Don’t Wait Around for that Newest iOS Update! Data Overages may be caused by Streaming Media bug in iOS 6.0
Can’t wait to hear what Apple has to say about this. If we’re lucky, we might get another apology letter from Tim Cook (no guesses as to who else he might get to sign the thing…). Turns out, those surprising data overages some customers incurred after upgrading to iOS 6 can probably be attributed to a bug in the iOS 6 Audio Playback framework. It might sound like a complex issue, but the implications are not. There’s a very good chance that many iPhone users got billed for data overages that were not their fault.
The iOS 5 audio playback glitch was unearthed by Public Radio Exchange Labs, the organization that’s responsible for taking care of the back end of podcasts like 99% Invisible and The Moth. After observing the marked bandwidth increases pictured below, they dug deeper and are now reporting that an iOS 6 bug can cause audio files to be downloaded multiple times for no good reason. This can happen when a customer is using cellular data or WiFi, and if it does, you can imagine the data bills that might result.
Personal story time… During my first week of iPhone 5 ownership, I used the Podcasts app while taking a walk over my lunch break. I knew I was close to my data limit, but not so close that I couldn’t stream audio of the Adam Carolla Show… Well, just a few minutes into the walk I start getting notification after notification from AT&T about the multiple overages I had incurred. One phone call and 20 minutes later, I’d gotten the overage charge reduced, but not eliminated completely. It all makes sense now, but I can’t say it feels any better.
It’s too early to say how widespread were the effects of this bug, but we can only hope that PRX Labs blowing the lid off of the iOS 6 glitch will lead to some kind of reparation down the road, however measly it might be… In the meantime, just makes sure you’re updated to iOS 6.0.1. That’ll prevent any unwanted overages like the one described above.