iOS <= 4.1: ±1 hour from savoir faire?

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/11/02 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

If you have an iPhone, which I assume most of you do, you may have heard about the problems with the alarm apparently not handling Daylight Savings Time in Europe correctly.

If you are in Europe, you may have woken up an hour late.

If not you can read about it in articles like the one from CNN (iPhone gives Europe extra hour of sleep) or PC World (iPhone Alarm Bug Has Europe Waking 1 Hour Late). Or one of the others.

There are lots of others.

It's funny, people I know sending emails around as that article from CNN was making the rounds. This one is typical:

It’s always interesting to me how anything negative in the Apple Ecosystem gets turned into a positive by the media – instead of ‘iPhone makes Europe late for work’; it’s "iPhone Gives Europe Extra hour of Sleep".

He hadn't seen the other article yet!

Now that is a tempting way to respond, but it is off the mark a little bit.

Really the difference in response between when Microsoft has problems with time zones versus when Apple does has as lot less to do with any kind of "Apple is cooler" or "Steve Jobs reality distortion field" than people are giving credit for.

It is about the two different kinds of customer situations we are talking about -- the typical Microsoft PC user vs. the typical Apple iPhone user.

Actually, that can sometimes even be the same person, so let me restate that:

It is about the two different kinds of customer situations we are talking about -- the typical Microsoft PC use vs. the typical Apple iPhone use.

I mean, what is the worst that happens if your clock is an hour off? Nothing, really.

Hell, even if you are still using your alarm clock you have an excuse not to go into work on time. Just tell you have an iPhone.

Supposedly the update (in iOS 4.2) may not make it to phones in the US before our DST transition. So you will have that same excuse, very soon!

Even if you work for Microsoft (just tell them you have to wait for your Windows Phone before you can change over).

When you look at the two companies, we are talking about the same kinds of bugs. Just like with us, I'll bet there have been and will continue to be iPhone users with the same problems in other time zones that no one notices. And it is only in these "bug" time zones where all the press focus is that point out the huge issue.

But no one is running their business on an iPhone. There aren't even nearly as many running their business on Macs (ubless they are running Windows through Boot Camp).

You can get away with maybe not having an update to fix a time zone bug out by November even if you knew about the bug in October if you aren't breaking your work computers. You don't need dedicated teams making sure tme zone updates are handled ASAP, and you can even miss the same bug in another country a week later.

Apple did have a strategy to trake on the business world, and it nearly killed them. They know how to avoid death (keep Steve Jobs!) and go with strengths.

I like my MacBookPro, its my second favorite machine, even when it is running Windows 7 (even Windows thinks the Apple hardware is cooler, that should tell us something!). But I won't make it my main work machine when it is booted into anything other than Windows.

I'd rather have missed appointments be blamed on a more natural set of targets -- Outlook or Exchange Server, not the operating system. :-)

Anyway, enjoy your hours of extra sleep, iPhone users. Just keep acvting like the bug is biting you and you can milk this for a few weeks, I'd imaginae. Even after the update comes out ("it won't install on my phone, what the hell?" is a great affirmative defense)....

John Cowan on 2 Nov 2010 7:23 AM:

That's what comes of using these niche products like Windows and iOS instead of the Mighty Mainstream, which of course doesn't leave everyone dependent on the accuracy of a single specific app.

Mme Butterfly on 2 Nov 2010 11:19 AM:

>> I mean, what is the worst that happens if your clock is an hour off? Nothing, really.

Really ?

You wake up one hour late, you get into the office and your boss call you. If you have a problem, Neo, the company has a problem, yada yada -> fired.

So you get home and tell your wife you have been fired because of the iPhone you insisted to buy while she was always against it because of its price and relative value (or lack thereof). She answers taking out a bag, filling it with random things, and getting out of the house with the children. That evening, even with the additional hour of sleep you had, you can get into sleep quite fast. Probably because of the somnifers you intentionally overdosed.

>> But no one is running their business on an iPhone.

False. I bet a number of businessmen around Europe use their phone as an alarm when abroad for business. Getting one hour late to an important meeting is not nice.


We live chaotic lives. And time (specially if you get 1 hour late) is a powerful butterfly.

Michael S. Kaplan on 2 Nov 2010 6:58 PM:

Everyone in question can blame the iPhone, whether they have one or not. They are all safe -- CNN told us it is happening!

Aldo.Net on 3 Nov 2010 3:27 AM:

... which I guess is a good reason for DST changes to happen on a Saturday night - hopefully not too many meetings on Sunday ;-)

referenced by

2010/11/07 Fruit is your alarm clock? You may be getting up late today or tomorrow...

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