The iOS world clock is past due for upgrades, and if Apple can’t find the time to overhaul this weird old feature, maybe the iOS world clock should just disappear altogether — there are other, better options hidden within iOS itself. Huh. But since we know iOS 16 is in the works, there’s never been a better time for Apple to ditch the skeuomorphic trappings that limit the world clock from achieving its full potential.
Of course, just finding the world clock is no easy feat. I’m sure there are more than a few diehard iOS users who’ve never bothered to touch it, as it moved to a tiny tab tucked in a corner of the Clock app. I never used it myself until last year, when I started working remotely with coworkers in different time zones around the world.
Suddenly, having an easy-to-read list of what time it was in many cities became very valuable; I thought iOS World Clock and its handy home screen widget would be the right tool for my needs.
And for a long time, it was. I just needed to know the time in Oakland, London and New York, all of which are available in the World Clock’s list of cities. But when I recently went to connect another two cities, Groningen and Bengaluru (in the Netherlands and India, respectively), the world clock was a blank.
At first I was surprised. These are both important cities with international airports, and at this point in the year of our god 2022 I am not used to typing the name of a major metropolis into an internet-connected Time app and seeing zero results on it. What’s the matter, Apple?
“You are using it wrong,” I can imagine a die-hard World Watch fan (of course they exist) saying. “You just need to find and select a listed city in the same time zone HeThen you’ll have your blast clock.”
And it’s true, I can do some digging and cobbler by plugging in Amsterdam instead of Groningen, and Kolkata or Chennai instead of Bangalore, a guesstimate of the watch array. In fact, India has four cities listed on the world clock, all in the same time zone. Surely this is good enough?
It’s not good enough. Not wanting to do a little mental gymnastics every time I glance at my world clock widget, I want to know what time it is in Groningen. I just need to be able to type Groningen Create a clock face in the appropriate time zone in the app and in the clock app with the appropriate name. The fact that the world clock leans on that simple request seems to WeirdLike someone designed it specifically to recognize only a few major cities.
And for all I know, maybe someone did. world clock concept (opens in new tab) The one is older, and the design of the iOS World Clock shares more than a few similarities with the world clocks I’ve seen in train stations, airports, and ferry terminals. The next time you’re in such a place, squint your eyes and put your iPhone up, and you can easily imagine the clock faces of the World Clock widget hanging upside down. They’re simple, easy to read… and horribly out of date.
Why not update it so you can plug any major city into the world clock and get a custom clock face? Heck, why stop there – there are so many small improvements I can imagine that would make the world clock widget a must-have for my home screen. For starters, why not let me customize the widget to display more than 4 clock faces? A few different color schemes would not be appreciated.
As it stands, I had to turn to the option suggested by my sister, who is smarter and wiser than me in everything. She pointed out that you can use the iOS Weather app to get a quick overview of times in different cities, as it embeds a local time readout below each city name when viewed as a list. This is exactly what I expected from World Clock, with the added bonus that in the Weather app, I get to see the local weather as well.
The only problem is that the weather app’s home screen widget doesn’t give you the option to view the weather and time in multiple cities at once. Failed again!
So please, Apple, take a moment to give the World Clock the upgrade it so badly deserves. there are clocks ColdAnd I love the fact that the supercomputer in my pocket can detect local time and weather almost anywhere on Earth — but the World Clock app is too behind in time for real use.