Apple’s latest hidden feature being promoted online is actually an iOS bug which will render any Apple products unusable once the bug is installed. The error, dubbed the “1970 bug”, bricks an Apple device when the date is manually changed to 1 January 1970.
The bug is being called a hidden feature or “Easter egg” which is normally a fun, harmless update of Apple’s software. Apple users are being told that if they change the date to 1 January 1970, the phone will unlock a ‘retro theme’.
The “blast from the past” Easter egg reads: “The original Macintosh introduced the world to computers, forever changing the way people experience technology, and allowing people to do things that were never possible before. With this easter egg, warp back in time with a classic Macintosh theme to relive the magic on your iPhone. Change the date on your phone to January 1, 1970, press and hold the power button to reboot your device, and prepare for a wild ride!”
What actually happens is the phone shutsdown and ‘bricks’ meaning it is completely useless.
Peter Zuluzney, technology journalist at consumer advocacy group Choice says: “Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do if the bug has already busted your phone. Apple suggests contacting customer support or making an appointment at the Genius Bar in an Apple store where staff may be able to fix it.”
A press release from Apple gave very little details about why and how this bug became active. But it stated that “an upcoming software update will prevent this issue from affecting iOS devices”.