My iPhone calendar is too smart, help me find something stupider
July 30, 2014 7:23 AM   Subscribe

I am a very frequent traveler and am often in different time zones. I have an iPhone and have been using the native calendar app. Unfortunately, whenever I move between time zones my calendar "helpfully" changes the times of my flights and appointments. Using time zone support does not fix the problem, but makes it "help" in slightly different and still wrong ways. I need a calendar app that does not do this and assumes I entered the information right the first time. Does anything like this exist?
posted by bile and syntax to Technology (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Can you clarify what you mean by "help in slightly different and still wrong ways?" I've always used Time Zone Support for my travel scheduling, and it does what I want, ie, never touches the time I enter.
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:39 AM on July 30, 2014

I use Google calendar which allows you to set time zones for start and end of events and always asks you before changing the time zone on your calendar. It does sync with iPhone calendar through .ics.
posted by amaire at 8:09 AM on July 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you want the calendar to show your appointments at the times you entered them irrespective of time zone (i.e., that an appointment you entered for 1:00 while in New York City will still show as 1:00 when you are in San Francisco) you should do the following:

1. Navigate to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Time Zone Support

2. Set "Time Zone Support" to on

3. Set "Time Zone" to your home town

This will cause the Calendar app to always assume you are in your home town, and all your appointments will show up at the hours you specified regardless of what time zone you are in.
posted by slkinsey at 8:10 AM on July 30, 2014 [3 favorites]

Response by poster: Hm, possibly I am using time zone support wrong. What I'd done is enter the appointments for their scheduled times and put them in the time zone that would be local to them, and then when I travel they still get moved around.
posted by bile and syntax at 8:48 AM on July 30, 2014

I import all my travel plans to TripIt and use their calendar feed to import into the calandar app and it works flawlessly across time zones and I don't have to manually enter anything!
posted by Lame_username at 8:51 AM on July 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Time zone support on the iphone is terrible. I've struggled with it for years - time zone support on, off, I've tried everything. Sometimes I just turn off "set time automatically" so the phone doesn't know it's in a different time zone - then I change the time manually. Only downsides are that sometimes imessage doesn't work.
posted by kdern at 10:24 AM on July 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

Hm, possibly I am using time zone support wrong. What I'd done is enter the appointments for their scheduled times and put them in the time zone that would be local to them, and then when I travel they still get moved around.
I think you might be if I'm understanding you.

Let's say NY is home. You have a 9:00a event in NY. You enter it as 9:00a. You also have a 6:00p event in SF (3 hours behind). You enter it at 6:00p.

You get on your flight, your phone sees you hoped three timezones and now your 6:00p event shows up as a 3:00p event.

Are you saying that's what you do and what happens?

If so, here's why. When you entered the event, you entered it as a 6:00p event, but that's a 6:00p NY time. 6:00p in NY is 3:00p in SF. Your event should have been entered as a 9:00p event if your calendar was on NY time (EDT since it's the summer).

Why does it do this? It assumes everything you're entering is relative to the time zone you're in. Which makes sense when you're entering events occurring in your time zone.

You could follow slkinsey's advice, but that's a weird work around. If my calendar is in EDT mode and I see something at 6:00p EDT, I kinda expect that to happen at 6:00p EDT. If it's going to happen at 6:00p PDT, that's not 6:00p EDT. But if you're OK with that, go for it. For me it causes issues with events that start in one time zone and end in another (e.g., flights) and when sending invites to other people ("what do you mean the invite is the wrong time, of course you should have been 3 hours earlier than my invite, I don't believe in timezones!").

Or, when you want to enter events in other time zones, you enter their NY times. E.g., a 6:00p in SF is entered at 3:00p when you're in NY time.

Or, change the time zone of your calendar to the time zone of the events you're entering, enter them at the right time (e.g., 6:00p is entered as 6:00p once you're in PDT mode), then change your calendar back to NY time (EDT) and watch as 6:00p PDT becomes 3:00p EDT, because that's what it is.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:00 AM on July 31, 2014

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