Snoozing an iPhone alarm silences it for 9 minutes — but why? Here’s a closer look at the story behind the 9-minute snooze and how to change it.
Setting an alarm on Apple‘s iPhone is one of the most basic tasks someone can do — but it also comes with an interesting quirk. Snoozing an iPhone alarm silences it for exactly 9 minutes before it starts ringing again. That may seem like an odd number at first, but there’s actually a conscious reason why Apple picked that number specifically.
Although it may be one of the simplest apps available for the iPhone, the Clock application is also incredibly useful. It can show the current time in different parts of the world, begin a stopwatch, start a timer, and — of course — create an alarm to help someone wake up in the morning. Starting in iOS 14, Apple upgraded the alarm experience to help users follow set bedtimes and get enough sleep each night. iOS 15 made the Clock app even better by finally allowing users to edit alarms without having to first tap the ‘Edit’ button.
Regardless if someone sets a special sleep alarm or a regular one, the fact remains that snoozing an iPhone alarm does so for 9 minutes. As explained in a YouTube video by Apple Explained, there is sound logic behind this seemingly random number. When the snooze feature was being added to alarm clocks years ago, it was done so by retrofitting the new snooze component in the design of an existing clock. As Apple Explained says, “This was a problem, since they [alarm clock makers] couldn’t adjust the clock’s gear teeth to line up perfectly for a ten-minute snooze.” This left them with a decision to have the snooze feature silence clocks for 10 minutes and 43 seconds or 9 minutes and 3 seconds. 9 minutes was ultimately chosen as the best option, and while the reasoning is still debated to this day, it’s the snooze time that was used on the GE Snooz-Alarm in 1956 — the first alarm clock with a snooze feature available to the general public. The 9-minute snooze has remained as the default snooze time on alarm clocks since then, and wanting to pay homage to that tradition, Apple also chose to use it for the iPhone’s alarm.
How To Change iPhone Snooze Time
While that’s certainly a nice bit of history to know, a 9-minute snooze may not work for everyone’s schedule. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t allow users to adjust this. Instead, the best workaround is to set multiple alarms to create custom ‘snooze’ times. If someone sets their main alarm for 6:00 AM and wants a 5-minute snooze, they could create other alarms for 6:05, 6:10, 6:15, etc. It’d be a lot easier if Apple offered an edit snooze feature, but until then, this is the next best thing. The only other option is to disable the snooze function entirely. To do this, open the Clock app, tap on an alarm, and tap the toggle next to ‘Snooze’ so it’s disabled.
If that’s just not cutting it, another alternative is to download a third-party alarm app. There are plenty of options to choose from on the App Store, including Alarmy, Alarm Clock HD, Sleep Cycle, etc. It’s a bit hilarious iPhone owners need to download a separate app just to edit the snooze for their alarm, but such is life. In Alarmy, for example, editing the snooze is as easy as opening the app, tapping the alarm, tapping ‘Snooze,’ and choosing an option anywhere between 1 minute and 60 minutes.
Will Apple ever let users edit their snooze times? That’s honestly difficult to say. It seems like one of those features that has to get added at some point, but when that will happen remains a mystery. Until that day comes, iPhone users need to stick with multiple alarms or give in to a third-party solution.
Source: Apple Explained
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