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What can't the iPad mini do? Tell time

Apple boasts that its iPad mini has a whole range of features: “A beautiful display, powerful A5 chip, FaceTime HD camera, iSight Camera with 1080p HD video recording, ultrafast wireless, and over 375,000 apps ready to download from the App Store.”

It can find a restaurant for you, text your spouse, buy concert tickets, get football game stats, navigate a new neighborhood, provide traffic information, make a spreadsheet, display a bestseller, whatever.

Except tell time reliably.

The Internet is full of reports that the device isn’t up to the chore of counting seconds and minutes and hours.

Which leaves anyone who wants to use an alarm app, a common use for such electronic units, frustrated.

At an Apple website discussions page was the comment: “Just to clarify something, the WiFi-only iPad does not appear to sync its internal clock to any time servers, ever, even after a full power off. This is really strange for a mobile device that’s designed to use the Internet for storage, backup, app purchases, communication, etc.”

Another Apple discussion thread focused on a user’s frustration when the time on his clock leaped forward.

“The other day I noticed that my clock had moved ahead 14 hours on my WiFi-only iPad. Maps and location services put me in the middle of China.”

Away from the oversight of Apple, at Imore.com, one reader said, “My mini doesnt seem to be able to find my time zone set on auto & wheel spinning / thinking for 15 min now.”

And at AskMeFast.com, the question was posed, “My ipad mini has the wrong time?” Contributors offered a possible solution.

It was a little lengthy, running close to 700 words for the explanation that started out: “A. Try to wait 30 minutes while iPod is charging. B. Try another FireWire or USB through Dock Connector cable. C. Try another FireWire or USB port on your computer. D. Try to disconnect all devices from your computer’s FireWire and USB ports. E. Try to download and install the latest version of iPod software and iTunes. F. Try these five steps (known as the five Rs) and it would conquer most iPod issues. G. Try to put the iPod into Disk Mode if it fails to appear on the desktop.”

The explanation continues, “If none of these steps address the issue, you may need to go to Intermediate level listed below in logical order.”

It also includes a link to a Apple support store page.

One Washington, D.C.-area user told WND, “I bought a new iPad mini and it can’t keep time! There are all kinds of apps to turn it into an alarm clock, but when you go to sleep it knows the right time, but not in the morning.”

On the Macrumors forum, one user said, “I noticed this last night before I went to bed, but forgot. It was about 45 minutes off last night. This morning, it is 8:30 a.m. as I type, but the iPad says it’s 1:05. a.m.

“This doesn’t seem like it bodes well.”

On the same site came a tongue-in-cheek explanation: “Conspiracy alert: Intentional ‘feature’ to warp time on the iPad. Helps make users think their battery life is amazing. Just a theory.”

And another said: “I’m having the same time problems. When I turn on the iPad in the morning, it shows the time I turned it off the previous night. After 15 minutes or so, it shows the right time.”

Even manual operations won’t help, yet another contributor to MacRumors said.

“I ‘fixed’ the clock last night (manually set the correct time) and this morning it was off by about an hour. Sucks that this is happening, But glad I’m not alone.”

The response from another user: “Waking up to a clock that is 7 hours off and won’t be fixed until you ‘ physically’ sync (in my experience) doesn’t sound like something that is working as intended.”

Commenters speculated that the issue could have something to do with WiFi applications, recharging, a sync mode, a sleep mode or another function, or even the unit’s access to the Web, but Apple officials declined to respond to multiple WND requests for comment.

One Apple forum participant suggested that wasn’t surprising.

While addressing another issue with iPads, the system suddenly crashed. He wrote: “Well, Apple knows about the problem, but they have no immediate solution to offer, so of course the hotline will never admit that there is a problem, because then they would have to tell the user, ‘yes we know, but sorry we can’t help you right now.’ That would be too embarrassing so denial is the solution.”