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Meaning of the Alarm Clock Symbol on an Apps On iPad

If you use the newest iPad with the latest iOS, chances are that you noticed a strange occurrence. It would appear that, at random, some apps on the iPad dock have an alarm clock icon. This can be very confusing for even experienced iPad users for two simple reasons:

  • One, you likely did not pin the particular app on your iPad dock
  • Two, you never asked for anything to do with an alarm for that app

Even if you are puzzled at this, do not fear! There is a reason and an explanation behind this feature in the new iOS. The following information will break down the purpose for the symbol, as well as instructions for disabling the function if you prefer.

What you Should Expect to Notice

Before we get into further details, here is what to expect related to this new function:

  • A small alarm clock icon is seen on top of an App
  • The icon is located at the top and right corner of the usual App icon
  • An affected App is located at the far-right side of your iPad’s dock
  • It is often an App that you did not pin to your dock
  • There is no specific App or group of apps that this happens with. It can happen to any apps you have installed.

Why Do You See This Happening?

The reason this occurs is due to new functionality that is built in to the latest iOS for iPad. Focused on providing an enhanced user experience, the new iPad uses a number of specific algorithms that track your behaviors and try to “learn” from them.

Not only will it keep track of which apps you use, but it will also take special note of the time of day as well. As you use your iPad more and more, the iOS will compile this information and use it to predict your habits.

In order to visualize what the iOS is accomplishing, imagine the following scenario: Let’s suppose that every day at 10 a.m. you use your iPad to check Twitter. After a couple of days of repeating this pattern, your iPad will pick up on this as a trend.

In response, the iOS will decide to place the Twitter App on your dock with the small alarm clock every morning around 10 a.m. This serves two basic functions. First, it is a reminder of what you typically do at that time during the day. Second, it gives you quicker and easier access to an app that you are most likely to be using at that time.

But if this is more than you care to receive from your iPad, no need to worry! Here is an easy way to disable this function and ensure that it will not bother you in the future:

  • Navigate to the Settings in your iPad
  • Locate and tap “Siri & Search” by scrolling down the list
  • Open the Siri Suggestions area
  • Switch the radio buttons next to the “Suggestions in Search” and “Suggestions in Look Up” to the “Off” position

Furthermore, you can completely disable app suggestions here:

  • Go to Settings
  • Pick “General”
  • Open “Multitasking and Dock”
  • Switch radio button next to “Show suggested and Recent Apps” to the “Off” position

In conclusion, despite the confusing nature of this icon, there is a method to the madness. If you allow your device to “spy” on your habits, it can produce a more personalized experience that is catered to your own patterns of use. And for those who are not a fan of this latest upgrade, the essential “opt-out” function has your back!


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