“Time,” as Albus Dumbledore would say (that’s right, I’m quoting Harry Potter at you), “is making fools of us again.” Pass those pesky seconds, minutes, hours, days and months in a rather less foolish and more glamorous fashion with our pick of the clock apps available for iPhone.
Some people like their clocks to tell them the time in an at-a-glance fashion. Not so purveyors of the Polar Clock; the little worms of time sneak around mesmerisingly but not, it has to be said, in a very visually informative manner. As well as snaking seconds, minutes and hours around the screen, the Polar Clock also features today’s date and the day of week – by Christmas it’ll be a complete circle. How satisfying.
Wonderful, imaginative and occasionally cryptic images of numbers are submitted by users here and displayed as the time, randomly. You can change each by tapping it if you’re offended by its obscurity.
This is one of our favourites; at first glance you might think it’s just a traditional analogue clock, but take a closer look at the second hand – it’s an adorable little animated creature! We’ve currently set it to a little worm who is tirelessly working his way round but I’m also a fan of the buzzing bee, the boiling kettle and the shark’s fin chasing a perennially endangered swimmer.
It’s a clock
It’s a clock is what it is. It won’t tell you the exact time, but an estimation as you’d expect to receive from a stranger on the street – e.g. “it’s quarter to one”. The app makers say that It’s a Clock humanises the measurement of time – “You think you need more precision. You don’t.”
It is quite calming to look at and makes for a nice screensaver. Although I did occasionally find myself frustratedly tapping my foot waiting for the time to change – which defeats the object a little, I suppose.
Word Clock looks a bit complicated and intense, but it’s not so scary once you know what’s what. The bright orange words tell you the time and the date; the others are just waiting in the wings, ready to rotate into place when their time comes. If rotary is not your thing, you can swap to linear setting, and adjust the colours and typography to please your peepers.
Most things on the iPhone are quite polished and smooth, so Pencil Clock makes a nice change; a scribbly hand-drawn clock app which you can choose either as an analogue clock-face or a digital version (I much prefer the clock-face though, if that helps). You can also set alarms and have special clock sounds playing when the app is open. These are a touch annoying though, best just turn them off.
Hard Readable Clock Pack
“Are you looking for something special to make you feel outstanding? Here is an brilliant item for valued people just like you.”
So says the description of the Hard Readable Clock Pack. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s been written by someone whose first language is not English, but I can’t help but read it as a snarky cynical jibe at the hipsters among us. I hope that’s how it’s intended, as it’s spot on – a selection of ridiculous unreadable clocks, including hieroglyphics (note: not real hieroglyphics), binary and periodic table themes would suit the kinds of people who look down their nose at anyone whose jeans aren’t so tight they’re cutting off circulation to their extremities.
Phew. After all those complicated types, it’s nice to move on to something much more straightforward and cheerful; Iconclock is a little pixelly wristwatch which sits in the centre of your iPhone screen and tells you the time. Simples.
This sweet little clock app shows a pixellated breakdancer who looks suspiciously like Leo Sayer busting his moves (that’s how you say it, right kids?) with the rather severe looking judges’ score cards showing you the time. 17 is the highest combined score he can get though (12:59), poor guy.
The actual time-telling aspect of this clock app is a rather disappointing digital display in the top right hand corner of the screen, but the rotating, growing, morphing shape in the centre of the screen expands with every second that passes, resetting with a new base-shape with every new minute. There are annoying tones for every second which you can’t seem to turn off, so it’s one for use on silent mode; but like many other clock apps it offers another mesmerising way to kill time.