The iPhone’s native weather app becomes inaccurate when it’s 69 degrees outside
Facepalm: Some societies shun specific numbers. Some people don’t like seeing the number 666 because they associate it with evil. Hotels skip the 13th floor because guests equate it with bad luck. But what’s wrong with 69? Well, you can probably guess how that can be a problematic number in a politically correct society. Yes, it’s nonsense, but so are the beliefs about 666 and 13.
A strange quirk has been discovered in Apple’s iOS 14.6 software. The Verge points out that it appears the native weather app will not display the temperatures 65F, 69F, and 71F. All three numbers have sexual connotations, which we will not explain here—that’s the Urban Dictionary’s job.
Suffice it to say that, at first glance, it appears as if Apple is censoring the suggestion that a temperature can somehow be related to sex. It seems absurd that Apple would intentionally alter accurate weather information, so could there be another, more reasonable explanation?
Most likely a rounding error, going from C to F, 20C is 68F, 21C is 69.8F. If that’s the cause you should not be seeing 65, 67, 71, 74 either for example.
— Marc-André Dufresne (@theMarcDufresne) July 13, 2021
Perhaps, as some Twitter users point out, the weather app simply converts Celsius temperatures to Fahrenheit and rounds the result to a whole number. The formula for C->F conversions is (°C × 9/5) + 32 = °F. So, 18C is 64.4F or 64F rounded, and 19C is 66.2F or 66F, completely skipping 65F. Likewise, 20C, 21C, and 22C are 68F, 69.8F (70F rounded), and 71.6f (72F rounded) respectively.
The odd thing about the rounding theory is that why is it rounding at all. The iOS weather app pulls temperature data from Weather.com, which has no problem providing accurate Fahrenheit temperatures, including 65F, 68F, and 71F. So why not just pull that data rather than grabbing the temperature in Celsius then converting. That is not at all efficient coding.
The quirk does not occur in all versions of iOS either. The Verge notes that iOS 11.2.1 displays accurately, but the latest iteration (14.6) skips those numbers. Additionally, the iOS 15 beta displays the numbers correctly, suggesting it might be a bug that Apple noticed and has a patch for in the next major update.
So far, Apple has not publically acknowledged the quirk or returned requests for comment.