Pushing aside my frustration with people incorrectly pronouncing everyone’s least favorite time of year — Daylight Savings Time versus the correct Daylight Saving Time — my second pet peeve is that many people see to worry whether they need to adjust their smartphones to “spring forward” or “fall back.”

daylight saving time

The answer, in case you haven’t paid attention for the umpteen number of times your phone’s already corrected itself, is no. Your smart phone is smart enough to know when it crosses time zones, date lines, and needs to correct itself because of an archaic idea that causes everyone to bemoan two Sundays per year.

So, this morning, before you frantically text each of your friends to know what time it is, just check your phone. It’s correct. Of course, the clock in your car is another matter. But I’ll leave you to figure out how to make that time change.

Note: I didn’t think I needed to write a post like this, but there are several friends who posted “I’m going to text you to verify the time tomorrow” messages to social media. That has me worried. Of course, they’re probably also the ones who’ll never read this blog post.

Jeff Taylor

I'm just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I'm also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.


Louisa · March 9, 2014 at 6:07 am

I totally understand what you’re saying and I agree that “smart” phones are just that..smart. But….I woke this morning early to take care of my dogs before getting ready for church and I’m glad I did; my phone did not spring forward. I Googled it with frustration and found that if you don’t have a strong signal in your house (which we don’t…. rural living), your phone might not change until you do get a good signal somewhere. Just letting you know that this phenomena does happen.

    Jeffrey Taylor · March 9, 2014 at 8:37 am

    Ah, good point. Cell signal isn’t that important though, since there are many non-cell devices that’ll correct themselves. I did say “phone” though.

Jeff · March 13, 2014 at 6:55 am

Curious…are most smartphones smart enough to know if you’re in an area that does not observe the change? Like most of, but not all of, Arizona.

    Jeffrey Taylor · March 13, 2014 at 7:09 am

    Generally, yes. The “knowledge” comes from you internal coding in the OS, but more appropriately from the carrier’s cell signal.

    Thus, devices without cell signals will only change when they’re programmed to. Similarly, if you’re in a spot without a signal, the time won’t adjust accordingly. I’ve also had instances where I crossed over borders (MDT to CDT) and my phone took awhile to correct because I needed to connect to another cell tower in the new time zone.

    kielsky · March 18, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    My smartphone was NOT smart enough (or my carrier, Verizon, was not) to set my phone according to Arizona timezone — I had to enter the settings, and tell it that my timezone is Arizona, not Mountain. Annoying. I don’t remember having that issue in years past, but I sure had that issue Sunday morning — and it’s not like I’m anywhere near the edges of the Arizona timezone — I’m smack dab in the middle of it, Phoenix area.

      Jeffrey Taylor · March 18, 2014 at 6:22 pm

      I’ve heard that issue appearing. I think there’s two good solutions: 1. Turn off data, then turn back on; or 2. Restart the device.

      Is your date and time settings set to automatically pull from the carrier? If so, I’d blame Verizon.

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