iPad – Little known difference between UK and US…


Since I started using an iPad, one thing has been bugging me – the calendar. More specifically, what is shown as the first day of the week when you have the calendar in week or month view. Being brought up in the UK, for some reason I was always told that Sunday was the first day of the week. So, when I got my shiny new iPad and spotted that the week and month views start on a Monday, I set about trying to find how to change it.

Maybe it’s linked to the fact that my iPad calendar syncs with the one on my Mac via MobileMe? Ok, well in the iCal preferences on the Mac it shows Sunday as the start of the week.

iCal Settings

On the Mac, the first day of the week can be set as Sunday

Ok then, well maybe because the sync goes via MobileMe then it’s something to do with the settings on my MobileMe calendar?

MobileMe Calendar settings

MobileMe also lets you start the week on a Sunday

Nope, the settings in MobileMe also show the week as starting on a Sunday. Ok, let’s have a look at the settings on the iPad itself…

iPad Calendar settings

No obvious preference setting for the start of the week on the iPad

Ah right, while I was expecting to see an option for setting which day is displayed as the start of the week, but there’s…. nothing. How strange, does Apple let you configure this on other platforms but not on the iPad? Surely not. Well in fact you can configure which day is displayed as the first day of the week in the iPad’s week and month calendar views, but you’ll never guess how it’s done. Give up yet?

Well you have to go into Settings, then select General, then scroll down to International, then finally select Region Format. Next you have to change it from United Kingdom to United States….

Hang on a minute, run that by me again. Set the Region Format on my iPad to United States?? Yup, that’s right. Unfortunately when you do that then lots of other things take on US defaults such as contact details (States, ZIP Codes, a default country of United States), also telephone number and date formats in apps etc. So despite their world class expertise in usability, it looks like Apple have dropped the ball here, and I’ll be hoping that they’ll correct this ‘feature’ in a later release of iOS.

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2 Responses

  1. Thanks for this post–my calendar settings were fine (Sunday as the start) up until yesterday–I think one of my young daughters got in and did some “configuration”–anyway, I could not figure out how to change the start of the week back to Sunday until I found this post—thanks!

  2. If you select New Zealand for the Region Format you will have avoid some of the US hard coded settings. I have still Netherlands as default country but Sunday as first day of the week.

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