A stopwatch is something that can help you keep track of time for a given task, say, running a 400m lap. In most cases, it’s used to reduce the time required for a particular thing. And who would know it better than athletes? But lazy people like me don’t care much about the stopwatches, sometimes even take them for granted.
Today, I will tell you a strange thing that happened to me when I found out that the stopwatch on my iPhone was running forever. This comes days after I heard that the iPhone Weather app couldn’t display 69F temperature anywhere across the app.
I forgot to turn off my iPhone stopwatch
While writing this article, my iPhone stopwatch has already logged 699 hours since the day I forgot to turn it off. That’s exactly a month if I start counting it in days, but the stopwatch hasn’t taken a single sweat yet.
If I were to recall now, I can’t remember the exact reason why I started it in the first place. However, looking at the timestamp, I started the stopwatch on June 18, 2021.
Now, I am not here to show that I am an irresponsible person who can’t even track his time properly. After I found the stopwatch running, I minimized it again and gave it a second thought.
Actually, this accidental discovery gave me some interesting takeaways about how the stopwatch works on the iPhone. Earlier, there was no reason for me to think about all these things.
During the last 30 days, my iPhone had shut down multiple times when its battery died; I restarted it a couple of times. I went into Safari history and found out that I also installed the iOS 15 Beta update during the time period, but none of it affected the working of the stopwatch.
So, it seems to be a practical example of the popular folklore “Time waits for no one.” Not even a software upgrade on your phone can mess with it.
How long can the iOS stopwatch really run?
So, where does it hit the ceiling? That was another obvious question that popped up in my mind. I turned to the web for an answer and found out that back in 2009, an Australian YouTuber named Streaming Andrew waited for 416 days before his iPod stopwatch reached 9999 hours 59 minutes and 59 seconds, only to turn to 10000 hours. Nothing unexpected happened there.
The determined Aussie didn’t leave the game unfinished and uploaded another stopwatch video in 2019. It was revealed that he hadn’t turned off the stopwatch that had clocked 94263 hours in the video, which is equivalent to almost 11 years.
Cut to chase
You don’t need to wait for so many years to find out the truth. The man’s finding ended up on Reddit (via BGR), and a user (now deleted) figured out that the stopwatch was linked to iPhone’s clock. So, after experimenting on his iPod and iPhone 6, the final number he could reach was 324356:00:38.46.
I also gave it a try on an iPhone 7 running iOS 14.6 update. I tracked the hours from January 1, 2001 (5:30 AM) till January 2, 2038 (1:30 AM) by changing the iPhone date and keeping the stopwatch running. The stopwatch reached 324356:00:38:45 with the hundredth number rotating. That’s around 37 years, and it also means if a higher date could be chosen, the clock would have crunched a bigger number.
The Reddit user could get the same number, but it seems Apple has changed the maximum and minimum dates you can configure. One thing here is that if you leave the clock ticking, the number will go even higher. So, as of now, it seems there is no end to it, although Apple won’t let you go past January 2, 2038.
The final takeaway is that the Apple Stopwatch is tied to the clock and doesn’t effectively use any CPU power to keep working. It doesn’t matter phone shuts down for 100 years and turns back on, and the stopwatch might continue till eternity.
So, did you find it interesting? What are your thoughts on this? Drop them in the comments down below.