Google Clock bug causes Android users to oversleep

Photo by Sebastian Bednarek on Unsplash

If you’re a deep sleeper, you may not want to rely on the Google Clock app for a while. 

A whole load of Reddit users have reported that the app is simply deciding not to bother waking them up at the time they’ve requested, generously letting them sleep in a little later. Nice as that gesture is in theory, the app doesn’t have to deal with the consequences, like being fired from work for being late.

The bug is, understandably, quite upsetting for those that encounter it, and that’s beginning to be reflected in Google Play Store ratings, where a flurry of one-star scores is beginning to pull the app’s average downwards. 

What makes it especially hard to diagnose is that there doesn’t seem to be much consistency between the use cases. On the original Reddit thread, some say that the alarm only fails if the phone is face down, but others say it doesn’t work for them even face up. And while the majority of impacted devices seem to be Google Pixel handsets, other manufacturer’s phones are occasionally affected too.

In another Reddit thread, a Google employee pops up to suggest that it may be related to using Spotify to wake you up, and recommends switching to the default noises. But again, subsequent replies suggest that won’t work for everybody, as some sufferers are already doing just that.

Still, said Google employee does at least suggest that help may be on the way. “We’ve identified a fix and will roll it out soon,” the account writes.

Hopefully that’s true — though a cynic might suggest that suggesting disabling Spotify to people who don’t use Spotify doesn’t smack of someone who’s completely on top of the root cause — but what do you do in the meantime?

Well, the quickest solution is to download one of the many other free alarm clock apps available on the Google Play Store. This apparently works fine, and there are plenty to choose from. Heavy sleepers may wish to choose Alarmy, a devious app that makes you complete tasks and puzzles before it will stop screeching, in order to ensure that you don’t drift off back to sleep. 

Less masochistic options are also available, of course.  

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