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Apple weather app hides world's greatest number (Update: Possible explanation)

Apple's weather app isn't into internet memes, apparently.

Published onJuly 13, 2021

  • It’s come to light that the Apple weather app you find on current iPhones won’t show totally accurate information.
  • Evidence suggests the app will round up or down whenever the temperature is 69 degrees. Nice. Or rather, not nice.
  • This only appears to be the case for the most current stable version of iOS, suggesting the possibility of a bug.

Update, July 13, 2021 (01:45 PM ET): Thanks to the Twitter-verse, we may have found a possible cause for the Apple weather app issue described below. It’s possible that Apple is converting Celsius temperatures to Fahrenheit, which would result in some numbers always getting rounded up or rounded down.

For example, imagine the temperature is a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius. The Fahrenheit conversion of that temperature would be 68 degrees. If the temperature jumps up to 21 degrees Celsius, that would convert to 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit — which would round up to 70 degrees. This would result in there never being a temperature of 69 degrees shown in the Apple weather app.

While this makes a lot of sense, it still wouldn’t explain why iOS 15 doesn’t do this. It also wouldn’t explain why older versions of iOS don’t either. Why would only iOS 14.6 do this? That appears to be the big question now.

However, it appears the possible explanation of Apple purposefully hiding the number 69 is unlikely to be correct.

Original article, July 13, 2021 (12:24 PM ET): It’s a time-honored tradition. Someone on the internet references the number “69” and, no matter how innocent that reference might be, someone responds, “Nice.” It’s happened millions of times over the years and by now, there’s no stopping it.

However, the Apple weather app doesn’t appear to want to play along. According to some sleuthing by The Verge, the most recent stable version of iOS blocks temperatures of 69 degrees. Even if the source of the temperature reading (usually says it is 69 degrees in the area, Apple’s app will round up to 70 or down to 68.

Related: The best weather apps and weather widgets for Android

You can see an example of the phenomenon in the image above. On the left, you’ll see a phone running a beta version of iOS 15. On the right, you’ll see an older iPhone running iOS 14.6 — the most current stable version. Both phones are (obviously) in the same location, but the temperature readings are different. Clearly, something is amiss with the Apple weather app.

According to The Verge’s experiments on the matter, iOS 14.6 version of the app won’t show the number 69 anywhere. Note that the 10-day forecast shown on the phone to the right doesn’t have 69 in it either, while the one on the left shows the forbidden number. The Verge also confirmed that older devices with outdated versions of iOS display 69 without fear.

It’s possible this is a bug in iOS 14.6. However, we’ve never seen a bug so specific. It doesn’t block 79, 89, 59, 49…just 69. The Verge reached out to Apple for comment, and we’ll be sure to update this article once we know more.

And, just to keep the tradition alive: Nice.

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