Android 4.2 clock app

What's that? A separate piece about a clock app? It still tells time, right?

Yes. A separate piece about a clock app. And, yes. It still tells time. Actually, the new clock app in Android 4.2 is wearing four or five hats. Here's the breakdown:

  • Clock.
  • World clock.
  • Alarm clock.
  • Timer.
  • Stopwatch.

And what's more -- this thing looks good.

Be sure to read our complete Nexus 4 review!

Simple to use, with a great design, for the most part. The only real complaint we've got with the clock app perhaps should be directed more toward Android in general. See if you can spot it.

Android 4.2 clock app

It's a small thing, and it makes sense from a design standpoint here -- but for the love of all that's good and decent in the world, Android needs to figure out the menu overflow situation. The button (that's the one with the three dots) is in two places in three sections of the clock app. In the screen shot on the left, it's in the lower-right. In the Alarm section (as well as the world clock cities list) it moves to the upper right. Again, they both work. But it's one of those nagging inconsistencies that Android is still struggling with in phones that have on-screen buttons.

More on Android 4.2


Reader comments

Inside Android 4.2: The new clock app


Let's bag on TouchWiz some more, but hey they had this same app like 3 years ago (and it looks good, too!) It would be nice if Google would take the best of each custom UI and merge them into a super-platform but that just isn't happening. I will stick with Touchwiz, thankyouverymuch.

That's the point of Open Source. MIUI has had something similar as well. If something is good enough it will eventually be incorporated into the official AOSP. it just takes time and approval.

some can argue that these functionalities were not necessary to begin with. i personally have used a stopwatch or timer maybe 5 times in my 3 year smartphone life. some of the other touchwiz "goodies" are just not necessary and slow down the OS. i would prefer the manufacturer just leave android alone and let the user customize it. i mean if i wanted an app like this 3 years ago, i would have downloaded one.
thats just my take though....I will stick with AOSP, thankyouverymuch :)

Normally i too take the minimalist tack, but after getting used to Touchwiz, seeing how long "true android" users have gone without such basic features built in (gentle alarm being another one) and seeing how little the "bloat" actually matters (your battery doesnt last as long as mine, so there) I just dont have a compelling reason to even want to put AOSP on my phone, much less buy a Nexus device for the privilege of such cutting edge features.

If Google spent enough time on platform consistency at the low level (how long til we get the damn API right, for real) then the vendors (or cyanogen) would step in and do the rest, and everyone would benefit.

it's been a feature that's been included on every sense iteration since launch of HTC Android phones. I will agree with you on the aspect of borrowing from every major custom UI it something I have been saying for a while

I reckon sense has a better look/feel/experience than touchwiz for the clock apps/widgets.

I had to get Widgets HD to make my 10.1 tablet look and behave acceptably whereas my Desire HD although slowly creaking to a slow demise has much better functionality, features and layout.

I don't think I'm a fan of the ROBOTO font for the clock on this one though.

The clock is really pretty ugly with the first number being bold like that.

And the whole menu overflow thing is exactly why they should have stuck with a menu button. Even google can't get it right after more than a year. That whole issue disappears with a simple menu button that no one complained about before. It can even be an on-screen menu button which will satisfy all the google fanatics who think capacitive buttons that use wasted bezel space are a big no-no.

Agreed 100%

The bold hour just looks dumb, and the moving menu button wouldn't have been an issue if they hadn't removed it in the first place.

I fully expect Google to quietly change back to having a menu button, with a sheepish expression on their face, and for all the touch-screen button fanatics to suddenly have no more problem with menus.

Seriously, you're right. There is always going to be bezel at the bottom, we might as well use that space with physical or capacitive buttons so we can reclaim our screen real estate.

The only downside to putting buttons on the bezel is the tablet market (where Google sees their biggest opportunity for a money grab) in which case, you probably spend an equal amount of time using the thing in portrait orientation as you do in landscape orientation. In that case, you either need two sets of buttons or you need an on-screen button that works the same way.

That being said, why cant the menu button in the virtual button bar just work the same freaking way? If i wanted a device with only two memorable buttons (home and back) I would indeed just buy an iPhone.

Spot on regarding font and menu, but at least good to see this basic functionality added to clock.

I freaking love the new clock and it just made the "Stopwatch & Timer" app redundant lol. It runs great on my Nexus S right now and I'm surprised Google didn't do this earlier...

Glad to see they finally updated the clock application. I didn't even realize the Clock app on my Gnex lacked a stop watch. I do remember Touchwiz having this on my Epic though.

I will probably still use the doubletwist alarm clock though for wakeup needs.

Wait a minute, so they added an ugly black bar at the top of tablets "for consistency", then they make the menu button move around within one app? How does that make sense?

I would have prefered it to use the Roboto light/thin font for the entire timestamp, but i like the look either way. its a great little addition to the ever growing yet "plain jane" OS.

Does the alarm clock have to ability to start low and build in volume? That is the only reason I currently use Gentle alarm.

FYI: set alarm for, and set alarm in are things most users didn't know are functioning voice actions for Voice Search...since GB...

But it's just as quick to Voice Search what time it is anywhere in the world too...ICS and GB just wont' read it to you like JB

Everyone is raving about this new clock app, but while I realize it now has more features, I personally preferred the look, font, color of the Jellybean 4.1 clock app. I used it as a desk clock, and loved the sleekness and coolness of the font.

I will most likely never use the added functionality, but I am all down for extra bits like this to be added. My issue is that the one function I do use the clock app for, setting alarms, is so cubbersome compared to the 4.1.x version. I have been using the new gapps since the leak so I know it's not just about getting use to a new system. For me, it is an unwelcomed step back. Slightly off subject, but I also do not like the gallery. Again, all the added functionallity, while I will most likely never use it, is welcomed. But now instead of my screen showing me 4x2.5 folders, I only have a screen of 3x2 which have darker gray bars that take away from seeing the thumbnails.

tl;dr The 4.2 gmail and camera apps are great. Gallery and clock apps have nice new features but I dont not like the visual (gallery) and fucntional (clock: alarm) changes to the UI.

I'm just glade they finally added some of these functions. Even my old dumb phone had a stopwatch and a world clock. It's funny because after two years on Android I was just going to buy stopwatch timer+. Glade I didn't... now if only I could return flexT9(a great asp for anyone looking for swipe/predictive text keyboard).

My HTC Rezound has Desk Clock, World Clock, Alarm, Stopwatch and Timer. The 4.2 clock looks meh to me. Prefer the HTC clock.

Can't believe it took this long to add a timer and a stop watch but glad it is finally here!

If you can set timers and start stop watch by voice then this will be perfect.

"And what's more -- this thing looks good."

You are joking right?
This is a positive step back.

Google revises the Clock big style with every release of Android, why I don't know. None have been perfect but the 4.2 is awful.

Two big reasons:
1. When the alarm goes off there is no easy to hit "Dismiss" "Snooze" buttons (OK, it was too easy to hit the wrong one with the previous version but still...) I sometimes use this clock as an Alarm when I'm travelling. Now when it goes off I have to wake up, grapple with the tablet to make a subtle swiping movement. With the old one I just had to touch it.

Snoozing is a thing of the past.

2. Setting the alarm now means I have to type of the whole time - the old one defaulted to Now so I could easily set an alarm in 20 minutes or something (Pomodoro anyone?)

Plus its ugly and cluttered with options.

I'm off to the App Store to buy one I can use when I'm half asleep, at least someone will be glad Google messed this up.