Recently, a bug was found in iOS – Apple’s mobile operating system for the likes of iPhone and iPad – that effectively bricked the 64-bit iPhone and iPad models just by settings a particular date in the date and time settings.
For those not familiar, it was recently discovered that setting Jan 1, 1970, as your date on a 64-bit iPhone or iPad device would put the device in boot loops after a reboot and even the DFU mode restore won’t be of any help to bring the device back to life. Hence, the bug effectively bricks the device by simply setting a particular date.
Apple was quick to push a fix for the bug, but it is currently available to the registered iOS developers and beta testers only in the form of iOS 9.3 beta 4. In the fourth beta of iOS 9.3, Apple has added a new restriction to its date and time settings that won’t let any user to set a date older than December 31, 2000, at 7:00 PM ET. This restriction effectively kills the bug by not allowing user access to that specific date.
Those who have already bricked their devices by setting that particular date can actually fix their device by simply installing iOS 9.3 beta 4 via iTunes:
This update fixed the 1970 date bug. Had two retail units stuck in boot loops do to some pricks setting the date to 1970 and restoring in DFU mode did not help. But resorting to this BETA update made both devices go back to normal.
iOS 9.3 beta 4 is a way better alternative to the previous fix to the bug, which involved removal of the battery from the device. For most of the users that meant a trip to an Apple Store for a restore.
The bug itself was very simple, but it bricked the devices when a specific date was selected and the device was rebooted after that. A visit to Apple Store was the only option to get the device back to life. Some users reported that they somehow managed to get their device into DFU mode and iTunes recognized it when connected through a USB cable, but it won’t get past the initial boot screen.
Now that the developers and public beta testers have received the fix in the form of a beta release, a public roll out of final iOS 9.3 seems right around the corner to push the fix to a broader audience.