Apple Working to Fix iPhone Alarm Malfunction

Wim De Gent
By Wim De Gent
May 2, 2024US News
Apple Working to Fix iPhone Alarm Malfunction
A woman uses her iPhone in a file photo. (Jack Guez/AFP via Getty Images)

Apple says it is working as fast as it can to fix an issue that causes some iPhone alarms to not play a sound, or play alarms too quietly for people to wake up, leading to an outpouring of complaints online.

Many who use their iPhone as their default alarm clock were met with an unpleasant surprise this week, waking up late for work, class, and school pickups.

Upset over-sleepers turned to social media to share their experiences.

“This has probably been the third or fourth day in a row that my alarm clock has not gone off,” said one TikTok user. Another said the problem had been going on “for the past week or so.”

Apple has confirmed it is aware of the issue, though it has yet to issue a press release.

It is not clear how many people have been affected by the issue, but one video made by a TikTok user who claimed that the issue was related to a certain iPhone setting, gathered nearly 10 million views.

“Apple, are you trying to get people fired?” the young lady said, who claimed her iPhone 15 alarm went off “at the lowest volume” due to the device’s “attention aware features.”

With the “attention aware features” enabled, an iPhone will check whether a user is paying attention to the device and, when they are, it will automatically adjust display brightness and lower the sound volume of notification alerts—and alarms—until you look away again.

Several TikTokkers reasoned that when a sleeping person has his or her face turned towards the screen of a bedside iPhone, the device may erroneously interpret that the user is engaging with the phone, activate the “attention aware features” and mute any alarm.

The “attention aware features” are set to active status by default, regardless of whether one opts to choose face recognition ID on the device.

Apple declined to confirm whether the “attention aware features” were indeed the reason for the alarm problem, which was first reported by NBC’s Today program. The company also did not immediately provide an easy fix for the problem, nor did it mention whether the issue is restricted to only particular models of iPhone.

The feature is available only on iPhone X and later versions, so earlier versions may not be affected by the problem. The iPad Pro 11-inch and iPad Pro 12.9-inch also have “attention aware features.”

Users can turn the “attention aware features” off via the iPhone’s Face ID & Passcode settings tab, as described on their website.

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