PolyClock's main screen, showing your list of clocks and (optionally) the map or globe, is its "base of operations" and is generally where you'll enter the app. If you haven't already, please look at the Overview to get a feel for how it works.
The rest of the app's functionality, listed below, is accessed either by direct interaction with the clock list, or by tapping the Menu button. Depending on your device, you may be able to access Menu through a hardware button; otherwise it'll be in the title bar at the top of the screen. Note also that Menu can come in variety of guises, and is frequently represented by an icon involving stacked dots⋮ or lines ≡.
Personalizing your Clock List
PolyClock comes with a handful of cities pre-configured, and naturally you can change this list to suit your own interests. The first three options under Menu are Add Clock, Clock Properties, and Delete Clock; Add and Properties both take you into the dialog shown here, where you can configure the details of the clock as desired.
Be aware that PolyClock's place-centric nature will encourage you to enter clocks for specific cities, rather than generic zones, in order to have access to its full range of functionality. If you want to name a clock for something other than a city (such as family, friends, or team members), you can use the optional Label field.
Once you have the clocks you want, you can also rearrange the list by long-pressing and dragging any clock. There's also a Sort function in the Menu. In addition, this long-press gesture gives an alternate method of access to various features (like Properties, Delete, Apply, and Details) by surfacing icons for them in the title bar.
Hint: if you want to delete several clocks at once, long-press on one clock to invoke the alternate title bar, tap each of the other clocks to be deleted, and then the Delete icon .
Ordinarily, PolyClock shows you the current time in all your selected cities, but it can also show you relative times for any moment in the past or future. An obvious use case is to plan remote meetings with colleagues or friends in other parts of the world. Or, if a specific event is taking place at a particular time in another zone, you can easily see what time that will be in your local zone.
To change the time shown, tap the Date/Time icon in the title bar, and simply enter the time of interest into the dialog that appears. Note that you are able to specify what zone the target time is in, of course.
Back on the main screen, you can also make small changes by sliding the time scale (at the top) to the left and right. This can be handy as a quick and easy way to jump to a nearby time, or to "preview" a range of times in all your zones at once.
And anytime PolyClock's main screen is showing a different time, you can return it to the present by tapping your device's Back button.
One of PolyClock's handiest features is the ability to set alarms for any time zone on your list. Got a conference call with head office every Monday at 9 AM New York time? No worries… just set up a repeating alarm for 8:50 in New York, and PolyClock will alert you ten minutes before the call, no matter what city you happen to be in this week. There are plenty of other options too, giving you great flexibility in configuring alarms – as many as you need – just the way you want.
Use the Alarm icon to either set a new alarm or modify an existing one. If a clock on your list has an active alarm, a small version of this same icon will appear next to the time.
Double-tap on any clock row (or hit the Details icon ) to see even more information about that city and its time zone, including latitude/longitude, precise time, sunrise, sunset, UTC offset, and Daylight Saving details. Use the left and right arrow buttons to move between clocks and dates.
When you're done, the OK button will return you to the main screen, with the current clock and date highlighted. Or hit Cancel to go back to where and when you were before you opened Details.
Search and Offline Use
PolyClock comes with a built-in database of over 2000 world cities, and if your device has a Search button, this will give you direct access to it. Start typing and likely matches are immediately shown, along with the associated zone name and current time. Tap any of these and you're immediately given the opportunity to Add a clock for that city to your list.
Or, for smaller cities not in its own database, PolyClock can also go online and search several web services, including Google and Yahoo!. Just hit the Search button in the Add a Clock dialog.
Incidentally, this expanded city search is one of the only aspects of PolyClock which requires a network connection. For everything else, including searches within its internal database, PolyClock is fully functional when offline. It's the perfect traveling companion when you're away from a data connection.
Apply and Auto-Correct
Also when traveling (and especially when away from your home network), you may find that the clock on your device doesn't automatically detect when you enter a new time zone. PolyClock has you covered here in a couple of ways.
First, you can manually select any clock on your list and tap the Apply icon to set your device's system-level time zone, correcting it to the local time in the process. If you've configured PolyClock to show a Local clock, this will also be adjusted automatically, staying set to the zone it was before you used Apply. It'll then be waiting for you when you get back home.
Second, PolyClock can automatically correct your device's time zone if it detects that it doesn't match your geographic location. You'll need to turn this function on, under Settings > Local clock settings > Auto-correct, but once you do, PolyClock will continuously monitor your location and time zone, and sort you out if they don't match.
Please be aware that both Apply and Auto-correct are experimental features which may not work fully on every Android device. If you find that either isn't working for you, I'd appreciate it if you'd drop me a line and let me know so that I can attempt a fix. Thanks!
Home Screen Widgets
What would a clock app be without widgets? Of course, PolyClock doesn't disappoint, with a wide range of sizes and styles to suit every user – and their home screen.
The specifics of widgets vary by Android version, however. For instructions and details applicable to you, please refer to the correct section below. Be aware that a few devices, notably the NOOK Color/Tablet and the Kindle Fire, do not support widgets at all.
Android 4.0+ (Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, and most KitKat devices)
Open the app drawer (usually an icon like this ), select Widgets, and scroll to PolyClock. Styles available are the same as for Android 3.1/3.2.
If you've installed PolyClock on an Android 4 device but the widgets aren't appearing on the list, please refer to this FAQ.
Also, please be aware that Samsung has disabled resizable widgets from independent developers (like us) on most of their devices running Android 4.1. If you own such a Samsung phone, you'll probably need to use the non-resizable widgets listed under Android 1.6 - 3.0 below.
Android 3.1 and 3.2 (most Honeycomb devices) plus Nexus 5
Long-press in an empty area of your home screen, select Widgets, and scroll to PolyClock. All styles are resizable and scrollable.
|Style||Minimum home screen cells||Sample|
|Digital||2 x 1|
|Analog||1 x 1|
|Large||3 x 2|
Android 1.6 - 3.0 (Donut, Froyo, Gingerbread, and early Honeycomb)
Long-press in an empty area of your home screen, select Widgets, and scroll to PolyClock.
|Style||Clocks shown*||Home screen cells||Sample|
|Digital||2 to 3||2 x 1|
|4 to 7||2 x 2|
|Analog||2||2 x 1|
|3 to 4||3 x 1|
|4 to 5||4 x 1|
|Large||2||3 x 2|
|3||4 x 2|
*Clocks shown indicates the optimal number of clocks for each widget size. If you have more than this configured on your list, you can scroll through them by tapping the buttons which will appear on the widget.
Customize your PolyClock
Once you have your choice of widgets installed, there are a variety of ways in which you can customize them to your tastes:
- Make them transparent, to see your wallpaper through the clock
- Change the font for digital clocks
- Make the text sizes bigger, for easier reading – or smaller, to fit longer names into the widget
- Select different font colors
Naturally, PolyClock has many other customization options, available under Settings.