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Apple’s Do Not Disturb bug: No fix until Monday

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The world may be back to work after the holidays, but there’s a chance that your iPhone may be hitting the snooze button until next week. Apple released a service document Wednesday that says the company won’t resolve a bug that affects the “Do Not Disturb” feature in iOS 6 until the beginning of next week.

The feature, which lets users sift out some alerts and calls with the flick of a switch, remained on for many users as their calendars switched over to 2013. That means some users may not have been getting notified about e-mails or may have had some calls sent to voice mail without ever ringing through to their phones. It was a new feature in the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system and has gotten high marks from those who use it to unplug for a few hours at a time.

The problems with the feature hardly rise to the level of past Apple missteps, such as the antenna issues with the iPhone 4 or the problems with its Maps application. But the iPhone has had a history of glitches with times and dates, with many people finding their phones are slow to switch over to Daylight Savings Time, for example. Those bugs were also easily fixed with a reboot. But they were quite annoying -- the kinds of small problems that Apple users expect the company to solve behind the scenes. Many people use their mobile devices as alarm clocks or as their main tool for scheduling, something Google learned in November, when its users found they couldn’t create events for the entire month of December off of its People application.

But the Do Not Disturb glitch came at a particularly inopportune time for the Apple, which just launched an ad touting the feature. The spot, which features tennis superstar sisters Venus and Serena Williams playing table tennis against an unseen narrator, began running on New Year’s Day. In the ad, the narrator says the feature is good for keeping the outside world at bay while iPhone owners are having a great dream — like the dream he is having in which he handily defeats the two athletes at the Ping-Pong table.

Getting around the bug is easy enough: Simply head to settings and turn the feature off manually; then you can turn it on and off as needed, rather than rely on a schedule. In this case, even if users don’t tend to the bug on their own, Apple says the problem should resolve itself on Jan. 7.

So — if you’re so inclined — you can keep dreaming until the start of the next work week.

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