HT4576: iOS: How to adjust Time Zone Support for calendarsLearn about iOS: How to adjust Time Zone Support for calendars
Currently Being ModeratedNov 2, 2012 11:03 AM (in response to Edahani Wan Yahya)
The only thing I can figure out to help fix this is to turn location services for iCal on, then anytime you set an appointment you have to change the calendar to whatever time zone you will be in at that time, then make the event a floating event. That way the event time will not change as you change time zones and any alerts or reminders will happen when they are supposed to. Pretty stupid and complex way to do it, but it's the only way I can get it to work close enough.
But you have to make sure the event is created in the proper time zone. If not, your alerts will go off at the wrong time. This happened to me recently when I mistakenly set an event in Central time, made it a floating event and went to the Pacific time zone. My alert went off 2 hours before it should have because it was creaated in CST, so I set my phone alarm for the proper time to alert me when I really needed to be alerted.
To me, it would make more sense if the whole calendar was "floating" and/or there was no change in time zones on the calendar at all. My calendar should follow me, not a time zone.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 22, 2013 6:45 AM (in response to pinkfloyd1969)
The behavior you are seeing is actually inherent in most calendar apps -- the deal is that you are telling your calendar when something happens, not what time. Our company writes a calendaring+task management app for iPhone called Pocket Informant - we get this same question on occassion, so I wrote up a Knowledge Base article discussing some details (keep in mind - this article discusses some features specific to our app that you won't find in iCal/Calendar on MacOS X):
In iCal/Calendar on MacOS X, when you turn on Time Zone support, you then get to choose the time zone that you are entering your appointment for. This helps you not have to do the "time zone math" in your head. Thus, if you are in CST and want to set up an appointment for 6pm PST, you can choose PST in the event editor as you enter 6pm. Note that while you are in CST, your event will display in your calendar at "CST time" (8pm), but when you fly out to PST, it will show the "correct" PST time.
While iCal/Calendar supports "floating time zones", I personally would caution against using them for everything (I mentioned a few reasons why in the above kbase article). Use those for events that truly are "time driven" rather than "point in time" driven (such as "I want to go jogging every morning at 5am no matter what time zone I'm in).
Hope that helps some!
Currently Being ModeratedJan 22, 2013 4:53 PM (in response to LexSchellings)
The problem with not turning Time Zone Support on is that unless Location Services are turned off (which doesn't allow you to use several apps or use their functions (i.e., weather, Facebook check-in, Yelp, etc.) the times on the iPhone calendar will update to the current time zone. An event listed as 4 pm when created while in Central time zone will show as 5 pm in Eastern, even if created with TZS off.
There's no way to avoid it. In my opinion, the calendar should just stay fixed. If I was using a paper calendar with hand written appointments I wouldn't write appointments in different time zones, so why should iCal be any different? If I fly from New Orleans (CST) to L.A. (PST) for a 10 am meeting I know the meeting is at 10 no matter what time zone I'm in because the meeting can only take place in one time zone.
It makes no sense to change time zones on a calendar to see what time an event takes place.
If you want an alert on your event, the event must be created in the time zone in which it will take place or the timer will not be accurate. Making the event a floating event ensures that the time will display properly regardless of the time zone.
Currently Being ModeratedJan 23, 2013 6:41 AM (in response to pinkfloyd1969)
The problem is that it would be a complete disaster for many (if not most) people if modern calendaring systems worked like a paper calendar. I listed a few reasons why in that knowledge base article:
-Conference calls always occur at the same point in time no matter where you are - thus if your calendar changed the time of a conference call because you flew to a new time zone, you'd miss it.
-Unexpected trips (I didn't actually list this one) - suppose you scheduled an event that will occur in your local time zone, then unexpectedly you need to fly out somewhere. You no longer have a sense of when that event really is.
Then finally, there are alarms. The problem is in order to keep your events "at the same time", under the hood, an electronic calendar actually needs to constantly update the actual "point in time" that your event occurs every single time you change a time zone...that also means it needs to go update every single alarm attached to those events so that it fires at the right time in your new time zone.
That all said - I think that electronic calendars can do more than they do today to help people manage multiple time zones. I think iCal's current approach of letting you set the time zone when you create the event works well because then you don't need to do the time zone math in your head. It would also be handy, though, if it put some sort of badge on that event so that while you are in this time zone, you could see that you expect to be in a different time zone when that event actually occurs (we do something like that in our app when you lock a calendar to a specific time zone).
Currently Being ModeratedJan 23, 2013 2:01 PM (in response to pinkfloyd1969)
Exactly: if you do NOT activate Tme Zone Support the time will stay at the time of your own time zone: it will not change when you fly to a new time zone. So DO NOT SET TimeZone Support: you know what the time is.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 6, 2013 7:26 AM (in response to chrismcs)
Your article was very helpful in explaining the difference between alarm times and calendar times.
The effects of changing the Time Zone Support switch appear different than what you seem to suggest though.
It seems to me that turning on Time Zone Support allows you to enter events based on different time zones than the current calendar time zone, but always shows you the time in the time zone selected for your calendars even if you are in a different time zone (i.e. if my calendar time zone is Chicago and I am in New York, all my calendar times will show Chicago time not New York time).
Turning off Time Zone Support always shows you the event times based on where you are. (i.e. if my event showed 8 a.m. in Chicago, it will change to 9 a.m. when I am in New York). However, when you enter events with Time Zone Support off, you can only enter the times based on your current location. The time zone option is gone.
One way to deal with this behavior is to turn Time Zone Support on and then change your calendar time zone to match the time zone you are now in, much like setting your wristwatch to the new time zone in the olden days. That way, you'll see calendar times based on your current location, and you can add new events based on different time zones when necessary.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 6, 2013 8:59 PM (in response to mwestley)
The big problem with TZS, whether on or off, is that times constantly change and will always display incorrectly if you need to refer to a time. Just as you mentioned, 8 am in Chicago shows as 9 am in NY. If someone asked you while you were in NY what time your meeting was scheduled for in Chicago, a quick glance at your calendar would have you thinking 9 am and not 8 am. Same thing if TZS was on. In NY, your event would show as 9 am unless you phyiscally changed the calendar time zone.
If you're in NY now and you have an 8 am meeting in Chicago tomorrow and you will be in Chicago at the time of the meeting the time is still 8 am. You change your watch when you change time zones, unlike iCal which changes the event time to correspond to your current time zone, causing it to DISPLAY the incorrect time.
If you used a date book or paper calendar, you would write down 8 am. It would never change. You can only be in one time zone at a time so you would write it down for the time zone that you would be in at the time of that event. Granted, if you had a phone conference and you had to travel outside your time zone you would have to update it for the new time zone. This is when TZS comes in handy.
The biggest problem I have with the whole thing is that times can display incorrectly when needing to reference an event if you're not currently in the time zone in which that event will take place (i.e., telling a friend in L.A. that I land at 3 pm, instead of 5 pm as diplayed in CST when I live).
I have a much better understanding of how it all works now. It's just a matter of knowing how to maniupulate iCal to display it in the manner in which you'd like and how to get notifications at the correct times.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 7, 2013 6:12 AM (in response to pinkfloyd1969)
Try this experiment. Turn TZS on, then change the time zone to somewhere other than your actual time zone.
You will see all the times change to reflect that new time zone. They will not change when you go to another time zone as long as you have TZS on. This behavior is just like your paper calendar.
Turn TZS off and all the times will change back to reflect your actual time zone. Now if you go to another time zone, all the times will change to reflect the new time zone.
I have Mountain Lion installed, so perhaps it doesn't work the same way on earlier versions of OSX.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 7, 2013 8:26 AM (in response to mwestley)
I'm still running Snow Leopard 10.6.8 and it doesn't work that way. With TZS on the times display in the zone the event was either created in or the zone selected in the event window and the times change as you move through zones. With TZS off all times change to reflect the zone you're currently in.
The displayed time changes regardless of whether TZS is on or off unless you make the event a floating event.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 13, 2013 10:41 AM (in response to pinkfloyd1969)
Pink has it right. There seems to be no way to just have the calendar times stay still! Either way, it won't work because calendar doesn't know your future plans etc. apple must fix this, with an option that most people will use to keep times for events constant. The ONLY use for the existing scheme is shared calendars with conference calls between time zones. Maybe the engineer working on this was having a lot of those.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 13, 2013 11:44 AM (in response to mesh-arc)
I'm sorry to hear that it does not work for you. I believe apple has fixed this at iOS 6. When I turn on TZS and change my time zone to eastern instead of central, all of my calendar times show one hour later even though I am in the central time zone. When I change it back to central, my calendar shows central times again. That sounds like the behavior you're looking for.
Currently Being ModeratedFeb 13, 2013 11:55 AM (in response to mwestley)
The behavior we're looking for is no change in time at all, regardless of what time zone I'm in. I don't want to change the calendar time zone and I don't want times to update when I go to a new time zone. The phone will update calendar times regardless of whether TZS is on or off if location services are on. The computer calendar will not update if TZS is off.
With TZS off, alerts are not given at the correct time.