back to article Apple coughs to time zone problems

Having upset the schedule of New Zealanders, Australians and Europeans, Apple has now admitted that iOS has a problem with summer time, three days before the Americans get inconvenienced. A new support document, picked up by Apple Insider, admits that iOS version 4.1 screws up repeating alarms during the switch from daylight …


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  1. Ian Ferguson

    Screwing up their own advice

    I've deleted all my recurring alarms and rebooted my iPhone, and new recurring alarms are still going off an hour later than they say they will. No advice from Apple or others has fixed it on my 3GS, although other owners seem to have had more luck.

    Total fail on Apple's part. I really can't understand why they haven't released a bug fix.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Paris Hilton

      Re: "I really can't understand why they haven't released a bug fix."

      Apple don't give a fuck because they know the sheeple will continue to buy their overpriced shit, even when it doesn't work properly.

      It's as simple as that.

    2. Tigra 07

      RE: Ian Ferguson

      Ha! You actually expected apple to own up and tell you how to fix a problem?

      You must be new here

    3. Matt Bradley


      Disbale "set time automatically" in your system settings.

    4. thecakeis(not)alie

      Solve the iPhone problem.

      Step 1) Bin phone

      Step 2) Buy a good phone:

      Step 3) ????

      Step 4) Profit!

  2. Piers

    it's nice to know...

    ... that once a problem affects those living in Cupertino Apple is quick to react, even if it reminds us just how important we are.

    Oh yes.

  3. Velv

    Attitude to problems

    Reminds me of the attitude of Microsoft ten years ago.


    I know a new release is due shortly, but does that fix the problem of the phone crashing three minutes into a call ? Bet it doesn't, as "the problem doesn't exist"

    Time to look at the alternatives........

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    User problem all along

    See, it was just a user problem all along. If everyone would just RTFM, then they would have know to turn off the alarms before the change. I know the manual update was a bit late, but that is just the bloody mindedness of non-Americans not delaying their clock change to when it is supposed to be made.

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      It can't be a "user problem..."

      ...because there simply can't be a problem. Apple products "just work," dontchaknow?

  5. Doug Glass


    What idiot relies exclusively on a single source to get the correct time? You damn well better do a time check every now and then and stop depending on some basement dwelling programmer who hasn't seen the sun in years.

    1. Chris 3

      How many...

      ... alarm clocks do you set, exactly?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Excellent advice there Doug

      Brought to by Doug, the man with 2 watches, 2 phones, 2 cars, 2 houses, 2 jobs, 2 wives.....

      1. thecakeis(not)alie

        2 houses, 2 jobs and 2 wives you say...

        In this economic climate? Impressive!

  6. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    Well done Apple, pure class!

    I like Apple desktop kit, but this just too funny for words!

    So did they hire some 15 year old on a GCSE IT course to write the DST code on an Excel spreadsheet? FFS! When your writing temporal code I would have thought dealing with DST in the western world, which is where most of your gadgets are sold, would be a pretty important thing to handle!

    I know bugs exist, but this is revision 4.1 of the O/S it's what, 2-3 years old now, why is this surfacing now? Hilarious!

  7. Frank Bitterlich

    To clear the confusion...

    ... it does NOT help to turn off the "Repeat" before DST switch and turn it on again afterwards. The bug affects all alarm entries with "Repeat" on, on all devices; but it only in the time STARTING at DST switch in your LOCAL timezone, and ENDING with the DST switch in the US (Nov 7th). At that time, the bug will "disappear".

    Bottom line #1: US iPhones will not be affected at all, as the affected timespan is zero.

    Bottom line #2: There is nothing you can do to prevent the bug from occurring; Apple's "workaround" simply says "don't use it." (Repeating Alarms, that is. One-time alarms are working fine at any time.)

    1. AnonymousCoward

      There is a work around for repeating alarms

      f you set your repeating alarm(s) to go off 1 hour earlier then it will correctly repeat at the time you wanted it to go off. This at least saves having to remember to set single alarms every night to wake yourself up. In addition when you install the new realease with the fix the bug you will be woken up an hour earlier than you wanted which will give you time to (a) appreciate the geenius of the bug fix and (b) reset your repeating alarms to the correct time.

      Works for me, your mileage may vary, void where prohibited by law etc.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        QA Severity 4 (Workaround available)

        One of the things any good QAer does when testing date reliant functionality is test:

        - Normal days

        - Timezones

        - Day change

        - Month change

        - Year change

        - Decade change

        - Leap years

        - DST change

        But no doubt Apple are full of Nathan Barley-wannabes, more interested in making shiny products than effectively testing the thing.

        Previous poster was correct - Microsoft circa 10 years ago anybody?

    2. Daniel B.
      Thumb Down


      This is going to be something akin to the Sony's PSN "fix" then. Their "fix" with "Feb 29, 2010" was to sit their asses all day and claim it was "fixed" when Mar. 2, 2010 00:00 GMT came by.

  8. Slim

    Time to poke the Lion with a stick...

    Is this where I mention that both my Blackberry and my Nokia updated their clocks, alarms and calendar entries, automatically and correctly?

    Apple Hand Grenade, pull the pin and wait for the blast of hot air from the iFan's.

    1. g e


      My old HTC Magic running some Victorian ver of Android

    2. Anonymous Coward

      iPhone Time is Fine

      My iPhone updated its time correctly too. This issue is about REPEATING ALARMS. Did you actually read the article or did you jump immediately into the comments to be a twat?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    back or forth?

    "too late for most of the world which has been pushing the clocks back over the last few weeks"

    Well if my geography is good enough, Australians and Newzealanders have probably pushed the clocks forward over the last few weeks...

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Apple recommendation doesn't work!

    Turning off repeating alarms for the change over doesnt work, mine were off and I turned them back on the day after the change. They went off an hour late, so I deleted them and re-created them; same problem.

    Apple needs to fix this.

  11. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Time zone problems ?

    Dear God, is it possible that, in the 3rd millennium, such issues can still exist ?

    What caveman-programmed application can still have timezone issues ? I mean, it's not like timezones is a problem that has not yet been extensively studied, is it ? isn't there a wealth of programming data and even technical reports on such an issue ?

    Or is it because it concerns Apple, where all programs are done in Reality-Distortion Land under the same timezone, so they only find out about the issue when 3/4s of the Rest Of The World have already found out the hard way ?

    Really, I can admit that programming is a bit of a Dark Art, but not getting timezone issues right puts you right there with the summer interns.

    Think Different ? More like Set Your Watches Accordingly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Jobs Horns

      Re: Time zone problems ?

      There are no time zone problems if you set all your clocks to Apple Time!

      Sent from my iHole.

    2. Arctic fox

      @ Pascal Monett "Time zone problems?"

      "Dear God, is it possible that, in the 3rd millennium, such issues can still exist ?"

      It would seem so yes. In fact what is astonishing about it does not even require considering the last two thousand years or so. One only has to remember back 10 - 12 years or so and the _enormous_ furore over the "Y2K" bug which was going to end civilisation as we know it. Alright, I am waxing a trifle ironic with that description but my point really is that the issue of data systems and clocks really got a _huge_ amount of attention across the entire globe, both at the time and during the years immediately prior. Particularly with regard to possible negative consequences! I really do not understand how a mere ten years later a tech company of Apple's size and status could possibly miss something as basic as seasonal time shifts - especially, ho ho ho, in an alarm clock app!

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Jobs says...

      You're holding your clock wrong.

    4. Anonymous Coward

      Well, yes it does happen

      I still get BSOD on Windows 7 once in a while. Shit happens, so get over yourself.

  12. JaitcH

    There must be an App for this?

    Since Apple (Jobs' name must never be associated with failure) can't the time right and every time they open up iOS more bad things develop, someone should write an App.

    Must be quicker and more reliable than iOS 4, whatever. Alternatively, Apple's software guys could review iOS 3 and see what changed.

  13. flameresistant

    Poor Testing

    Apparently it is fixed in the iOS 4.2 beta. Let's hope it doesn't come back in a future release like the emergency phone call hole has.

    To those that think Apple's workaround advice is to switch the alarms off and switch them on again, read the support document referenced in the article again.

  14. Andy Hards
    Thumb Up

    ha ha ha ha

    ha ha ha ha ha

  15. JohnnyFireBlade
    Jobs Halo


    I'm still on iOS 4.0 and my phone was fine. Clock adjusted correctly and recurring weekday alarm for work kicked off when it was supposed to. Glad I didn't upgrade to 4.1 now. :)

  16. Eddy Ito

    Easy fix

    Can we finally just stop playing the foolish head game on ourselves and admit we are actually just getting up an hour later or earlier? Oh I know, it won't work because there are too many businesses that will have to change their hours for the summer, we'll use too much energy and little Willy will have to reset his alarm so he isn't going to school in the dark and be run down in the darkened dark street like a possum in the dark deep blackened pitch that is predawn. Fine, fine I've already worked a compromise. Let's see, the time change is now only in "standard time" for what, 4 months? So, we'll readjust the "standard time" 40 minutes and be done with it. It is just an arbitrary construct after all.

    Ok, I guess my blasphemy is complete and the Holy Order of the Temporal Temple can flame away now... or in an hour if they have to wait for their alarm to reset.

  17. lotus49
    Jobs Horns

    Not happy

    Like many others I was hit by this bug and did not get up at the correct time on Monday.

    What pissed me off the most was that Apple knew this was a problem as our antipodean friends set their clocks forward early in October. Despite the potentially serious consequences for individuals (eg missed flights, missed job interviews etc) they did nothing to fix this nor to warn us.

    1. Ammaross Danan


      Because "there's no problem."

      Perhaps you're just holding it wrong too.

  18. Steve Smith 5


    Surely all that's needed is an app to fix that tells you when your current contract is up, to remind you to get an android phone next time.

  19. John Goodwin 4

    Date-reliant functionality - Apple, meet Sony

    Reminds me of the time when the fat PS3 wasn't able to connect to the PlayStation Network due to the leap year date problem.

    Their advice was that we should have a fix in 24 hours. Cunningly, switching on the PS3 at 00:20 the next day and the problem was fixed. With respect to Kenny Everett, cupid stunts.

  20. Ihre Papiere Bitte!!

    set to repeat all

    Based on some fun testing with my boss' iPhone 4.1 (fun cos he's a real fanboy), we've found that:

    Set a 1-off alarm, works ok

    Set alarm to go off every day, works ok

    Set to go off 'some days', whatever the combo, goes off 1 hour late.

    And it's been fun reminding him (over & over) that my Blackberry managed this horrendously complex operation with no problems or manual intervention at all :-)

  21. Richrrrd


    Just set your alarm to repeat everyday, worked for me.

    Probably best to remember to cancel it tomorrow and then reconfigure on Sunday

    iPhone 5 sir? Ram it!!!

  22. Fremma
    Jobs Halo


    Just adjust your clock to Cupertino time. No big deal.

  23. Mark Simon

    Alternative fix

    “To resolve this behavior for existing alarms, set the repeat interval to Never.”

    or buy a different phone.

    Given that we have had scheduling in operating systems for decades, how do you actually break it?

    1. thecakeis(not)alie

      It's not broken!

      There was a planned update that would have fixed this all in time. Unfortunately, the programmer responsible was a filthy spy, and mentioned another operating system in the comments of the source code for the update that would have prevented this. He of course had to be burned at the stake and his code erased lest it corrupt some innocent soul.

      Apple is sorry that you didn’t get the chance to buy a Date Feature Upgrade (Now with proper scheduling and DST!) from the iStore, but you know how those iPhone police can be…

      In the meantime, please consider this a feature not a bug.

  24. Stephane Mabille

    Clean code

    That just prove how "clean" Apple code is....

    It probably look like this:

    If alarm.repeat = yes then

    if repeat <> daily then

    if date < US time change then





    Seriously, sounds like very complicated code for just repeating alarm, something than Nokia (and anybody else) can do since..... their first phone!

    I can't imagine how messy the rest of the code probably is!

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