Not Disturb' bug to self-destruct on Monday
Bug surfaces just as Apple trumpets feature in new Venus 'n' Serena ad
Users of Apple's iPhone will have to wait until Monday for its latest bug to fix itself.
On January 1, iOS 6's Do Not Disturb feature, which allows users to choose time periods during which they don't want to receive calls and to limit calls that do come through to members of selected groups, decided that it no longer wanted to obey users' wishes.
Instead, it refused to reset itself to a call-receiving state after the time period scheduled by the user, thus keeping the iPhone in the Do Not Disturb state, unbeknownst to the user.
Do Not Disturb – when it works – allows you to schedule the period it's in force (left) and those folks allowed to override it
On Wednesday, however, Apple released a terse support document admitting that the bug did, indeed, exist, and said that a fix would be forthcoming. "Do Not Disturb scheduling feature will resume normal functionality after January 7, 2013," the doc reads. "Before this date, you should manually turn the Do Not Disturb feature on or off."
Ironically, the Do Not Disturb bug surfaced just as Apple released a new ad touting that very feature. In the 30-second spot, an iPhone 5 user dreams he is trouncing both Serana and Venus Williams in table tennis, secure in the fact that his phone won't wake him, seeing as how he has scheduled Do Not Disturb.
Well, it turns out that until next Monday, when the Do Not Disturb bug is scheduled to self-repair, neither will he be awakened from any dream after the time for which he set that feature to reset, unless he turns the call-blocking feature off himself.
While a minor feature such as Do Not Disturb being dysfunctional for a week is nowhere near as embarassing to Apple's software folks as the howler that was – and is, for that matter – the replacement of iOS's Google-supplied Maps app with Apple's own navigational cock-up, it is another bit of egg tossed onto the face of Apple's cherished, carefully cultivated "It Just Works" reputation. ®
Re: Not again!
Time measurement may not have changed but the turn over of cheap young developers who have not seen this bug before is quite frequent.
If you are experienced enough to remember a time based bug then you are likely too expensive.
Re: Not again!
Indeed, and time bugs generally don't show up under the oh-so-brief testing that many programmers are prepared to conduct. Time bugs tend to be caught only whenever they eventually occur, or in a properly thorough code review (a rare thing these days I suspect).
That culture is intruding into the more traditional worlds of software and OS development, which is *not* good! Got a stupid, oh-no-not-again time bug in an app built into an OS? Who cares - fix it at the next update.
One of Apple's biggest successes is to re-educate end users into accepting technically worse products (can't tell the time, can't really make a phone call, terrible battery life, inefficient use of bandwidth, etc), because at the end of the day a lot of punters are more interested in the style of the thing.
Unfortunately the other manufacturers (Google, MS) have seen Apple's huge profit margins and have realised that there's no point them trying to achieve a high technical quality either. That's got to be a backward step :-( Android is littered with problems (and Google have no effective update mechanism for the end user either). WinPhone 8 has/had a random reset problem (fixed now?). How did that ever pass pre-launch quality control?
[jet lagged and grumpy]
:It Just Borks!"