Israelis who fought for years to have daylight savings time substantially extended found that their phones and computers ignored new state directives Sunday morning and sent their clocks an hour back overnight.
The phantom clock change caused mass confusion among many as phones, computers and automatic scheduling applications went out of whack. A number of Israelis reported being late to work and their children late to school.
“It was craziness this morning,” Shilat resident Hadar Gal told Ynet. “I only woke up because I heard noises outside that were normal for 7 a.m. and not 6.”
In July, the Knesset approved a plan to set the end of daylight savings time on October 27 instead of scheduling it for the weekend between the High Holidays of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, as was the practice in the past. While some religious people favored the early-in-the-season clock change, saying it made the Yom Kippur fast easier by limiting the daylight at the end, the practice faced mounting opposition in past years from those who said it increased electricity consumption for lighting and robbed the population of an hour of daylight.
Under the old rules, clocks would have fallen back at 2 a.m. Sunday morning.
Many mobile phones were already programmed to expect the clock change to go ahead over last weekend and were not able to readjust for the later, October end to daylight savings. The bug affected some Google phones, iPhones, Android and iOS software, BlackBerrys and Symbian phones.
Local cellphone providers tried to preempt the problem by sending text messages to their users last week advising to set their phones to Athens time, which also has October 27 as the start of winter time.
Android cellphone users can change their devices to Athens by going to “settings,” then “time zone”, and then “date and time,” where there is an option to switch the time zone to Athens.
iPhone users can go to “settings,” then “general” and “date and time.” Turn off the “automatic setting” and then select Athens as the time zone.
After daylight savings ends in Israel on October 27 local cellphone users will be able to change their time zones back to Israel.