The iOS World Clock missed out on an upgrade, and if Apple can’t find time to fix this strangely outdated feature, the iOS World Clock might just be gone — there are other, better options hidden within iOS itself. But since we know iOS 16 is up and running, there’s never been a better time for Apple to let go of the tangled trappings that limit the World Clock’s realization of its full potential.
Of course, just finding the world clock is not easy. I’m sure there are more than a few die-hard iOS users who haven’t bothered to touch it, as it’s been moved to a small tab tucked away in one corner of the Clock app. I never used it myself until last year, when I started working remotely with colleagues in different time zones around the world.
Suddenly, having an easy-to-read list of the time in multiple cities is very valuable; I thought iOS World Clock and easy to use home screen widgets would be the right tool for my needs.
And for a long time it was. I just wanted to know the time in Auckland, London and New York, all of which are available in the world clock cities list. But when I recently went to add two more cities, Groningen and Bengaluru (in the Netherlands and India, respectively), the world clock was painted blank.
At first, I was confused. These are two important cities with international airports, and at this point in our Lord 2022 I’m not used to typing the name of a major city in the online time app and seeing it doesn’t give any results. What’s the deal, Apple?
“You’re just using it wrong,” I can imagine a die-hard World Clock fan (it sure is) saying. Simply search for a city listed in the same timezone and select who – whichThen you will have your lively watch.”
That’s right, I can do some digging and piecing together to approximate the clock matrix I want by connecting Amsterdam instead of Groningen, and Kolkata or Chennai instead of Bengaluru. In fact, there are four cities in India included in the world clock, and they are all in the same time zone. Surely this is good enough?
Not good enough. When I look at my world clock widget, I don’t have to do some mental exercises every time I want to know the current time in Groningen. I should only be able to write Groningen in the app and ask the watch app to create a watch face in the appropriate timezone with the appropriate name. Feel the fact that the world clock stops at this simple request amazinglike someone somewhere specifically designed it to only recognize certain major cities.
And for all I know, maybe someone did. world clock concept (Opens in a new tab) It’s outdated, and the iOS World Clock design shares more than a few things in common with the world clocks you’ve seen at train stations, airports, and ferry terminals. Close your eyes and raise your iPhone the next time you’re in such a place, you can easily imagine the clock faces from the world clock widget hanging above your head. It’s simple, easy to read… and woefully outdated.
Why not update it so that you can just connect any major city to the world clock and get a custom watch face? Heck, why stop there – there are plenty of subtle 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 watch faces? Some different color schemes will not be appreciated either.
As it is, I had to resort to an alternative suggested by my sister, who is smarter and wiser than me in everything. She noted that you can only use the iOS Weather app to get a quick overview of the time in different cities, since it includes a local time reading below each city’s name when displayed as a list. This is exactly what I expected from a world clock, with the added bonus that in the weather app, I can 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 see the weather and time in multiple cities at once. Foiled again!
So please, Apple, take the time to give the World Watch the much-deserved upgrade. hours coolAnd, I love the fact that the supercomputer in my pocket can tell the local time and weather for just about anywhere on Earth – but the World Clock app seems too far out of time to actually use.