iPhone owners get clocked by iOS alarm bug

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Macworld senior editor Jon Seff experienced a painful wake-up call this morning—and I’m not speaking metaphorically here. Jon and his wife each use their iPhones as alarm clocks, but today, the Seffs’ iPhone alarm clocks rang out an hour early. If you can imagine.

The bug may be related to a similar issue with Daylight Saving Time (DST) that’s already afflicted iPhone wielders in Australia and New Zealand. In the case of the overly-early risers Down Under, Apple told Lifehacker Australia (official motto: “toss another lifehack on the barbie”) that it had “already developed a fix which will be available to customers in an upcoming software update.” Apparently and unfortunately, though, said fix wasn’t available early (ha!) enough for Jon—and apparently many others like him.

Across the pond in the United Kingdom, many British chaps experienced the opposite problem: The Telegraph reports that iPhone alarms there rang out an hour late, making many Brits late to work. The British actually call Daylight Saving Time “summer time,” but they also call fries “chips” and chips “crisps,” so they don’t really get a vote.

Clearly, some part of the iOS’s perspective on time zones and daylight savings is skewed. Indeed, the last Sunday in October is the right day to end the U.K.’s summer time, but the iPhone alarm clock apparently didn’t get the memo. In the United States, though, we don’t “fall back” until the first Sunday in November, thanks to a 2007 change to DST rules.

In Mr. Seff’s unfortunate case, then, the Clock app’s bug isn’t just trying to ring in DST a week early, since it seems backwards too—when the clock turns back next week, the alarm should ring an hour later than it would otherwise. If Mr. Seff's Twitter replies are any indication, he's not the only American who got the hour-early treatment Monday morning. But he is the only one who can subtly suggest that I write about it.

A call into Apple for a statement on this alarming alarm issue—a call which I placed very, very early this morning Cupertino time—has not yet been returned.

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