How To Work Around The iPhone 4 Daylight Saving Alarm Bug

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How To Work Around The iPhone 4 Daylight Saving Alarm Bug

We noted the importance of checking the time on devices when daylight saving began over the weekend in many states, but it turns out that iPhones running iOS 4 have a more subtle problem: recurring alarms go off at the wrong time once daylight saving has kicked in.

Numerous reports on Twitter and discussion forums attest to the problem, which first became evident last week in New Zealand, where the switch daylight saving happens a week ahead of Australia). The issue purely applies to recurring alarms (such setting an alarm for the same time every day to wake you up for work). The effect varies depending on when the alarm was created, according to one poster on Apple’s own support forums:

Recurring alarms that were set prior to the Daylight Saving switch went off an hour later than intended. Recurring alarms that have been set since Daylight Saving began, go off one hour earlier than the time they are set for.

Even users in states where daylight saving doesn’t apply have reported problems, so anyone using an iOS 4 device needs to be cautious. (Reports suggest there’s no issues with the older iPhone 3 releases unless they’ve been upgraded.)

Until Apple issues a patch, the easiest way to avoid the problem appears to be setting individual one-off alarms, rather than recurring ones. Problems with daylight saving are hardly unknown, but let’s hope Apple does a better job of managing it in future.

Apple

Comments

  • My girlfriend’s iPhone 3G with iOS 4 on it had the alarms go off early. After the clocks all reset to daylight saving (we’re in Brisbane – no DST here) yesterday morning, we eventually managed to reset them to the correct time zone, the alarms then went off an hour early. They were set for 6am, but they went off when the time on the phone was at 5am. We deleted and re-set the alarms and they look to be okay now……….

    • I do the same but does’t work for me, it s the software of iPhone 4 -problem. I could not believe that apple expert did not check OS before release for public use.

  • Yes this one got me this morning (4:50am alarm instead of 5:50am!) and I did a bunch of testing to work out how to get around the errors. Using one-off alarms look to be the only way.
    NZ suffered it last weekend.

  • We’re iPhone/iPad developers (http://www.creativeintersection.com/ipad_iphone_development), so we have been playing with all sorts of stuff in the iOS for some time now.

    Although it’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on at an OS level, my suspicion is that the alarms actually are handled as “countdowns” by the phone – so when the automatic time-setting changes, the amount of time left on the “countdown” is actually wrong and unpredictable results happen (early/late/dead alarms).

    My 3GS and my wife’s iPhone 4 both with iOS 4.1 simply “forgot” to go off on Sunday morning. We’re in Brisbane, but had been set to “auto” and the Optus network apparently can’t tell the difference between Canberra and Brisbane (I’m happy to say that there is a BIG difference 🙂

    Once we reset the time to “manual”, selected the region, and changed back over to “auto”, all was fine.

    No probs with early/late/dead alarms since.

    Also try toggling the on/off state of any recurring alarms you may have. Seems to help (lending more credence to the “countdown” theory).

  • I just can’t understand how, with so many constant problems, ppl are ok with the higher prices apple charge over their competitors.. It’s just getting stupid.

  • I’m from Sydney, just got my iPhone 4 few days ago. I’ve an alarm set at 7:30am and man, I went off at 6:30 !! At first I though I see it wrongly, but it’s two days in a row now, it ruin my holiday.

  • I have a workaround that works for me.
    1. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time
    2. Switch off Set Automatically.
    3. Set Time Zone to Brisbane (which DOES NOT have Daylight Savings)
    4. Set Date & Time to the local date/time

    After that, the recurring alarm goes off correctly.

  • It is definately Apple’s issue. There may be some issues with the telco’s setting of the time on your phone if you’re in QLD or WA, but if my alarm says 6:30 and it goes off when my phone says it’s 5:30 then it’s a phone issue.
    Blame Apple! Blame Apple! Blame Apple!

  • Thanks this works.

    I.AM.green
    October 5, 2010 at 8:52 AM
    I have a workaround that works for me.
    1. Go to Settings > General > Date & Time
    2. Switch off Set Automatically.
    3. Set Time Zone to Brisbane (which DOES NOT have Daylight Savings)
    4. Set Date & Time to the local date/time

    After that, the recurring alarm goes off correctly.

  • an easy interim fix…

    go to Settings/General/Date & Time, switch off “Set Automatically”, then select another city that is in the same time as you that doesn’t have Daylight Saving (for the east coast of Australia, Noumea works.)

    Scheduled alarms will now work just fine. (The bug is obviously specific to daylight savings locations.)

  • On Sunday morning, my husband’s phone had changed itself to DST, even tho we live in Brisbane and phone is set to Brisbane time. We both have 3GS running 4.0.1. However, my phone had not. Husband’s alarms have been going off fine since we reset his timezone and the time fixed itself.
    I run numerous Calendar reminders, including daily, weekly, monthly, etc. First, they had all changed to one hour earlier. I manually edited them all back to correct time, and they go off at the correct times but the alert on-scree displays the alarm and the time an hour later.
    Am happy enough with it for now but would like a fix from Apple soon.
    I doubt this is a telco related problem (have seen it mentioned in a few comments), as they have no control over the indiviual phone settings.

  • I’m worried, my iphone 4 isn’t having a problem at all, it automatically changed to DST and all my recurring alarms are sounding when they should. I wonder why mine is different??? (It is JB’d…)

  • Set my time to manual after talking to apple support, took off recurring alarms. Ran 2 tests before bed all was good. Guess what 4am this morning 1 hour early (4 days in a row now), go figure.

  • I am in the UK and have a 3G, i updated the software to the latest one and since the daylight savings my alarm goes off 1 hr later than it should. I have restarted the phone, deleted and reset the alarm and it still happens!!

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