Many of you may know that when the iPhone was originally released users only had first-party apps to rely on. Then came the release of the iPhone 3G and the App Store. Over time, many third-party apps have come along that have bested first-party iOS apps, so much so that users have thrown those first-party apps into a folder to never be used.
A good example of this occurrence would be Evernote, which goes far and beyond Notes’ capabilities. Additionally, Reminders, Calendar, Voice Memos, Stocks and Weather have third-party competitors that some users find better to use. But one app that I’ve never been able to find a possible replacement for is Clock — that is, until I discovered Timegg.
Features & Functionality
In order to be a true competitor of Clock, an app needs to sport a host of useful time features. First and foremost, an alarm clock function, as well as a stopwatch and timer. Timegg includes two of those features (Alarm and Timer) as well two more useful features (Reminder and D-Day).
When switching between these different features, the overall user experience of Timegg remains consistent, which is a big plus for users. You may not use all four features, but I really enjoy knowing that once I learn how to use one feature I can use them all.
The feature that initially drew to Timegg was Alarm, as I use the Clock app for my morning alarm clock. To create a new alarm, simply tap one of the plus icons on the screen (Timegg limits all features to a total of eight entries) and begin the five-step process. First, decide whether you want a snooze functionality available. Second, choose your alarm sound (Timegg’s built-in sound effects are limited, but you can use music from your music library).
Third, select the days in which you would like the alarm to sound (if you don’t choose a day, the alarm will sound every day). Finally, choose the alarm time. When you’re finished, tap the checkmark button in the top right corner.
Once your alarm is set you’ll be transitioned back to the main page and the big gray Off button in the center is now a big green On button (you can turn the alarm off or on by tapping the button). To edit or delete an alarm (or any other feature) you need to make sure the alarm is off, then longpress the circle icon associated with the alarm. This is one of the few annoyances of Timegg, but I can see Figtree Studio’s logic of making sure you don’t accidentally delete an alarm that’s in use.
To transition between functions, you can swipe the top part of the screen or tap on one of the four quadrants located outside the circle, such as tapping the bottom right corner to use the Timer functionality. Setting up a timer is nearly identical to an alarm (i.e. choosing a notification sound and the time you’d like the timer to sound), but a nice addition that’s lacking in the Alarm feature is the ability to add a label.
Once you’ve set up the alarm, tap the checkmark button in the top right corner. You’ll notice that unlike the Alarm feature the timer hasn’t started automatically, this is because you need to tap the Off button to start (a function I find useful, but may be annoying to others). Another feature that seems out of place is the ability of adding an interval time (done by tapping the small Interval button above the time). I say “out of place” not because it’s not a useful function, but because it’s an option that should be included when initially setting the timer.
In some ways, Timegg can be a viable replacement for two first-party apps (Clock and Reminders) with the inclusions of a Reminders feature. Setting a reminder is done by choosing the day and time, whether you’d like to repeat the reminder (a simple but very useful feature), selecting your notification sound and adding a label.
Timegg’s inclusion of a D-Day function is rather unique for this type of app and is sure to be useful for those who enjoy counting down to events. To create a countdown, select a label, alert time (day before, 7 days before or 14 days before) and the date (oddly enough, you can’t choose a notification sound).
Overall, I find Timegg to be an incredible useful app. Since I began using my iPhone for alarm clock duties I’ve tried at least a half dozen alarm clock apps (e.g. Alarm Clock Pro, Alarm Clock HD, iHome + Sleep) as a substitute to Clock. The problem I had with most of those apps is that you need to leave your phone on all night to take advantage of their features, and I simply don’t like having that light on in my room while I’m trying to sleep (even if you dim the screen it’s still too bright).
Timegg is different it that in nearly mirrors the functionality of Clock in the Alarm Off/Snooze popup that displays on screen when the alarm sounds; however, it doesn’t display in the lock screen (like Clock). Additionally, when I use the Clock app I can snooze my alarm by hitting the Wake/Sleep button, which is an invaluable feature when you’re half awake when the alarm goes off.
While Timegg is definitely worthy of being a true competitor to Clocks, it just falls a tad short in functionality (Timegg certainly is easier on the eyes than Clock). This is not way due to Figtree Studio’s fault, as they’ve really done as great as can do with the rules put in place by Apple. So, until Apple lets app developers use mirroring functionality (i.e allowing apps to use physical buttons or display other things besides notifications in the lock screen), I don’t think any third-party app can best Clock.