9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 30, 2011 6:32 PM by pk2011
dhaun Level 2 Level 2 (365 points)
One of the less obvious new features in iOS 4.2 is that there is now an option in your Settings app to set the time automatically.

The only problem with that option is that it doesn't work - at least not for me. Actually, what happens when I enable that option is that it turns back my clock by 18 minutes. I've tried syncing, waiting, switching the option on or off while connected or not connected to iTunes, and a few other things. Nothing helped.

Interestingly enough, this new option is not mentioned in the updated iPad User Guide, so I'm not sure how it's supposed to work.

Any ideas? My timezone is set correctly.

iMac 24", Mac OS X (10.6.5), iPad Wi-Fi+3G
  • enderx Level 1 Level 1 (85 points)
    Is this with the 3G iPad? If so, it's getting the time from the cell towers and there must be something wrong with the time on your carriers towers. If it's the WiFi only model I have no idea where it's getting the time from.
  • dhaun Level 2 Level 2 (365 points)
    Yeah, it's the 3G model. Good point, I hadn't considered that and it would also explain why I don't have that option on my iPod touch. I thought it would get the time via NTP when syncing.

    If it's getting the time via 3G, then it would only work when 3G is active. Since I hardly use 3G, I settled on a "day flat" plan, i.e. when enabled, I can use 3G without limits for the entire day. So it's off right now and I don't think setting the time is worth 2.50 Euro

    Unless somebody else knows anything more about that option, I'll stick with that theory and try that option the next time I use 3G. Thanks for the hint.
  • araym Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Via Wi-Fi the iPad could get the time from NTP (network time protocol). Do you have a firewall blocking the NTP port? If so, you might want to open up port 123 for UDP packets so that NTP can pull the time from the servers. Just a suggestion.
  • dhaun Level 2 Level 2 (365 points)
    NTP works fine on the iMac (on the same network). So I don't think it's that.
  • Robert Paris Level 1 Level 1 (145 points)
    Yeah, something seems to be broken... I have a WiFi - 3G iPad but I've never turned on the 3G so I'm running (and have always run) WiFi only... My iPad normally lives in California (Cupertino is the default time zone for California) but I am presently in Kansas City visiting family. I also just downloaded and installed the new 4.2 OS yesterday so maybe that has something to do with the issue???

    Anyway, if I turn "Set time automatically" to OFF, set the time zone to either Dallas or Chicago (two choices for the Central time zone where I am now and set the time manually, I can then change the time zone to Denver (all as an experiment) and the time rolls back one hour (so far so good)... I then change the time zone to Cupertino (Ca) and it rolls back another hours (again, good)... Then I reset it to say Chicago (Central) and it moves forward two hours (again, check)... Then, for grins, with it sitting right there and the correct Central time and with Chicago chosen as the current time zone, I then "Set time automatically" back to ON and the time now rolls FORWARD TWO MORE HOURS where it should not go... The bottom line is with "Set time automatically" turned ON I get the wrong time by two hours... Now granted, there is a two hour time zone difference between where I originally set up this machine and where I am now and maybe that has something to do with it??? Or something is broken in the OS...

    Anyone have any thoughts or guidance???

    thanks... bob...
  • Beth Katz Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I'm not seeing "set time automatically" as an option on my WiFi iPad with iOS 4.2. That setting is not mentioned in the User Guide downloadable from http://manuals.info.apple.com/enUS/iPad_iOS4_UserGuide.pdf
  • Graham Outterside Level 4 Level 4 (2,910 points)
    Lots of wireless operators don't have nntp servers and its bad form to try and use someone elses - O2 in the UK doesn't have one for starters.

    I recall this was an isue when iOS3 came out and the question was raised. The phone gets its timing from the local cell tower which is normally quite accurate but sometimes does go way off (by hours).
  • David Wellerstein Level 1 Level 1 (30 points)
    Not seeing that either on my wifi only iPad. I don't think it's an option for non-3g pads. My ipad is running a couple/three minutes fast.
  • pk2011 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Every time I fix the time on our iPads, I find hard to accept that almost one year later this is still not addressed. Here is a nice recent article that explains the issues. NTP clock synchronization of the wi-fi models is a must in 2011, is anybody at Apple listening?


    http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/article/what_time_is_it_your_ipad_may_not_be_sure /