March 14, 2011

Another Alarm-Related Glitch Affects iPhone Users

Once again, a time change has caused major headaches for some iPhone users, as various media reports confirm that many American owners of the Apple-branded smartphone experienced glitches related to this weekend's shift over to daylight savings time.

According to the Telegraph, "Twitter, Facebook and blogs have been full of reports of US users' iPhones going back an hour rather than forward, in an apparent recurrence of the operating system bug that has struck several times before."

As a result, the time displayed on each device was two hours off, and both AT&T and Verizon iPhone subscribers were reportedly affected.

According to the Associated Press, "Twitter was abuzz with a simple solution: Either shut down and restart the phone, or switch the phone to 'airplane mode' and then back."

However, as the UK newspaper pointed out, that solution "offered little comfort to users who had already missed appointments on Sunday."

This incident is just the latest in a long line of clock-related iPhone glitches.

In November 2010, British iPhone 4 users reported being late for work on Monday after the device's alarm had failed to adjust to the change from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time.

That issue itself was preceded by a similar problem in Australia, in which users saw their alarms go off one hour early due to the changeover to daylight savings time.

Then in January 2011, a similar glitch in the devices kept them from sounding when scheduled.

"We're aware of an issue related to non-repeating alarms set for January 1 or 2," Apple spokeswoman Natalie Harrison told Reuters by email at that time. "Customers can set recurring alarms for those dates and all alarms will work properly beginning January 3."

As previously reported here at RedOrbit, BBC Technology reporter Jonathan Fildes said the problem was embarrassing for Apple, not only because of previous alarm problems when the clocks changed, but because the company prides itself on the simplicity of use of its products.

Technology expert Rory Reid added that this was "very embarrassing, very unfortunate glitch," adding that Apple had failed to patch the problem when it originally occurred, meaning that the same alarm bug had been reported around the world when the clocks changed in different regions.

According to the Guardian, "It is unclear whether the bug will affect UK users when clocks change in two weeks' time. Upgrading to the latest version of the IOS operating system should offer protection, however."


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