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iOS Calendar Misses Grandparents' Birthdays

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"Sorry for forgetting your birthday, Grandma!" It turns out that the iOS calendar won't display birthdays of people whose first birthday was more than 77 years ago. This is true only of birthdays in the special Birthdays calendar that's generated automatically from birthday information in Address Book. The only workaround for the moment is to create birthday events in a different calendar, though it's probably not worth much effort, since Apple will undoubtedly fix the bug in the next iOS revision by searching for "77" in the code and replacing it with a larger number. Thanks to reader Carl Pohle for alerting us to this one!favicon follow link


Comments about iOS Calendar Misses Grandparents' Birthdays
(Comments are closed.)

Are you sure that this is only for Birthday’s generated by AB? I have not tested this since my upgrade to iOS4, but in previous versions, any recurring event that began more than about 60 years ago would not sync to the iPhone. The event would be in iCal, but nowhere else. If this has been fixed, then that would be great.
Adam Engst  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2010-08-21 10:18
I haven't done any extensive testing to see if there are related problems - I was just amused that a few days after Carl asked about this on TidBITS Talk, Apple posts this KB article (which Carl then passed on to TidBITS Talk as well).
John Gordon  2010-08-21 15:36
Insane, but not the only birthday related iOS inanity.

You can't set alarms more than 2 days ahead of an event. So even if I got a reminder of my Parents/Aunts birthdays, it comes too late to send a gift or card.

Every other calendar software I've ever used on any platform, going back to the dawn of time (Sidekick?) had a longer alert time than 2 days.

Do Apple employees really use the iOS calendar? I wonder if they use something else!
Kevin Patfield  2010-08-23 19:32
Do Apple employees really use the IOS calendar? Maybe not. There's indications that Paul Devine was using Entourage for email
Maybe Apple employees use Microsoft Exchange for their calendar as well :-)
eccparis  2010-08-23 18:07
Actually this bug goes back at least to iPhone OS 3.x, for my contacts born in the 1920s. Thus I had to create a separate calendar called "missing b-days" just for them! I had also joined Apple Discussions on this particular topic at least a year ago, before submitting the bug to Apple/iPhone feedback. But now that you've brought it up, I wonder why Apple didn't fix it before releasing iOS 4. It would seem unreasonable to have to wait two iOS generations before such a (simple) bug is fixed, wouldn't it?
John Baxter  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2010-08-23 19:25
Grandparents aren't the only ones. I'm only 6 years shy of vanishing.