You got Onetime to fix the world clock

Let this app shows you how time flies

After being a reader on medium for a while , I realize that there are not much entries that explore new apps. So I decide to do it myself. Just that simple.

Image extracted from onetime

What’s Onetime?

In short, Onetime is a really simple world clock that let you view the time in different places at a glance.

So, someone may probably ask: ‘Doesn’t the stock Clock app on my iPhone have the same function too?’

Yes it does. Meanwhile, I must point out that reviewing apps that offer functions which already exist on the stock apps are always interesting. As the stock apps, which are apps that have been preinstalled on your phone, are always positioned to achieve the most essential and fundamental part of the task. So if an app is trying to help us complete the same task, it really challenges that if the developer is insightful enough to spot the content and experience gap in the curret stock app.

Reviewing apps that offer functions that are already existed on the stock apps are always interesting.

Before talking about Onetime, let’s take a look at how well does the Clock app work. Imagine you have a friend that is currently traveling at Tokyo and you would like to skype with her before you sleep, what information do you need, so as to arrange the best time for it?

  1. Current local time (Date, Day/night time )
  2. Current time at Tokyo (Date, Day/night time)
Capture from the Clock app in iOS

When we take a look at the Clock app, these two info are actually well presented. So if I want to know what’s the exact time at Tokyo now, the Clock can clearly tell me that.

Wait but, what if i want to know the time at Tokyo at 10 am tomorrow in my current location?

This scenario actually happens a lot. As when we are checking out the world clock, most likely we are trying to make some planning. It can be a teleconference with the technician at India, skype with your friends studying at Australia or simply checking when will the Apple Special Event start to stream. No matter what are you planning to do, they are always events happening at the future. So one of the content gaps that exists on the Clock app is that users can only check the current global time. For the future global time? Just calculate by yourself. (Well you may get help from the Calculator app though)

The world time is always a relative and interactive concept, and Onetime has illustrated this concept elegantly
Onetime calls it the Timetravel function.

Onetime has utilized that a circular plane and orbits that are either sun or moon (depends on the current time at the location it refers to) to mimic sunrise and sunset. Also, there is a shadow to divide the dates, which is stated at the bottom of the page. So let’s have an audit: Local time and date? Of course it’s here. Taget city time and date? Yes they are here too. Bonus: You don't need any calculation to get your target time. All the information are shown in a simple, minimalistic and elegant way.

To be fair, actaully there is room for improvement too. See the small orbit next to ‘Hong Kong’ that have no label/name on it? That’s what happens when the two places have less than 1 hour difference. It is probably due to the fact that the position of orbits on the circular plane is relative to the time difference. So when the time difference is small and the orbits are close together, one of the labels have to be hidden to prevent overlapping. This is actually an acceptable adjustment on UI. But still, it will be way cooler if the team can figure out a way to show all the labels.

To replace the stock app on your phone, there are other two factors you may consider: Size and Icon.

Imagine an app that doesn’t really work significantly better than the stock app on your iPhone, also, its icon looks awful and it take nearly a Gigabyte from your storage. Sorry, I don’t think it should stay. For Onetime, it does great in both aspect: The icon looks clean, stylish and symbolic that shows the iconic Timetravel circular panel you see in the app. Also, it only consumes less than 20mb of storage.

To conclude, Onetime is that kind of app that you may not use it frequently, but you will keep it on your phone as it looks cool and works cool.

Thank you for reading my first entry. As mentioned, it’s my first attempt and I treasure your feedback alot. Please feel free to comment, criticize, suggest, discuss anything you think is relevant. Don’t need to be kind, that doesn’t facilitate improvement.