Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Windows 10 System Apps Review: Alarms & Clock

Note: This page is a review which forms part of the post Windows 10 System Apps Review

What’s this app for?

It’s a little strange that it has a long name, when you’d think one word would have been better. However, where there are clocks there are always alarms these days. Microsoft went for the longer title possibly to help explain that this app is more than a clock. In fact, the name actually doesn’t do the greatest job at explaining what it does, because although there are four sections to this app, only the first two truly come close to matching the name of the app. We’ve got a section for alarms, world clock, timer and stopwatch in this app.

Does it do the job it was primarily designed for?

Yes, it actually does. There’s nothing highly sophisticated about the app, which is par for the course in terms of Universal Apps it seems, but one can’t deny that it actually performs its functions quite admirably.

The alarms section has the main settings you’d expect if you were setting an alarm; name, time, repeat, sound, snooze time – although setting the time is a frustrating scrolling system. You can’t just type the ruddy time in. The sound selection for the alarm are largely ghastly, but it’s an alarm. No better way to play attention to an alarm than to be so annoyed by it that you’ll want to turn it off.

The World Clock shows a lovely representation of the world map in grey, along with a cool indication of what areas are in day/night at the current time, as well as a nifty “convert” tool to change your time and see what it will be in the other places/countries you’ve already added to the map.

The timer is pretty simple. It’s really a countdown clock, but timer will suffice. You can set a name for your timer and then choose the hours, minutes and seconds you require it to countdown from using yet another awful input scrollbar. Why oh why can’t we just type the units!

The stopwatch is a simple go/stop button with clock display, and a button to press when you wish to record laps/split times. That’s it. But what else would most want? You can also nicely “share” the results, although a simple copy/paste would have been nice.

What’s the alternative?

In windows? Well, the old way of doing all this has gone, although you can still add additional clocks to the system tray clock if you like.

Hit, Miss, or Maybe?

Hit; nothing sophisticated, but the app does the jobs it’s set out to do quite reliably. Although the scrollbar for input is annoying, unless you’re setting alarms and timers every hour of every day, it’ll probably not be the biggest issue in the world.

1 comment:

  1. A couple of misses you might have missed: Unfortunately the app does not synchronize between machines or even between Windows and Windows Mobile. Also there is no integration with reminders in Cortana, which seems like a missed opportunity. For a Surface owner like myself, neither does it work when the device is in sleep mode (unlike the win 8.1 equivalent), something that is unfortunate if you want to use it to reliably wake you up in the morning.