You know I get great questions from you everyday via email. Some of these I respond to on the show, but others I just answer via email. That’s great for the person asking the question, but what about the rest of us?

Welcome to the inaugural post of the “Maccast Question of the Day”. Today I respond to a question about the iPad and why it never quite seems to know exactly what time it is.

Roger asks:

I have noticed recently that the time settings on my iPad do not match with the time settings on my MacBook even though I have syncronized the two reqularly.  Over a week or so the iPad can be off more than 20 minutes.  I know the MacBook will adjust the system time with input from the Internet.  Does the iPad have a similar capability?  If so, where is the setting?

Funny you should mention this. It depends. Do you have a Wi-fi or 3G model? If you have the 3G model, just turn on the cellular data from Settings–>Cellular Data for a minute or so and it will update the time from the cellular network (this works even if you don’t have an active service contract). On the Wi-fi model, you have to adjust it manually. Apple needs to fix this, but until then we’re apparently SOL. The Mac Observer posted an excellent article about the issue and they recommend an App called Emerald Time (iTunes link) that can get an accurate time from an Internet time server. Unfortunately, while the App can give you an accurate time and tell you how far off the iPads internal clock is, it can’t fix the iPad’s clock (due to API restrictions). You’ll still need to make the adjust manually in the iPad’s Date & Time settings. Why the heck Apple can’t just have the iPad connect to the same Apple network time server it uses for the Mac is beyond me. Even if they didn’t do that couldn’t they at least adjust the clock when you sync it to iTunes? Seems like an area of iOS where Apple definitely needs to devote a little more time, eh?


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