A weird bug in iOS 8’s Calendar app has been making people pull their hair out for months. When adding events using either a Google or Microsoft Exchange server, the time zone is randomly synced to Greenwich Mean Time.
Complaints started surfacing around iOS 8’s release last September, and the issue still persists.
Here’s part of the first comment from an Apple support thread that goes for more than 40 pages:
“Since updating my iPhone 4S to iOS 8, the Calendar app now shows all my newly added events with GMT times, and not the local time (as I am not in GMT, I am +9 hours). All my previous and existing entries are displaying normally. I have not changed any settings at all. However, if I open one of the new events and enter the events details screen, the local times are clearly displayed along with a GMT equivalent time underneath it.”
That entry is dated September 21, and since then more than 590 replies have been submitted. The thread itself has been viewed more than 228,000 times.
The bug seems to be centered on how the Calendar app syncs Google and Exchange events across devices.
While it’s not a big deal for GMT to be displayed under an entry, confusion arises from event times switching zones to GMT in the edit view. Say you create an event for 2 p.m. Pacific time. For whatever reason, the time 10 p.m. GMT is shown under the event after syncing. When you open the event to edit, the time has switched out of Pacific and is now acting like you originally set it for 10 p.m. GMT. Bizarre.
Third-party calendar apps like Fantastical seem to not be affected by the bug, and Apple has a Time Zone Override feature that lets events stay locked to one zone even if the device’s system zone changes.
Two days ago, a forum user reportedly called Apple. “After working my way up to a supervisor last night I was told their engineers are working on a solution,” the poster said. We’ve reached out to Apple for comment and haven’t heard back.