There are a few new things that come with Android 4.2. While most of them are just minor upgrades, the Clock application has had a serious overhaul. While ICS’s clock was good looking, it lacked basic features; the only thing you could do was to add a few alarms. With 4.2, the application is a hell of a lot more useful. If possible, it’s even become better looking.
MAIN CLOCK INTERFACE
Right off the bat, you’ll notice that the icon has changed to become a bit more refined and in tune with Jellybean’s design. Open up the application and you’re presented with a nice clean digital clock. At the top, you’ll see three icons (from left to right): Timer, Clock, and Stopwatch. At the bottom, you’re presented with the options to add alarms, add world clocks or simply access the settings.
TIMER AND STOPWATCH
Slide to the left of the clock, and you instantly see the Timer interface. You just input the time you want and click start. I like the fact that they chose to use a red bar instead of a blue one since it really stands out. Even if you leave the clock application, you’ll still see a Timer icon in the Notification Bar which you can simply slide down to access the timer again. The notification doesn’t provide details information but just says stuff like “Less than a minute left”. You can add as many timers as you want.
Swipe to the right of the main clock interface and you see the Stopwatch interface. It’s the same interface as the Timer and has options for laps. It also has its own icon in the Notification Bar. However, the notification is interactive and gives you the options to stop or set a lap.
ADDITIONAL CITIES AND ALARMS
You can add some more cities to your main clock interface by clicking on the Pin icon in the middle of the bottom row. It shows you a list of all the cities and you can add as many as you want.
The Alarm Clock icon on the bottom left of the main interface allows you to add alarms, surprisingly enough. Click on the + icon, set the time you want, select what days you want to alarm to run on, and you’re done. You can swipe left or right to simply get rid of the alarm like you do with notifications.
Once you set and alarm and turn the screen off, when it rings, you get the same ring interface as you would when you have to unlock the phone. Swiping to the right will disable the alarm and unlock the phone while swiping to the left will simply put the alarm on snooze. It’s a much easier way to disable the alarm compared to ICS (but an even quicker method is to just use the volume buttons).
Clicking on the Settings but however, does not take you to Date and Time settings as it did in ICS. Now, you’re presented with settings for the clock application only. In the settings, you can choose different clock styles (Analogue or Digital) , set up the automatic Home Zone feature, or mess about with the Alarm settings.
To access Date and Time settings, you now need to slide down the Notification Bar and click on the clock on the top left corner.
I say “galore” because you now get 2 widgets instead of the usual 1 analogue clock and you can place them on your lock screen. The analogue widget has been slightly modified as well to make it look more minimalistic. The digital clock is resizable and allows you to put all of your world clocks on screen. If you’ve got more than 6 world clocks, you can slide up and down to view them all. Not sure why you’d need that many clocks, but it’s nice to see that feature there anyway.
Same thing on the lock screen. You can add your clock widget (which is the digital 3×2) with your unlock pattern/password underneath. Swipe down on the clock to maximise it and see all of your world clocks.
RANDOM STUFF AND OPINIONS
There’s also an option for Night Mode which dims the screen and shows the clock. This is probably useful when you’ve got the phone docked but I’ve not used it at all. In ICS, you could get the nice blue clock screensaver or you could get the white version of it. In JellyBean, you only get one option (Dim screen with white clock fading). Not really a big issue, but I liked the blue interface.
Google’s added a really nice feature where you can disable the alarm just by pressing the volume buttons. When you hear the alarm ringing, you just press your volume up/down buttons to snooze or dismiss the alarm without having to unlock the phone. It’s a really simple and underrated feature, but it’s absolutely brilliant and one which I’ve used everyday since I got Android 4.2. They say if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, ICS’s clock wasn’t broken; but I’m so glad they fixed it. 🙂