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Discussion Starter #1
I know this must sound a bit trivial, but I'm curious about a time discrepancy. That is, my iPhone's time is generally 20 seconds behind actual time (relative to synchronized clocks). This is in contrast to my past Windows Mobile device that was always very accurate. From what I understand, my iPhone should be getting the correct time from Telus, but I have no idea how often, and if I reboot my iPhone (which presumably should force a time sync), it is still 20 sec behind. In this day&age, I suppose I'm more surprised than concerned. Is everyone elses' Telus phone 20 seconds behind?

After buying a docking station with it's own clock, which offers an ability for selecting any time zone in North America except Newfoundland, I suppose I also should expect some lack of synchronized time support for "The Rock"(?)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
... not that anyone is especially interested ;)

My iPhone is now 35 seconds behind, and from what I can deduce, it's all Telus (because Apple only allows for your carrier to set the device's clock). One has to wonder how far away from actual time Telus will have to get before they realize everyone is showing up late :rolleyes:
 

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I'm surprised Telus can be so far off, as they run a CDMA network which requires very precise timing. In fact, CDMA time is so precice that it can be used as a stratum 0 time source. My Nexus One, on Rogers, is very close to the exact time, according to a NTP clock, whereas my old GSM phone could be several seconds off. 3G phones also use CDMA, although different from the 2G CDMA used on Bell & Telus.

I installed a NTP clock on my Nexus One. Is similar available for the iPhone? This applet has a display that shows both NTP and phone time. However, it won't set the phone time unless I root the phone.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'm just as surprised -- in this day&age of numerous NTP servers, you have to work at being this inaccurate! My experience with Rogers is the same as yours, and I don't remember my old Telus CDMA clam being this inaccurate.

It's curious ... the similar posts at the Apple forum just happen to be about similar inaccuracies with AT&T, who happens to be Telus's southern partner. Replies to these topics leave me to believe it's the only way the iPhone can set it's internal clock. You can get NTP clock apps, but they can only let you know how inaccurate the iPhone clock is.
 

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^^^^
That makes me wonder if perhaps the fault is with the iPhone. What about someone on Rogers or other network with an iPhone? Do they also experience this?

BTW, if you're using a computer to check NTP time, you'll find Linux tends to be more accurate (within a small fraction of a second) than Windows (2-3 seconds).

Network Time Protocol
 

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I checked my Timex yesterday with the CBC NRC official time signal, and it was still hanging in there, two seconds fast (after last checking a few months ago).

Just looking at my Rogers iPhone right now, though, it would appear to be 12 seconds faster than my wristwatch, meaning it's around :10 faster than the CBC time signal. Not very impressive, Mr. Rogers!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That makes me wonder if perhaps the fault is with the iPhone ...
I'm wondering the same thing after trying to make manual adjustments on my iP, and then switching back to automatic. IE, I ended up with a time that was 40 sec fast, instead of behind. That cannot be blamed on Telus! :confused:
 

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Not very impressive, Mr. Rogers!
As I mentioned, it's likely to be due to the device. I have another example. PBS used to include an accurate time signal on their analog signal. I have a JVC TV and Panasonic VCR that could use that time signal to set their clocks. While the TV was very accurate, the VCR could be off by almost a minute! CDMA, as used in 3G and also 2G CDMA phones, requires very precise timing, but it's up to the manufacturer to use that accurate time in the clock display. As far as I'm concerned, there's no excuse for that clock to have anything less than perhaps 0.1 second accuracy while the phone is connected to the network.

As mentioned, it's possible to install an NTP clock app on smart phones to get accurate time. At the moment, my phone time is identical* to NTP time on the display and both match the NTP time on my Linux computer.

*As close as I can tell with my eyes. There is an offset of -0.327, according to the display. This in on a Google Nexus One on Rogers.
 

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Out of curiosity, I just checked my Rogers (dumb) cell phone and it's almost a minute late. The Rogers Home phone on my desk, which gets its time the first time it rings, is about 1/2 minute late. The Rogers STBs are within a second or so of the correct time.

It's very important for the STB/PVRs to be accurate to record properly, and they are pretty close. As for a phone, I don't mind it being off less than a minute, but really it shouldn't be.

Let's see if anything changes on November 7th.
 

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^^^^

My phone, plugged into the Rogers terminal, is about 10 secs slow. Again, the error is likely due to the device, rather than the service.

The best way to get accurate time is with NTP (preferably with Linux) or one of those radio clocks that syncs to WWVB. As you mentioned, the Rogers STBs are also very close. If you're *REALLY* worried about missing your bus, you can always buy your own
cesium clock. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter #11
... If you're *REALLY* worried about missing your bus, you can always buy your own cesium clock.
To add my own historical perspective ... it was ~2yrs ago that my Seiko Chrono finally kicked the bucket, and I decided to put the $$ towards a smart phone instead of another watch. The impetus was smart phones are almost as handy, plus the fact that any device that had potential for sync'ing with atomic clock servers would be much more accurate anyway, and a smart phone would offer much more functionality to boot.

Not that anyone is worried about missing the bus, but in this day&age any smart phone that is 2 seconds away from accurate time is indeed a mystery, and should be equally embarrassing to any cellular carrier or phone manufacturer responsible for maintaining the device's time.

Towards my own personal ends, I have installed an iPhone app created by Emerald-Sequoia that provides with me with all the accurate time and functionality I need. The time that is shows however, is NOT iPhone time ... and iOS4 provides no capability to sync with 3rd-party apps, which (IMHO) is just as stupid as it being so inaccurate in the first place.
 

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^^^^
ClockSync on Android phones can sync the phone to NTP, but only if the phone has been rooted. As I mentioned earlier, my Nexus One is already very accurate, within a second of NTP, so I'm not that worried about syncing it.
 

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I am curious about this, tonight I will sync my computer and check against my girlfriends iphone compared to my Android Hero. Right now my android runs within a second of the NTP when I synced my work computer.

With the side by side comparison one the same network and same cell tower it should show if the time issue is indeed telus or hardware. I suspect it is hardware related.

Have you tried changing to 24hr clock? perhaps a rounding issue with the clock software, or just a calculation going off with it. Heck if NASA can crash a $125,000,000 Mars lander due to not converting a small piece of code from metric to imperial is possible an apple tech did something equally as dumb.

Now if I could only get my car clock to run RIGHT, its now an hour fast and that only took about 2 months to get that far ahead. LOL
 

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Discussion Starter #15
... Have you tried changing to 24hr clock? perhaps a rounding issue with the clock software, or just a calculation going off with it. ...
I'm beginning to believe it's the iPhone as well. However, if it were a rounding issue, my phone would never be off more than +/- 30 seconds. (a week ago it was +40sec, now it's +30sec). If it were a truncation issue, it would always be behind, whereas I'm currently ahead.

It's indeed a mystery in this day&age :)

Edit: I just checked my wife's Telus Moto clam, and it's time is coincident with mine! ... a coincidence??
 

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My HTC Desire on Telus is +/- 1 sec with the my PC which is NTP synchronized. My Nokia phone on Rogers was always a couple of minutes off. My Razr on Rogers was about +/- 5 seconds.

I suspect it's device/OS dependent.
 

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If the time difference was 15 seconds I would have said it is the difference between GPS and UTC (currently 15 seconds) but with 30 or more seconds there is more than likely a software reason.
 

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My Rogers "dumb" phone is currently still on EDT instead of EST. I wonder when that'll be corrected... I tried making a dial out (didn't complete the call) and also powering it down. No difference. Perhaps it's like one of my home phones in that it updates the time on the first incoming call... I haven't tried that yet because I don't care enough to pay for a call... (PAYGo)
 

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^^^^
My previous phone was a Motorola V180 and, IIRC, it changed automatically without having to make a call. However, it was often off by a few seconds. This is also with Rogers. With wired phones, the time, date & caller ID are only transmitted in between rings, so they need an incoming call to update. Cell phones can send & receive data anytime they're on, so don't have that limitation. In fact, the 2G CDMA phone network can be used as a precision time source without making a call. There are receivers available just for that purpose.

the difference between GPS and UTC (currently 15 seconds)
Any GPS receiver should be adding the appropriate offset to accurately display the time. That offset is included in the GPS data.
 

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I just checked my phone's settings and found that it was on "manual" instead of "automatic" time. When I switched it to auto, it rebooted the phone and the time was then "correct", if about 30 seconds slow.

I think the phone may have switched to "manual" when I was in Europe a short while ago and it asked if I wanted to change the phone to the local time and I answered "no". I didn't actually use the phone, I was just checking to see if there were any emergency calls and also checking to see the roaming rate in Europe ($2.50/min on my PAYGo, USA is $2/min)

Anyone with time that's off, may wish to check their phone settings.
 
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