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TIME ZONE SUPPORT SETTINGS?! What the what?

22479 Views 29 Replies Latest reply: Nov 3, 2013 7:07 PM by hotwheels 22 RSS
  • pinkfloyd1969 Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 25, 2013 11:02 AM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    hotwheels,

     

    Your laptop calendar should update automatically but you have to have it set that way to do so.  Go to system preferrences, then system, date and time.  Click date and time and check the box to set time automatically using current location.

    As long as you have an internet connection it should update. 

     

    Be careful not to confuse a wifi signal with actually being connected.  Staying at a hotel or another location that requires you to purchase access or log in first will not update if you have not done so.  However, I was just in San Francisco and with a connection my time did not update.  That's the first time I've seen that happen.  If it does, uncheck the update box and manually select your current time zone.

  • phubenthal Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 8, 2013 7:58 AM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    I totally agree: Calendar's time zone implementation is way too complicated, and life's too short to mess around with it.

     

    I've started using all-day events as a workaround for things like flights across time zones.  I haven't done tons of testing, but as far as I can tell, alerts set for all-day events always go off at the nominal time they're set for no matter what time zone your laptop thinks it's in, and no matter whether time zone support is turned on or off.

     

    Example:  This week I'm in Mountain Time, and  I create an all-day event next Wednesday with an alert set for 9 am.  Next Wednesday I'm in Central Time and the alert goes off at 9 am Central Time.

     

    I hope others find this helpful too.

  • phubenthal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 9, 2013 12:06 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    Hi hotwheels,

     

    Here's how I set a full-day event with an alert in Calendar on my laptop:

     

    (I'm assuming you're working in Week view (just because that's what I  always use), but the procedure is exactly the same for Month view.  In Day view, you start out by double-clicking in the white box at top right where it says "all-day events," then everything after that is the same as for the other views.)

     

    Double-click in the white box at the top of the day, where it shows the date and name of the day.  That will create a new all-day event.  Double-click it to edit it.

     

    About halfway down the box you'll see the header "alert."  Assuming you haven't changed your Alerts preferences from the defaults,  this will be set either to 9 am the same day (Mountain Lion) or to "None" (previous OSes).  Click on whichever one you see and select the alert type you want from the drop-down menu.  I think no matter which alert type you pick, the alert date will be set to "the same day" by default, so then you just click on the time and edit it to what you want.

     

    On the iPhone, you can't choose an alert time for an all-day event; your only options are 9 am the same day, one day before, two days before or one week before -- so you should use your laptop if at all possible.  But if by some chance 9 am is when you want your alert to happen, then I guess creating the event on the phone would be a viable option.

     

    Good luck!

  • phubenthal Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 10, 2013 12:46 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    Well, maybe don't start hailing me until you try it out and make sure it works for you :-)  But I'm glad it seems useful; it certainly works for me.  Let us know how it all went when you get back from your next trip!

  • HansWorldTravels Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 10, 2013 8:59 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    So this is the second posting I've found so far about this major flaw of Apple's and their apparent unwillingness to address the issue.... so what happens, everyone whom this affects, has to find a work around instead of Apple fixing it.  Great customer service Apple.

     

    Here is the other posting and my response, showing this was an initial problem with gCal and Androids when multi-timezone events were first released.  But Google quickly fixed it.  I'll attach a picture of it, but if you want the description, it's at the end of page 3 on this post.  I've been using this for 2 years, traveling back and forth across the country, and since their fix, it has been flawless and never confusing.

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4046980?start=30&tstart=0

     

    gCal Time Zones.png

  • judithfromflagstaff Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 30, 2013 10:59 AM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    I'm coming to this thread very late.  Sorry.

     

    I have struggled with the time zone support function for literally years, and multiple iPhones.  I've talked to tech support by phone and in person multiple times, and I still had screwed up times when I travelled.  I think Apple techies aren't too sure how time zone support works, as I was getting either different answers to the same questions, or having them read me what I could already read on the phone, or just tell me I was missing the fact that the phone time setting and the calendar time setting are not the same, and if I'd just set them both correctly (without helping me figure out what the correct settings were) my problems would go away.

     

    It took me this long to learn to 'think like the phone', mostly because testing it would require going to a different time zone to see how it behaved.  I didn't have several days I could hop in my car and drive to another state, just to play with the phone settings.  And I usually forgot from one trip to the next just what I'd done the last time.

     

    But I think I've got it now.

     

    Using time zone support means that when you enter an event, you tag it with a time and a time zone.  This gives it an 'absolute time'.  I suspect in the background, it's converted to GMT, but since most of us don't think in terms of GMT, it's shown as time and time zone.

     

    The time the calendar shows for events, I think of as , what time will it be in the time zone  set for calendars when this event happens?. 

     

    As an example, I live in Arizona.  I travel to Chicago several times a year for business.  I have time zone support set for Arizona time.  If I schedule a meeting for 2 pm in Chicago, I enter it as 2 pm central time.  When I look at the calendar, it shows me what time will it be in Arizona when the meeting takes place. Since Arizona is on Mountain time, and Chicago is currently 2 hours ahead of us, the meeting will show as happening at noon.

     

    Now that's not terribly useful.  I  don't care what time it is in Arizona when I'm having a meeting in Chicago. And it would mess things up if I wanted to schedule something else the same day, or to tell someone what time my meeting is happening.  But there's a way to fix this.

     

    Under Settings>Mail, contacts, calendars>Time Zone Support>Time Zone, then search for Chicago and select it.  This 'virtually' moves my phone to Chicago, and it will show me what time it will be in Chicago when the event happens.  Everthing that's happening anywhere else will also show as the time it will be in Chicago when the event happens, but I can look at my Chicago events and know what time it will be in Chicago when they happen.  And I won't schedule a lunch or dinner at the same time as my meeting.

     

    I just have to remember to set the time zone back to Arizona when I'm done pretending I'm in Chicago. 

     

    (Someone upthread was dealing with being in one time zone, but maintaining a calendar for a colleague in another time zone, with meetings in yet another set of time zones, and ended up keeping multiple calendars.  This may be the fix s/he needs.)

     

    There is some utility to this.  This evening I'm going to be watching a web broadcast of a show happening in Key West.  I enter the event in my calendar in Key West time.  My phone will tell me what time it will be in Arizona when the event takes place.  This is a good thing, as I will be in Arizona when the show happens.

     

    Now, as to the other setting.  That's the phone time setting: Settings>General>Date and Time.  I'm pretty sure I know how this works, but this is the part I can't test until next time I travel to Chicago. 

    But the phone will recognize where I am and set the correct local time.  What I'm not sure about

    is whether time zone support wil recognize I'm in Chicago and change the setting to Chicago, or if it will need to be reset manually to Chicago.

     

    Again, with the calendar set to Chicago, events happening in another time zone will show up as the time it will be in Chicago when they happen, but I can go to the time zone support settings, set it to the time zone I'm interested in, and see what local time the events will happen.  Of course, I have to change it back to Chicago when I'm done.

     

    Where this falls down is events that happen in more than one time zone, like airplane flights.  If I schedule my Chicago-Phoenix flight in central time, I can get a correct departure but the arrival will be off.  If I set it in mountain time, arrival will be correct but departure will be off.  I will get around this by setting the time zone to my departure city so I get reminders that agree with the time zone I'm in when I need them.  And I'll add a comment to the event telling when the arrival and departure times are.

     

    There are comparable settings on my MacBook Pro, so I've done the same thing there.

     

    I know this is long.  And it's in such simple language and so detailed, it may be condescending.  But this is what it took for me to finally get it, and I hope it helps someone else.

     

    Can't help with the contacts.  All my devices are Apple, and they share information pretty seamlessly through iCloud.

     

  • dnine Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2013 12:40 PM (in response to hotwheels 22)

    The problem here is that Apple has different definitions of "Time Zone Support" in their desktop and mobile environments. This has led to confusion for the last 10 years and they show no interest in fixing it, so let me be clear - if you work/play in multiple time zones:

     

    1. Turn ON time zone support in your desktop Mac Calendar application.

    2. Turn OFF time zone support on your mobile devices running iOS.

     

    When you create an event on your desktop application, it will ask you for the time zone and you will have to specify each time. This way there is no confusion about when the event is occurring. Trust me, you want this extra step in your life, it is the only way to be sure you don't get mixed up. The event will display properly on your laptop no matter where you go.

     

    With time zone support off on your mobile device, the Calendar application will use your location data to determine where you are and put the event at the correct time relative to your current time zone.

     

    So whenever you create an event on your desktop and view it on your mobile it will be correct. But, you ask, what happens when I create the event on my phone? This is where you have to compensate for Apple's foolishness. If you leave time zone support off on your phone and create the event, the Calendar application will use your phone's location to determine the time zone, and automatically create the event in that time zone. So the natural response for a heavy traveler is simply to turn on time zone support, so that they can specify the time zone (just like on desktop) and not have any confusion. That would be great except for one VERY IMPORTANT oversight on Apple's part. When you turn on time zone support in iOS, you now have to specify what time zone events will DISPLAY in. What this means is that the events on your phone will display in the time zone you set, regardless of where you travel - and that means if you change time zones you will need to manually change the time zone events are displayed in each time your flight lands. This is absurd - no one wants this - but Apple has done it this way. What people would like is to specify the time zone when creating events so there is no confusion, and then have the events display according to whatever time zone they happen to be in (using the location data) - this is exactly what happens in the desktop Calendar application. Unfortunately the only way to get this behavior in mobile is to temporarily turn on time zone support while creating the event on your phone, and then after creating the event, turn off time zone support so that the event will display relative to your current time zone wherever you travel.

     

    It's been so long since this problem emerged that I've concluded Apple actually likes it this way. Too bad none of the customers do...

     

    An alternative is to create all your travel-related events in an app like Tripit, which will publish a calendar you can subscribe to on both platforms. Tripit will use your flight data to intelligently predict the time zone you intend when you create events, avoiding the problems above, but the resulting calendar will be read-only, so you will have to edit all the events in the app rather than in your calendar.

     

    Best of luck everyone.

  • dnine Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2013 1:07 PM (in response to dnine)

    Sorry everyone I should have clarified - you have to manually adjust the time zone events display in on desktop as well (if time zone support is on). So the phrase "this is exactly what happens in the desktop calendar application" is not correct above.

     

    To summarize: turn time zone support on to create events and turn it off to have them display according to your current time zone when you are traveling. Lame, I know but that's the current reality.

  • HansWorldTravels Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 3, 2013 6:39 PM (in response to dnine)

    So, I've been reading these responses while I was traveling through Europe and have been continueing to bounce from time zone to time zone over the previous couple months.... and I just have to ask why everyone continues to put up with this garbage from Apple and their unwillingness to fix this issue.

     

    As i wrote prior, Sunrise Calendar App deals with this entire problem (as does gmail) so that it is seamless and without problem.  Just over a month ago, Sunrise released an update which included iCal support.... which relegates the need to use iCal basically useless.

     

    I just spend the better part of a day fighting with iTunes and jettisoning it because I found iTools does everything I need for my iPhone 5... and is 100x easier to do everything, and I'm not left thinking after every process I ran, what did it actually do.

     

    There were two final straws on me tossing iTunes: 1) continued failures to execute install of i OS 7.3; and 2) looking in iTunes and seeing all the changes I made to my Podcast settings on the iPhone needed to be done in iTunes too.  Why the eff would I want to do anything twice or set them up differently on a computer than on a device (let alone multiple devices) and this is exactly what is being described above with TZS.

     

    With gCal, Sunrise App and my iPhone 5 I bounce seamlessly from timezone to timezone, create or open a calendar event in the timezone and time I've set or am creating, simple search the location if it is different timezone and it's done.... no effing around turning one setting on before, creating, editing, whatever then turning it off again.

     

    I don't know, apparently if one has dealt with this bs for 10 years and it's never worked, I guess that means it should never work if one is willing to just live with whatever Apple gives or doesn't give their users.

     

    I guess, all can enjoy doing something that doesn't work forever, or try something that actually does work and is tested.  cheers

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