iPhone, Timezones, and WWDC (or, How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love iCal)

At 9:53 AM EST this morning I asked the Twitterverse the following:

WWDC iPhone question: When I land in SF will my calendar events be localized such that I won’t be showing up for things 3 hours late?

Thanks to @LarryRoth and @jeff_lamarche I have my answer.

According to Larry,

Yes. I travel all the time and it just works. Your calendar should be set to EST and when you land your phone will know it’s PST.

And according to Jeff,

You’ll probably need to manually set your computer to the right time zone, or you’ll be off by 3 hours.

What this means is that any events that I add to my iCal calendar will be shifted three hours down when I land in sunny San Francisco.  Therefore, when I add the sfMacIndie party to my calendar (it starts at 5pM PST) I need to add it at 8PM on my calendar while I’m in the EST time zone.  See the two images below for how my event times change as my time zone changes.

WWDC in EST

WWDC in PST

 

One recommendation that I can make to ease all of your pain is to use a service like TripIt.  My trip to WWDC was my first use of TripIt, and it has been wonderful.  Basically, it manages all your trip information in one easy place and even provides you with an iCal subscription link so that you can have your entire trip in iCal.  Once I had my flight and hotel confirmations I just forwarded them to TripIt and it automatically parsed the information out and created an itinerary from it.  From there I was able to add events manually to it (like the sfMacIndie party and WWDC badge pickup) and they were automatically entered into my calendar.  The best part is that I didn’t have to do any time zone math, I just entered the events into TripIt at the time they are occurring in PST and it handled making sure that they showed up properly on my calendar

This entry was posted in Cocoa.