back to article iPhone alarm bug: now it's the UK's turn

Reports from UK readers have been flooding in - OK trickling in - that their iPhone alarms woke them up an hour late today. In other words their phones ignored the switchover to GMT on the early hours of Sunday morning. Oh well - that's another hour to shake off the Halloween booze. This alarm quirk lies in the iPhone …


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  1. dave 46

    Only effects first day on gmt?

    Mine was an hour late on sunday - thankfully my android woke me up :)

    But today was fine, I did select different alarms last night though as I had to get up earlier on Sunday than today (sucks don't it), maybe it only updates the internal 'real time' when the alarm is set.

    As such to fix, untick alarm, retick alarm - job done!

  2. disgruntled fanbois


    It may seem like a minor thing but i almost missed a flight this morning because of it....... kinda makes you not trust it when you go to bed ......

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. Paul Woodhouse

    My Android phone woke me up...

    or the bloody thing would have done if I could get the alarm loud enough to actually wake me...

  5. Milkfloat

    Am I an idiot

    Surely the alarm was an hour early, not an hour late?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      That's what I'd have thought

      Clocks went back an hour, so if your clock was set to go off at 8am it would go off at 7am.

      So... how does this bug work? Think we need a better explenation.

    2. Velv
      Jobs Horns

      Crazy, Isn't it.

      Nope, you're not an idiot, this really is as crazy as it sounds. I had two weekday recurring alarms set for 07:00 and 07:30, and they rang today at 08:00 and 08:30.

      I wonder if Apple will get the fix out before next weekend when the US changes DST ???

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      No, the reports are correct

      The alarms set for X go off at X+1 hours, i.e. a 9am alarm will go off at 10am GMT. It is rather puzzling since the timezone shift would make you assume the reverse.

      It is rather annoying... as one of the commenters said, he nearly missed a flight, and I WAS late for work because of it. That is not particularly acceptable when more and more people rely on their smartphone to remain in touch and manage their lives (including the time they wake up).

      The Apple forums point out that deleting the recurring alarm and recreating it does not fix the problem.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward


        it's truely messed up, I watched it on my bosses phone, the times show up correctly but they go off an hour late, how did that ever get past any kind of testing?

    4. Michael Beck
      Jobs Horns

      Actually it makes sense

      If you had an alarm set to go off at 07:00 BST, then perhaps that was stored relative to GMT, i.e. 07:00 GMT +1 hour. When the clocks go back to GMT, the system time changes correctly, but the alarm time is still stored as 07:00 GMT +1 which is now 08:00.

      Only conjecture, but it seems to explain why the alarm is 1 hour late. Why they can't just store the alarm time based exactly on the current system time goodness only knows.

  6. Ian Ferguson
    Jobs Horns


    Yeah, this happened to me, I'm an hour late into work, ha ha, silly iPhone sheep, blah blah blah.

    What I can't get my head round though: If the alarms failed to update with the clock going forward an hour, why didn't it wake me up an hour EARLY, not an hour LATE?

    Please help a dumb iPhone user :(

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Please help a dumb iPhone user

      Simple. You are /still/ cleverer than it is.

    2. D@v3

      i think its because..the clocks go back not forward...

      If you had an alarm set for 7am, then it used to go off at 7am....

      you put your clock back an hour (which the alarm ignores) and it becomes 6am.

      24 hours later at 6am (now called 7am) you expect your alarm to go off, but it doesnt, it goes off 1 hour later 7am (now called 8am), because it didnt get turned back.

  7. Anonymous Coward


    If the phone failed to put the clock back an hour, you'd actually be woken up an hour EARLIER than you intended. Seriously, in the rush to bash on Apple, did no-one catch this glaring inconsistency?

    1. Andy ORourke

      That's the point!

      the clock setting DID go back the extra hour but the ALARM didnt! so my clock said 05:55 but my alarm didnt go off until 06:55.

      it would appear that simply reading the time on the iPhone and then triggering the alarm when: desired alarm time = phone clock time is much to simple for apple programmers!

      Don't get me wrong, I love my iPhone but sometimes, just sometimes I do feel like a bit of a dick for having one when a monumental fail of these proportions is announced :-)

  8. Red Bren

    No issue with my 3G

    This morning's alarms and reminders went off on schedule. I wonder if it's because I haven't updated to iOS 4 yet?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    iPhone alarm

    Mine worked fine.

    Not a problem here in Ireland.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Not so..

      Got me and I'm in Ireland... this morning, I was rudely awaken an hour late - but not yesterday for some reason.

  10. Anonymous Coward

    At least....

    .. my Symbian powered phone works properly, no problems with repeat alarms not going off at the right time, daylight saving clock adjustments or volume of alarm.

    Symbian is still > than iOS

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Mine too

      In fact, when i set the alarm on saturday night for 10 AM on Sunday morning, it actually flashed up a message saying "Alarm will sound at 10 am after adjustment for DST".

      A nice touch from S60 there...

  11. Anonymous Coward

    Bit rubbish!

    My old mobile from 2006 automatically adjusted the time overnight and managed to wake me up at 7am GMT on Sunday. I did not have to do anything. It's not a smartphone, it does have Java ME. How much did I pay for this phone? Just 40 quid.

    1. DaveyP

      Pleased for you...

      That's great, but it's also the mistake that is always made when talking about this sort of thing. If you don't want a convergent device, that's great. Good for you. i do, though, and, for me, the iPhone is the best one (currently). Not a fanboy - had a Motorola A780 (early smartphone with GPS) and 2x HTC's running Windows mob before this, and loved them all (despite none being perfect). Android was in infancy when I bought my iPhone, so wasn't a real option. The latest HTC's are doing good things, so next time out will be a real decision again.

      You don't want any of the features of a smartphone. Fine. I do, and I'm prepared to accept the odd OS bug that inevitably goes with it...

  12. Carol Orlowski

    My Android worked

    But that's the usual story here. The HTC phones are so much better than the iOS crap,

    1. Geoff Campbell Silver badge

      Interesting, my Samsung Android went off an hour early on Monday

      I can only assume that a clever programmer decided that the alarm code should put the alarm times back an hour at the time change, but did so relative to the clock after it had gone back, or something.

      Easily fixed by unticking and then re-ticking the alarm, but at 5am on Monday I wasn't hugely pleased by this....


      1. KnucklesTheDog

        Yep mine too

        Galaxy S woke me up at 5am instead of 6. Samsung have replaced the alarm app though, and from other reports it seems it's not an Android problem.

  13. Andy ORourke

    How difficult is it?

    I mean the clock on my phone set itself automatically to the correct time, so I assume the recurring alarm doesnt take it's current time from the clock on the phone!

    Why make things so complicated?

  14. Anonymous Coward


    That's a "simple" solution is it? - to redo all the alarms over. Perhaps we should be a little more annoyed that Apple can't even manage to get an alarm clock to work correctly...

  15. Lynas

    Errr no.

    Two iPhones in the house.

    Both switched time properly and alarms function as normal. I call BS

    1. DaveyP

      Call what you want...

      But 3GS running v.4.1 was an hour late this morning. It just was. If you don't believe me, fine, but you're wrong. Fortunately I also have a Small Child (running v. 2.10) who is still on BST, so I was up and about anyway...

      1. Rob

        Bugged software

        I think my Small Child software is bugged as I can't get it to reset it's time to Daylight Saving Mode, the alarm function seems to shut up once I start putting porridge in it though, guess I'll just have to wait until the automatic upgrade gets it to v2.10, stuck on v0.15 at the moment.

    2. Hedley Phillips

      Call it what you want...

      But both my wife and my alarms went off an hour late yesterday morning and this morning.

      And yes, we do have our alarms set at a stupidly early time on a Sunday morning rather than spending the day lazing about in bed drinking coffee and reading the paper.


      1. Chris 2


        Gotta be up for playing with the wee ones :)

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Which Version?

      see title, read the article.

      fail for you.

  16. Tigra 07
    Jobs Horns

    no title required

    "A bit of pain, but something you only have to to do twice a year… unless of course, Apple gets its act together before the end of March, when Northern Hemisphere moves once again to summer time. We think it will."

    They will, and they will cover it up and deny there ever was a problem.

    Maybe they're setting them wrong?

  17. Anonymous Coward

    2hrs difference....

    When the clock updates +1 it automatically moves the alarms +1hr also hence +2hrs from the old time...

    Something to do with the internal clock running UTC and the interface clock running with a timezone.. and the alarms originally being set in UTC (needing the +1) and now running from the timezone clock (not needing the +1)...

    Its what testing is for...

  18. dave 81

    I reset my alarm...

    And it still failed to go off this morning!

    I knew of the bug, so I changed the time by a few minutes of my wake up alarm. Still bloody failed.

    Luckly my daughter is still on BST and woke up for her 8:30am feed at 7:30... so was only running 30 minutes late.

    Now how to reset my daughter to GMT... Tricky.

    1. Chris 2

      We seem to have managed the daughter reset having ours run around like a maniac all day Saturday dressed as a witch. Had to go and wake her up on Sunday even with the extra hour. I heartily recommend it if you have the stamina to keep up.

  19. Paul Shirley

    not just Apple

    Same thing happened with my Gigaset VOIP cordless phones, alarm set for 10am went off at 11.

    Still, I needed the extra hour after beer festivaling all day Saturday ;)

  20. David Lucke

    Not the first time, either

    This happened last month in Australia and New Zealand. Apple promised a fix. Where the hell is it? This isn't exactly rocket science / brain surgery.

    Fortunately, I use a bedside alarm clock radio, so no problem for me.

  21. JaitcH

    Even Windows gets this right.

    Really pathetic. It's something fairly high on the minds of Americans since they recently decreed summer would be extended.

    All North Americans get really good at time zones as it affects TV schedules ... show is on at 7pm Eastern and 6pm Central. In the West i's different ... showing at 7pm, 8pm Mountain.

    USA, Canada, northern Mexico’s border cities

    DST Begins 2 a.m. (Second Sunday in March)

    DST Ends 2 a.m. (First Sunday in November)

    European Union

    DST Begins 1 a.m. UTC=GMT (Last Sunday in March)

    DST Ends 1 a.m. UTC=GMT (Last Sunday in October)

    In winter Canada has 6 time zones, in summer 7 - Saskatchewan doesn't do Daylight Savings.

    Funny thing is, for all it's other faults Windows always got time right. Just shows how parochial Jobs really is.


    1. chr0m4t1c

      Yes, Windows always got this right.

      Except when it doesn't.

      Patches for DST in 2000, 2007 and (oh look!) 2010.

      This stuff *should* be easy, but countries keep changing when they switch clocks and it ends up being stupidly complex, so it's easy to make mistakes.

      A quick Google turns up patches for pretty much all versions of Windows, Mac OS, Palm OS, Windows Mobile, Blackberry and umpteen flavours of UNIX.

      Time to get back under that bridge.

  22. Cameron Colley

    Wow, way to fail inelegantly.

    On first read I thought that it must mean the alarms went off an hour early which, while a little annoying, should at least not make you late and is "what is expected" from the days of more dumb devices (am I the only person who has an actual alarm clock, rather than relying on my phone?).

    This, on the other hand is a pretty inelegant, and potentially costly to the owner, fail -- though not as bad as the device (which I cannot recall) which just crashed when the clocks changed or the old Windows devices I've had which would fail to wake from hibernation randomly.

    In conclusion -- just buy a couple of cheap alarms, one mains and one battery, if you really want to ensure you wake in time.

  23. g e

    Icon says it all


  24. nickrw


    Alarm set for 7, woke up at 20 past, thinking I must have just zombie'd my alarm into submission earlier. Went off in my hand at 8, got cross, still in work 10 minutes early.

    I don't know why I don't have a proper alarm clock, I've learned not to trust iPhones as alarms when my 3G had the intermittent locking-up bug that 3.1(?) introduced a year or so ago. If it locked up during the night (which it did) you were screwed.

  25. valdez

    Timezone bug

    I'll tell you another problem, you enter a calendar entry, such as a return flight, change time zones, and the time doesn't change, it remains on the time for the country it was set in. Very disappointing, and not a bit amateurish.

  26. Anonymous Coward

    bit sh*t really

    no such problem with my Android-powered phone - whose testing iOS for Apple? bit naff.

    anyway, both Android and iOS devices fail in comparison to the Nokia Symbian phones

    which can be switches off and still the alarm operates - perfect and fantastic for either away trips when battery power iw low...or for having phone as alarm but not wanting to be woken by calls, txts, social media updates. its a pity that Android phones and iOS phones havent got this (or licenced this from Nokia)

  27. Pandy06269


    It's no big deal. Buy a real alarm clock.

    Sent from my iPhone.

  28. Anonymous Coward


    I got awoken just before 5AM by the taxi driver knocking on the door as he didn't see any lights on in the house. A few minutes later my '4AM' alarm went off.

    I was absolutely livid, I just managed to get to the airport for my flight with only a few minutes to spare.

    I'm amazed something so trivial can go so wrong.

  29. Steve Beesley

    Fix doesn't work on recurring alarms

    No matter what you do, it appears (on iOS4.1 at least) that recurring alarms always go off at the wrong time (re-entering only fixes normal none-recurring alarms).

    1. sean1

      recurring works - recurring 5 days dosen't

      I've tried the article's workaround but it doesn't fix the problem. recurring alarms that aren't recurring everyday fail. Recurring everyday works.

  30. jai

    and blackberry too

    my line managers iphone and blackberry went off one hour late apparently

    my iphone was fine though - but then i'm running the beta of the next OS release

  31. paul 97


    iPhone - it cant make/receive calls and doesn't have an alarm clock that works - but dont worry theres an app that makes fart noises.

  32. phuzz Silver badge

    and this is why I use two alarms

    My Nokia (6730c, so an S60 device) decided to set the alarm off an hour early this morning (at least it was consistent, I assume it stores alarms in UTC), but fortunately I worked it out pretty quickly, and could just go back to sleep :)

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Just move to a different time-zone in the winter. Not that big of a deal.


    Sent from my nice comfy bed

  34. heyrick Silver badge

    <nelson> Ha! Ha! </nelson>

    So this is the Apple Experience, huh?

    Yeah, I know. Cheap shot. But... <nelson> Ha! Ha! </nelson>

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You're sleeping wrong.

    Oh, and you're fired for turning up late for work.

    Not that big a deal.....

  36. John Sims

    Still not working...

    Luckily I was off work yesterday so the alarm problem didn't effect me, but not so lucky today, even after deleting all my alarms and recreating them. Silly me!

  37. Piers

    From the Apple Forums...

    Re: Daylight savings change and alarm issue

    Posted: Nov 2, 2010 4:57 AM in response to: efcop

    efcop wrote:

    I just changed the date to November 8th i.e. after the US changes the time and presto it works. So it seems that although the phone's time changes correctly the alarm time seems to be linked to the US DST

    I just tried doing this (I'm in the UK) and it works for me too. Looks like your analysis is correct.


    So it looks like they did ALL their testing using the US daylight saving time zone and (hopefully) these problems will go away on the 8th. Except for those of us who have worked around this by setting our alarms back an hour!

  38. PanchoTaffy

    Finally got my wifes iPhone Alarm to work

    Tried setting the manually. Did nothing. Set a new alarm, it rang. Reset the time and occurance to match her old alarm, did not go off. Hmmmm. A one off alarm worked, one repeated on weekdays didn't. Set alarm to go off everyday, worked. Problem seems to be interaction with calendar. An alarm set to work EVERYDAY of the week will ring. One set to go off on specific days may not work. Good Luck!

  39. Frank Bitterlich

    To clear up some confusion...

    ... I've posted a write-up which explains how the bug "works", who will see it and who not, and some speculation about its cause.

  40. CaptainBlue

    You're Doing It Wrong

    Apparently. Yes, I still have a recurring weekday alarm that's going off one hour later than it should. I want my iPhone to adjust automatically so the "workaround" is pants. As is setting one every day before I go to bed. As is having to set the alarm to the wrong time for recurring ones and the right time for individual alarms. I would have thought Apple could afford to pay for decent coders...

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