iPad Week: Using Time Zone Support


Q: The Time Zone Support feature on my iPad is confusing and is always changing my appointments. How do I work around this?



The Time Zone Support feature on your iPad seems to cause no end of confusion, if the number of posts on the Internet about it means anything. We'll try to clarify.

Your iPad has a Time Zone setting in its Date & Time settings page. When you set your device for a different time zone, all the events in your calendars shift their times to accomodate that change.

Your iPad also has a Time Zone Support setting in its Calendar settings page. When you turn that setting on and set a time zone, all the events in your calendars shift their times to match that time zone, regardless of what your iPad's Date & Time time-zone setting happens to be.

We'll wait until your head stops spinning. Feeling better? Good. Now, here's how you might use that feature.

Suppose that you're traveling from Los Angeles to Boston via a connecting flight in Chicago. Your flight from Los Angeles leaves at 8 a.m. Pacific time. According to your flight itinerary, your connecting flight to Boston from Chcago leaves at 2 p.m. Central time. Here's what you do:

  • On your calendar, enter two events: your takeoff at 8 a.m. and your connecting flight at 2 p.m. (Yes, even though the second flight takes off at noon Los Angeles time, you don't need to do the math to figure that out.)
  • Turn on Time Zone Support, and set the time zone for Los Angeles.
  • Go catch your 8 a.m. flight out of LA.
  • When you land in Chicago, your iPad's clock is 2 hours off, so set your iPad's Date & Time time-zone setting to Chicago time. Now your iPad's clock is correct, but because you turned on Time Zone Support, the events in your calendars don't move. The departure time for your connecting flight is still 2 p.m. on your calendar, which is where you want it to be.

That's all there is to it. For everything to work properly, of course, your iPad needs to have its Date & Time setting properly set for Los Angeles when you start.

Setting the Date & Time time-zone setting:

  • Tap Settings > General to open the General settings screen.
  • Tap Date & Time to open the Date & Time screen.
  • Tap Time Zone to open the Time Zone screen.
  • In the search field at the top of the screen, begin to type the name of the closest big city in your time zone. A list of city names appears below the search field.
  • Tap a city that's in the same time zone as you.
  • If necessary, tap the Date & Time arrow at the top of the screen to return to the Date & Time page, and set your iPad's clock to the current time.

Setting Time Zone Support:

  • Tap Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars.
  • Swipe down the resulting Mail, Contacts, Calendars screen until you see the Calendars section; then tap Time Zone Support. The Time Zone Support screen appears.
  • If the Time Zone Support switch is off, tap it to turn it on.
  • Tap Time Zone to open the Time Zone screen.
  • In the search field at the top of the screen, begin to type the name of a city in the time zone that you want. A list of cities appears below the search field.
  • Tap the city that's in the time zone you want. You're done!

NOTE: Turn off Time Zone Support when you're not using it. If it's on and set for a different time zone from the one you're in, your calendar events may appear at the wrong times the next time you sync your iPad.

Tools mentioned in this entry:

More questions? View the complete Toolkit archive.

Excerpted from THE IPAD PROJECT BOOK by Michael E. Cohen, Dennis Cohen and Lisa L. Spangenberg. Copyright 2011. Used with permission of Pearson Education, Inc. and Peachpit Press.

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Nicholas Jackson is a former associate editor at The Atlantic.

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