Given that Apple has been making dedicated watches for over three years and computers with clocks for decades, there’s no excuse for recurring daylight savings bugs in its products. Yet it has happened once again: Some early daylight savings switchers in Australia report (via Reddit) that new Apple Watch Series 4 models were stuck in a day-long rebooting loop — an issue Apple will need to fix before customers in other regions switch their clocks.
The latest bug affects users of the new Apple Watch’s Infograph Modular watch face, which apparently reboots endlessly after a daylight savings time switch if the Activity complication is selected. While the loop lasted for a day after Australian clocks changed, it did end automatically after 24 hours had passed. Based on past experience, the same issue will likely hit European users on October 28 and the U.S. on November 4 unless Apple addresses it with a software patch first.
For unknown reasons, daylight savings bugs have proven resistant on past Apple devices. iOS 4.1 and earlier device clocks and alarms were disrupted by DST bugs in 2010, followed by a calendar-specific bug in iOS 7 during 2013 and 2014, and Siri issues on watchOS just last year.
In most cases, the bugs have only caused limited app failures or crashes, but this year’s reboot loops are more significant. The initial Reddit report notes that the user “woke up this morning to a dead watch at 0 percent when it was at 70 percent last night before bed,” because the reboots drained the device’s battery.
Should your watch wind up in a similar situation, the solution is to connect the watch to its charging puck, use the paired iPhone’s Watch app to “select” a new Watch Face that doesn’t have the Activity complication — X-Large is simplest — then wait for the watch to finish its reboot loop. When your watch displays the charging screen, it will be ready to use again; just stay away from the problematic complication until 24 hours have passed. Ideally, Apple will fix the issue in a comprehensive manner this year so the issues stop affecting its devices once and for all.
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