If you’d like to experience what life was like before mobile phones were widely available, try changing your iPhone date to January 1, 1970.
A bug has been discovered on iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches with operating systems 8.0 and up, causing the devices to crash when they are manually set to the oldest date possible.
Trolls posted a prank photo on 4chan urging people to ‘warp back in time with a classic Macintosh theme to relive the magic on your iPhone.’
It cryptically told people to change the date and ‘prepare for a wild ride’.
This prank photograph, posted by trolls on 4chan, urged people to try changing their iPhone date to January 1, 1970
A bug causes devices on iOS 8 or 9 to go haywire once the date manually changed. The effects are not immediate, but once the phone is turned off and back on, it fails to reboot
The bug exists because Unix time is calculated starting from January 1, 1970 at midnight Greenwich Mean Time.
If the phone is set in a time zone after GMT, this means the iPhone automatically subtracts a few hours from 00:00:00, causing it to freeze up once it thinks you’re in ‘negative time’.
Videos uploaded on YouTube show that the phone is not immediately affected by the change of date.
However, once the phone is turned off and back on, the phone is stuck at the Apple logo greeting screen and fails to reboot.
Plugging the phone into a computer won’t help either, and a physical repair, which requires disconnecting the battery, is necessary to get the iPhone up and running again.
Since iPhones automatically calibrate their time settings when connected to Wi-Fi, a hacker could potentially utilize this bug and render every iPhone on a public network useless.
The bug affects devices on iOS 8 or 9, which includes the iPhone 5s or newer, iPad, iPad Air, iPad mini 2, and iPod touches made in 2015 or later.