“Estimating Travel Time”: When your iPhone’s Travel Time estimator gets stuck

The iOS Calendar is a solid built-in app with many handy features, one of which is the travel time estimator. When you set a location for an event in your calendar, you can also set a travel time either as a pre-programmed time, or you can provide a starting location and have the iPhone estimate the amount of time it will take to travel between those locations based off the distance and traffic. Recently though, I found that this was getting stuck when I’d try to use the estimator over the default functions. Even after several updates this issue would still happen.

The Issue:

I started doing some testing because it initially was inconsistent. Just anecdotally, I knew that the problem wouldn’t pop up every time I used the feature. Of course the pre-programmed times worked fine, but starting locations were hit or miss. Most of the time when I’d use the estimated travel time feature and set a start location, say traveling from my office to the store, the travel time estimator would either instantly load up the time, or briefly flash the “estimating travel time” text for longer or more complex routes before quickly showing the calculated travel time.

At other times, however, I would set the starting location, and I’d get the “Estimating Travel Time” banner, but it would never calculate the time, so I’d have to manually set a time. What’s going on?

Specific locations froze up more than others:

Upon testing this further, I found that certain saved locations in my iPhone’s calendar were causing the issue consistently. One of these was my home address. Whether they were established calendar events or brand new ones, if I selected my home address as the starting location, I’d get the stalled time remaining notice. Changing the starting location to something else like my office address or some other notable location performed as expected.

The fix:

What I had to do was delete the addresses from the Calendar and, in the case of my Home address, from my contact page in the Contacts app. Then reboot my phone. Afterwards, I added the address back to the Contacts app (and a while later it populated back in the the Calendar app), and then my issue was resolved.

To delete an address from your Contacts app, open the Contacts app, find the contact whose address you’re going to remove. Open their card, and then hit the Edit button in the top right corner. Then scroll down to the address, and hit the red minus sign to the left of the address.

To delete a saved address from the Calendar, open the app and make a new appointment. Then, hit the location section. Below the location search box will be a list of recently used addresses. Find the one you’ve determined is being problematic, and swipe it from right to left. This will bring up a red “Delete” button which you can hit to remove it from the list.

Gif demonstrating how to do the gesture
Gif demonstrating how to do the gesture

Now reboot the your iPhone. Once it’s back on, you can add the address back to the appropriate card in the Contacts app. In the Calendar app, you’ll have to give it some time before it’ll repopulate the address, but searching for the address will help in. In both cases, I found that I no longer had the issue with the built in Calendar app getting stuck estimating the travel time back home.

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