Most of us probably replaced our old and clunky bedside clocks with smartphones ages ago. With a built-in alarm and an always-active battery backup, it's usually a reliable way to get up in the morning. However, throughout this week, Google's Clock app hasn't been activating alarms properly for some users, causing massive headaches for anyone afflicted. Thankfully, a fix has arrived.
Unless you have a spare lying around to be your real phone, I wouldn't recommend installing beta software on a device that you depend upon. But that's what we're here for! Android 12's version of the reliable Clock app is looking good in the latest beta. And it turns out that it looks pretty good on Android 11, too, because you can install the new APK from the updated version on older builds.
One of the details that Google teased back when Material You was first shown off is a redesigned set of widgets for the built-in clock app. Like other Material You-themed bits, the widgets looked like they'd pick up colors dynamically based on the theme that Android 12 generated for a given wallpaper. As of Beta 5 and v7 of the Clock app, the new widgets are live — and they're rad. Paired with the change is a Material You redesign for the Clock app itself.
Your phone's clock is likely one of the most essential utilities on your device — after all, how else would you get up in the morning? It's not the only Google app that deals in measurements of time, of course. Calendar, Tasks, and even Keep all rely on specific timeframes to schedule appointments and to notify you of upcoming reminders. With Android 12 on the way, Google is updating some of its applications with a refreshed look perfect for scrolling through and selecting hours and minutes.
For most of us, the days of dedicated alarm clocks are long gone. All you need is your smartphone placed on a bedside table, and you're ready to be woken up the following day. From timers to stopwatches, the clock app on your phone is an essential tool. You'll find no shortage of alarms and timers to choose from on Android, but Google's Clock app makes time management easy, and it's included by default on plenty of devices. The app has finally ticked past the one billion installs mark on the Play Store, and it's showing no signs of slowing down.
Much more than hardware, OnePlus has matured on the software front in its relatively short existence in the smartphone space. In all these years, OxygenOS has embraced some neat little features that, in their own imperceptible ways, make our lives much easier. We’ve always liked how OnePlus handles customizations and its myriad of accessibility features. Now that some of these OxygenOS elements have lately been creeping into stock Android, we’re left wanting more.
Pixel phones have become pretty customizable thanks to the Pixel Themes app first introduced with Android 10, but there's one part of the Pixel skin that you can't tweak too much — the lock screen. The Android 10 beta suggested that we might get some custom clocks at some point, but when the OS went stable, no traces of alternative clocks were left. That might change with Android 12. It looks like Google will include Pixel-exclusive lock screen clocks.
Samsung has been updating a lot of its apps recently, adding plenty of new features and further refining the software experience it offers. The latest such update is for the One UI Clock app, which has picked up a new bedtime mode that helps keep track of your sleep patterns and integrates with Digital Wellbeing.
Android is doing its darndest to become a better OS update by update — even beyond the actual OS upgrades. New pushes to Google Play Services and apps will improve how people reach emergency services, get them to bed, and bring the world clearer and closer to those with vision loss.