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There’s nothing like a good hoax. The internet has seen its fair share of famous myths thanks to the ease with which misinformation can spread. Debunking urban legends, like the infamous Iraq camel spider, thankfully isn’t actually too difficult due to the wealth of information online.
Yet for some reason, people are still regularly fooled by these hoaxes. Perhaps it’s due to the human desire to find and believe in wild things, or maybe people are just lazy and believe everything they read online. Either way, one popular hoaxing topic that has fooled people for years is Apple’s iPhone.
Let’s take a look back at some of the dumbest iPhone hoaxes that have spread over the years. Most of these surfaced as “tips” or “hacks” that would in reality destroy your phone or render it unusable.
1. iOS 7’s Fake Waterproofing
One of the headline features of the new iPhone 7 (and 7 Plus) is being water-resistant. We’ve explored what actually makes a device waterproof or water-resistant, which is obviously something built into the physical device. That didn’t stop people from believing that updating to iOS 7 would magically make their phones waterproof, though.
When a fake advertisement made to look like official Apple information created by 4chan users advised folks that the latest OS update would make their phones waterproof, many believed it.
Why is everyone making a big deal about the water-proof iPhone 7? iOS 7 already made my iPhone 6 water-proof!! pic.twitter.com/eLKh4IEnqP
— Mark Cerqueira (@markmcerqueira) September 28, 2016
The victims never stopped to think about how a software update could have an effect on the ability of the phone to resist being thrown into water, and ended up with a destroyed unit instead.
Even with a waterproof phone, you shouldn’t push your luck. Treat the waterproofing of your $700+ phone as accident protection, not a feature to be pushed to the max with potentially disastrous results!
2. The iPhone 7’s Secret Headphone Jack
Certainly the most controversial feature of the new iPhone 7/7+ has been the removal of the headphone jack. A good pair of Bluetooth headphones or use of the included lightning-to-stereo adapter solves this problem, and the new iPhone still sounds great. But many still aren’t pleased.
Of course, nothing is stopping people from refusing to buy a phone that doesn’t have the features they want. Some iPhone 7 users have instead decided to take matter into their own hands and drill a hole into their devices to find the “secret” 3.5mm jack. Of course, this results only in a destroyed iPhone.
Having a look at the comments of the YouTube video above (that started this trend) reveals hundreds of people that tried this and wonder why it doesn’t work. We’re not sure how people could be this foolish, especially since this isn’t the first iPhone hoax.
It turns out taking a drill to your device isn’t a good idea. Check out a few other reasons for skipping the iPhone 7 if the lack of a headphone jack is a sticking point for you.
3. iOS 8’s Microwave Charging
Microwaves are great for cooking food, but have you ever seen an electronic device put into a microwave? It doesn’t end well.
That didn’t stop the iOS 8 “microwave charging” iPhone hoax, however. Coming once again from the depths of 4chan, another real-looking Apple advertisement surfaced touting iOS 8’s ability to recharge your phone with just a few moments in the microwave.
— Derek Rodriguez (@drod2169) September 19, 2014
While the waterproof myth at least has some basis in reality, you would hope that the majority of people know that microwaves don’t mesh well with phones. Unfortunately that didn’t stop people from trying this out for themselves. A quick glance over the comments on the video “proving” that this works shows several commenters lamenting their newly ruined phones.
Had they taken the precaution of performing basic fact-checking, perhaps their several-hundred dollar investments wouldn’t have gone down the toilet.
4. Retro iOS Easter Egg
Unlike the above hoaxes, this one started as an actual bug in iOS that was exploited by those who wanted to have some fun with it. Any newer 64-bit iDevice (equal to or above the iPhone 5S, iPad Air, iPad Mini 2) that had its date changed to January 1, 1970 would not be able to start back up if it was shut off.
This was caused by the way that Unix (which iOS is based on) keeps time. It uses a 32-bit number to record the number of seconds that have passed since 00:00 UTC on January 1, 1970. Apparently, Apple (understandably) never planned for a phone to be set to this paradoxical date. iOS 9.3 arrived soon after this bug was found, and patched it up.
While most people would never have a reason to change their phone’s time like this, it didn’t stop some pranksters from having some fun. An “Easter Egg” was circulated that claimed changing the date would unlock a retro Macintosh theme. This, of course, was not true, and resulted in a lot of iPhones being turned into doorstops.
iphone users – blast from the past easter egg! Set date to January 1, 1970 and reboot! Have fun! pic.twitter.com/SnsJPIcDV5
— Pat ? Wallace (@PatWallace) February 15, 2016
For another interesting implication of Unix time, check out the Year 2038 Problem.
5. Bending Is a Feature
An unfortunate design flaw, the tendency of the iPhone 6 to bend in tight pockets or under stress was well-known during its time. This garnered plenty of humorous reactions on Twitter, and most people knew to avoid placing their phones in tight positions.
If you’ve been following along, you already know the story here. People capitalized on the bending “feature” of the iPhone 6 and created videos letting people know of the new “functionality.” This YouTube video that mocks Apple’s style is pretty obviously fake, but scour the comments and you’ll see people asking if their warranty covers a bent phone.
You’d think people would at least run a quick Google search before doing something that could ruin their expensive phones. Apparently, you’d be wrong!
Don’t Believe the Lies
It’s fun to look back and see all the silly pranks that have been pulled in years past. Of course, it wasn’t funny for the people who fell for this stuff and broke their phones, but that’s on them. By observing what has happened before, we can be better prepared for the future and the hoaxes that may arise in years to come.
If you don’t take anything else away from this article, know that the depths of the internet have no problems trying to fool you into destroying your equipment. Don’t do anything with your devices that seems suspect (and Google it first).
Interested in uncovering more truth? Check out these famous movie hoaxes that, unsurprisingly, aren’t true.
We hope the answer is no, but do you know anyone who fell for one of these hoaxes? If you know of another big iPhone hoax, let’s talk about it in the comments!