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A Siri bug in the iOS 16.4.1 Calendar app is causing problems for vision impaired

Try it yourself. Tell Siri that you want to set an event for the 31st of any month.

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In iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1, Siri cannot create or read back calendar events set on the 31st of a given month, causing problems for accessibility.

A strange bug in iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1 is causing headaches for those who rely on Siri to set appointments in the Calendar app, such as a person with a vision disability, as well as for those who simply prefer to set appointments by voice. The bug did not appear in earlier versions of iOS and iPadOS 16.

A radio host in Victoria BC who was conducting his live call-in show, Tech Talk, got a caller named Gail, who is blind. She reported that when she uses Siri to set an event for the 31st day of any month that has 31 days, Siri automatically reverts the event to the 30th, and cannot be corrected by voice.

The host, Alan Perry of CFAX 1070 radio, then tried various workarounds, such as including the day of the week in attempting to create an event on the 31st, with no success.

Of course, sighted people can just allow Siri to set the event on a wrong day and correct it later manually, but for people with vision disabilities, this is inconvenient. Though, they can use VoiceOver or other assistive technologies to make corrections to the calendar instead.

Siri moves the date to the 30th, and can't read existing events on the 31st.
Siri moves the date to the 30th, and can't read existing events on the 31st.

Once the show was over, Perry called Apple Support to report the problem. The Apple representative tested the problem himself on other equipment and confirmed that it was an issue with both iOS and iPadOS, and exclusive to 16.4.1.

"The fellow from Apple Support was quite impressed that we found that significant a bug," said Perry. "He initially thought it was operator error, but when I replicated it on both my iPhone and iPad, trying different months and even different years, and then asked Siri what was on my calendar for May 31 and she insisted on telling me May 30, he realized we were onto something, and escalated it and got several colleagues on a group chat with him."

"It's merely annoying for us, but for the lady who is blind and trying to add important medical appointments, it's really critical," added Perry.

Even when asked to read back events that are entered on the 31st, Siri will instead recite events that are listed on the 30th.

AppleInsider has also tested the feature and confirmed the issue on both iOS 16.4.1 and iPadOS 16.4.1, but it does not appear to affect any version of macOS. The bug appears to be resolved in the latest beta of iOS 16.5.