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iPhone users suffer summer appointment chaos

Spring forward, fall backward

iPhone users are turning to Google for help as an incompatibility with Outlook shifts appointments by an hour instead of switching on daylight saving.

iTunes version 9.1 currently can't cope with daylight saving time, shifting appointments by an hour or even a day as it struggles to cooperate with Microsoft Outlook. Given the breakdown in communication users are downgrading to the more-Outlook-friendly version 9.0, or bringing in Google as an intermediary.

The problem lies in the synchronisation between Microsoft Outlook and the iPhone, and the switch to daylight savings (British Summer Time). It seems that some combinations are responding to the change in time by shifting all the appointments back an hour except all-day reminders, which get shifted an entire day.

Vocal iPhone users are venting their frustrations on the Apple forums and discussing workarounds for the problem while waiting for an official fix. Suggestions include syncing both Outlook and the iPhone to Google's online calendar service, which will play nicely with both applications and remove the problem, but not everyone is happy to share their diary details with the Googleplex.

The only alternative appears to be downgrading to iTunes 9.0, which doesn't have the problem. Downgrading isn't trivial, but detailed instructions are available on the forums and the process does reportedly fix the problem.

Synchronising is complicated, and errors can easily creep in, but it's Apple's silence on the issue which has got customers riled. Apple will no doubt fix the problem in the next iTunes release, but when that will be is anyone's guess. ®

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