Daylight Savings Time Glitch Hits iPhone Alarm

I like Daylight Savings Time, as it’s the closest I can get to traveling back in time. Last Sunday night, if I made a mistake at 1:30 AM, I could pretend to time travel. At 2:00 AM, the clock moves back to 1:00 AM, allowing me to correct my mistake. Although, since I’m usually sleeping during this time, I don’t get to enjoy pseudo sci-fi adventures. This year, there is one very real DST mistake that Apple needs to correct. Monday morning dreamers, expecting to be awoken by their iPhone Alarm, might be in for a surprise.

Here’s how the scenario might go down. It’s a chilly November morning. You’re all warm and cozy in your bed. Your trusty iPhone or iPod Touch alarm is set for 7:06 AM. Maybe you have the annoying “Robot” sound armed. Perhaps your favorite ringtone is at the ready. With the Monday through Friday setting, you can forget about setting your alarm. This is especially true with a device that automatically adjusts for Daylight Savings Time. Your microwave or coffee maker might not know to set the clocks back an hour in the fall, but your iPhone knows… or does it?

Apparently, there’s a glitch that hit the Alarm app. Even though the time on your clock is correctly set, the iPhone Alarm might not acknowledge the change. Someone preparing to waking up at 7:06 AM could drift in dreamland — all the way until 8:06 AM. On the bright side, that’s an extra hour of sleep. On the downside, you’re probably late — unless you’re meeting with someone who was also hit with the iPhone / iPod Touch alarm glitch. The two of you can laugh about the inconsistency of technology, both bright-eyed and refreshed from an extra 60 minutes of relaxation.

Yes, my sleepy-head friends on the West Coast, soon you may experience the iPhone alarm glitch.

Ever since Y2K fizzled out, I haven’t really been too concerned about computer glitches. I figured that some programming genius would resolve such issues with a preemptive software patch. That’s why I’m surprised that Apple didn’t update the Alarm app in time. It seems that a fix is on the way, with the next iOS update, but it should have been out sooner. Even if I could hide behind an end-user license agreement, absolving me from any liability in such matters, I would still feel pretty lousy about ruining someone’s morning. Thousands, perhaps millions of people are going to have their lives altered because of this glitch.

What if the iPhone glitch starts a series of events that causes a downward spiral? With the bad economy, it’s tough to find or keep a job. What if someone misses an important meeting or what if they’re late for work? What if someone loses their job because they overslept? What if this glitch becomes the catalyst for a series of misfortune… lost love… lost house… suicide? With the thought of that on my head, I might not need an alarm — because I would likely have trouble sleeping at night.

Technology is highly important in modern times. That’s why it’s critical that this stuff works properly. So, how do we fix it? Can you ever trust your iPhone again?

Well, supposedly, all you need to do is reset your alarm. That should get the alarm working again. It’s a temporary workaround until Apple can fix the problem permanently. I’m going to test it out for tomorrow morning. I created a new alarm setting and tomorrow I should awake to the sounds of “Sincerely Yours” at 6:00 AM. Will I sleep all the way to 7:00 AM instead? Thanks to the additional morning sunlight, probably not. Although, as a responsible tech-journalist, I figured that I would test it out.

Can the iPhone alarm be trusted?

Is Daylight Savings Time even necessary? Can’t they just leave the clocks somewhere in the middle? Instead of one hour ahead or behind, why not just set it at 30 minutes in the middle? What if you could go back in time and stop Daylight Saving Time from ever existing? Would that cause even more trouble?

I don’t know. I’m just glad that I’m a light sleeper. :)