Wider Clock Appears Narrow in Practicality

Price: $2.99   Score: 6/10   By Anna P.Wider Clock

Every now and then comes an iPhone/iPod Touch app that is amazing.  You cannot help but use it every single day, becoming dependent on its convenient, handy nature to the point of near addiction. Sadly, Wider Clock is not quite that app.

Brought to you by Wider Software, users can spend three hard-earned dollars on a customizable alarm clock that literally laughs at you (for spending money on something that comes standard with your device’s clock anyway).  Armed with five different clock themes (roses, old photo, outdoor, sunflower and dynamite), Wider Clock allows you to make your timepiece pretty despite the fact that you’ll be sleeping too much to enjoy its design.

Though the price is a little steep (and a major drawback), and some features are a bit redundant, Wider Clock does indeed have its perks. To set your alarm, simply create a name, set a start date, and set your desired alert time.  Wider Clock conveniently allows you to set a schedule for your alarm, too: once, daily, weekly, biweekly, monthly.  Set up multiple alarms, which will go off even if you have the screen set to lock.

Interestingly, users can have their clock monitor different time zones.  Using the info button, which allows you to change any and all settings, simply set your desired time zones.  Then, when on the main clock screen, simply swipe to switch between your various clocks.  Also, with a single tap to the screen, users can immediately dim the screen’s brightness and restore it to normal with another tap.

Wider Clock also has a creative and sensible snooze option.  Like other clocks, users may set their snooze duration to anything from 5 to 60 minutes.  However, what are truly nifty are Wider Clock’s math puzzles.  When a user goes to turn off their alarm, Wider Clock will prompt them to answer a fairly simple math question. Many, present company included, have been known to turn their alarm off with the intent of getting up only to end up falling back to sleep.  Users must pick the correct answer to prove they are awake and really want to shut off their alarm.

However, Wider Clock’s sound options leave a bit to be desired.  Your best bet is to choose a song from your iTunes library as your alert noise because if you’re waking from a sound sleep, it’s least likely to scare you.  Of course, if you are feeling daring, give one of the 14 custom sounds offered a try.  While most, like the police siren or submarine sound, lean more toward annoying, others, such as the evil male laugh or young woman screaming, are just plain scary.  These sounds are much too abrupt and obtrusive to wake someone on the right side of the bed each morning.  Also, you can choose whether to turn the vibrate alert on or off.

Wider Clock also loses points for efficiency and functionality.  According to the description, the app must be open for the alarm to run, meaning you must leave Wider Clock on all night.  To ensure that you do indeed get woken up in the morning, your device must also be plugged into the wall to make sure it works through the night.  And in a time where we purposely cut corners to save power, this characteristic leaves Wider Clock energy inefficient and impractical.

View a video demonstration of Wider Clock here.

Wider Clock requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later and is compatible with the iPhone and iPod Touch. A small fee was paid by the developer to expedite the publication of this review.

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