Snoozing the Alarm Clock; 8:59 Remaining

By Max Maxfield |

Does anyone know why selecting the “Snooze” option on one’s iPad alarm clock results in a 9-minute delay?


As I pen these words, I’m sitting in the Reagan National Airport in Washington DC. I spent all day yesterday wandering around various capitol buildings testifying to a number of Senators and Congressmen/Congresswomen (don’t ask).

I don’t know why this should be, but when I’m going to be travelling, I invariably wake up in the wee hours of the morning. I subsequently lie there in the dark for an interminable amount of time desperately hoping to fall back asleep. At some stage, I do return to the land of nod, only to be rudely awakened by the alarm feature of my iPad clock.

This occurred at 6:00 a.m. this morning. “Oh dear,” I thought (or words to that effect). “Is it that time already?” Of course, it would have been really easy to fall back asleep now that I didn’t want to, so I hit the “Snooze” option.

For some reason, the iPad’s default snooze time is set to nine minutes, so the first thing you see is a message saying “8:59 Remaining.”

(Source: Max Maxfield)

I’ve noticed this on many occasions in the past and it’s always niggled me. If you were placed in charge of creating the iPad’s clock app, why on Earth would you set the default snooze time to be nine minutes? If it were me, for example, I would have opted for a ten-minute delay.

Ten minutes just seems “right” – it’s not too short; it’s not too long; and it’s a nice round, even, cuddly number; as opposed to nine, which is odd, jarring, and more “angular,” if you know what I mean.

Is there some scientific or psychological reason for choosing a nine-minute snooze time, or did the folks at apple just opt for nine minutes on the basis that they knew it would annoy me (in which case, “well played,” gentlepersons)?

Last, but not least, since I have your attention, are you aware of any way in which the nine-minute default can be changed to a ten-minute delay (which is obviously the way the universe would like things to be)?

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  • by  John Beetem
    Personally, I'd prefer a 5-minute snooze alarm if I used snooze alarms (see below).  I gave up and Googled "nine minute timer" and the explanation makes sense (if you're an engineer).

    I don't need a snooze alarm.  I have cats.  "There is no such thing as a snooze button on a cat who wants its breakfast."
  • by  Max Maxfield

    @John: "There is no such thing as a snooze button on a cat who wants its breakfast."


    There is if you happen to have a mallet close to hand LOL
  • by  David Ashton
    I believe this has something to do with the reason AM radio stations are spaced 9 KHz apart rather than 10.  You get more of them into the MW band that way.  Similarly, if you're fond of snoozing (and you obviously are Max) you can get more snoozes into a day this way....
  • by  Max Maxfield

    @David: "...if you're fond of snoozing [...] you can get more snoozes into a day this way..."

    Interesting - but it that case, why not make it 5 mins?

    • by  David Ashton

      @Max... "Interesting - but it that case, why not make it 5 mins?"

      Well you could make it 30 seconds...but you'd get sick of pressing the snooze button.  9 minutes is a good compromise between snoozing and making you late for work.

      • by  Max Maxfield

        @David: "...9 minutes is a good compromise between snoozing and making you late for work..."

        Well, it would be if I didn't lay there thinking "^&*%^&^ 9 minutes @#$!%"

  • by  David Ashton

    @Max... "Interesting - but it that case, why not make it 5 mins?"

    Well you could make it 30 seconds...but you'd get sick of pressing the snooze button.  9 minutes is a good compromise between snoozing and making you late for work.

    • by  Max Maxfield

      @David: "...9 minutes is a good compromise between snoozing and making you late for work..."

      Well, it would be if I didn't lay there thinking "^&*%^&^ 9 minutes @#$!%"

  • by  Max Maxfield

    @David: "...9 minutes is a good compromise between snoozing and making you late for work..."

    Well, it would be if I didn't lay there thinking "^&*%^&^ 9 minutes @#$!%"

  • by  Rick Curl
    It's a lot more than just the iPad: Snooze timer

    I think it's an evil conspiracy!

    -Rick


    • by  Max Maxfield

      @Rick: "...the snooze feature was added in the 1950s, the innards of alarm clocks had long been standardized. This meant that the teeth on the snooze gear had to mesh with the existing gear configuration..."

      O M G -- so the iPad's snooze time is based on a clockwork constraint from the 1950s!

      Give me strength!

      • by  David Ashton
        @Max - well you've no doubt heard that the current railway gauge - and hence the size of the solid fuel space shuttle boosters that have to be transported on it - is based on teh wheel spacing of the old roman chariots.  That goes back even further!
  • by  Max Maxfield

    @Rick: "...the snooze feature was added in the 1950s, the innards of alarm clocks had long been standardized. This meant that the teeth on the snooze gear had to mesh with the existing gear configuration..."

    O M G -- so the iPad's snooze time is based on a clockwork constraint from the 1950s!

    Give me strength!

    • by  David Ashton
      @Max - well you've no doubt heard that the current railway gauge - and hence the size of the solid fuel space shuttle boosters that have to be transported on it - is based on teh wheel spacing of the old roman chariots.  That goes back even further!
  • by  David Ashton
    @Max - well you've no doubt heard that the current railway gauge - and hence the size of the solid fuel space shuttle boosters that have to be transported on it - is based on teh wheel spacing of the old roman chariots.  That goes back even further!
  • by  Max Maxfield

    @David: "...you've no doubt heard that the current railway gauge - and hence the size of the solid fuel space shuttle boosters that have to be transported on it - is based on teh wheel spacing of the old roman chariots..."

    I've certainly heard this tale, but Snopes.com begs to differ (click here for more details)

    • by  David Ashton
      @Max...yes...I've seen the Snopes article too.  I'm just checking if you're awake...  :-)
  • by  David Ashton
    @Max...yes...I've seen the Snopes article too.  I'm just checking if you're awake...  :-)
  • by  Max Maxfield

    @David: "...I'm just checking if you're awake..."

    I certainly don't want to be -- I just got back from ESC Silicon Valley on Saturday (I was supposed to get back on Friday, but snow storms caused a lot of flight cancellations and I ended up being diverted to (and staying the night in) Nashville, Tennessee -- I feel like I could use a week in bed (sob sob)

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