On Monday, workers in England, France, and other European countries "flooded blogs and internet chat boards to vent their frustration" after a glitch in their iPhone alarm clocks caused them to wake up an hour late, no doubt vexing their bosses. The root of the problem? Daylight Saving Time. With the U.S. set to turn back the clocks next Sunday, should American iPhone users find an alternative way to rouse themselves? Here's a brief guide to Apple's alarming situation:
What went wrong?
The alarm on devices running iOS 4.1 "failed to adjust" to the one-hour time shift that Daylight Saving Time requires, reports The Guardian, even though the iPhones' clocks noted the change. Similar problems were reported in New Zealand and Australia three weeks earlier, when those countries went through the DST change. (Watch a report about the iPhone alarm problem)
Is this problem fixable?
Apple has not publicly commented on yesterday's events, but after the New Zealand/Australia alarm snafu, Apple claimed the phone's new operating system iOS 4.2, which goes lives in November, would resolve the glitch. In the meantime, iPhone users "are being urged to delete all alarms and create new alerts" — but Thomas Ricker at Engadget says that "deleting and re-adding the alarms will not fix the issue." There is a workaround, he says: The alarm-clock delay can "be avoided by setting one-off alarms rather than pre-setting regular wake-up calls."
So will American users be affected?
If nothing changes between now and next Sunday, that's a safe bet. On Monday, some of Engadget's readers reported "waking up to alarms reportedly going off an hour early" — though it's unclear whether that's connected to DST. And, as CNET reports, other iPhone users "are already preparing their late-to-work excuses for next Monday."
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- The U.S. Marines are developing laser weapons. Here's why.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- 5 baffling foreign-language versions of the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme song
- How to make corn dogs
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
Subscribe to the Week