iPhone daylight-saving bug: fall back to late alarms

What a great excuse for coming in to work late.

iOS Clock app icon (Apple)

These are the dog days of DST, people: get ready to fall back. And prepare for an insidious bug in iOS, where alarms go off late. If you rely on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch to get you up after the time change, you may be in trouble. The daylight-saving bug may make Fall 2010 alarming, once you go back to Standard time. Let's see what's up, in The Long View...

Greetings from Europe, where we've just fallen back an hour, ending this year's daylight-saving time. (Yes, amazingly, in the 21st century, some countries still don't all synchronize the dates for  daylight-saving time. Even when the George W. Bush administration changed the formula in 2007, they didn't think it would be a good idea to fall -- sorry -- into line with most of the northern hemisphere.) Anyway, if you use recurring alarms on an iDevice, be aware that us Europeans are seeing a similar bug to that seen in Australasia, early in October. They sprang forward an hour, and discovered that recurring alarms were going off an hour early. Of course, on this side of the planet, the alarms are going off an hour late. Oops. Thomas Ricker has been experimenting, and doesn't like what he found:

Deleting and re-adding the alarms will NOT fix the issue. We've now tested a number of scenarios under iOS 4.1. ... The bug appears when using a repeating alarm for anything other than "every day." So for example, your alarm will go off an hour late if it's set for "weekdays" or "weekends" or "Monday."

And Chris Rawson is shocked -- shocked -- to find unpatched bugs in iOS:

It's shocking Apple hasn't addressed this issue in a timely fashion. The bug got widespread coverage following the switch to DST in the Southern Hemisphere, so Apple had plenty of warning before the switch to Standard Time in Europe. ... Waking up an hour early when NZ switched to DST a bit over a month ago was certainly irritating, but that's nothing compared to the multitude of Europeans who'll be late to work or school because of this bug.

Still, what a great excuse for coming in to work late, after a tiring and emotional weekend, eh?  

What will you do? Leave a comment below...

Richi Jennings, blogger at large
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email: TLV@richij.com.

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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