Cosmic Watch is not a watch face, or even a conventional clock app. It's an app that models the Earth, the solar system, and most of the familiar constellations in 3D specifically as they relate to both real time and any point in the past. It's also stunningly beautiful - you don't often see educational apps with such a focus on aesthetic beauty. The screenshots really don't do it justice; check out the video below:
The app is equally concerned with current astronomy and time-keeping and the more classical astrology, at least as it relates to the real model of the universe - there aren't any horoscopes telling you that you'll meet tall, dark strangers.
Google seems to really love tinkering with its Clock app. The latest version of the app, 4.2, should be rolling out in the Play Store now. This one is available to everyone running Android 4.4 or higher (we didn't grab it from one of the Android M preview builds). It has exactly one new notable feature: the ability to gradually increase alarm volume, which is a fairly typical feature of alarm apps (and even real, physical clocks).
Believe it or don't, there are a lot of people who care a surprising amount about Google's official Android clock app - enough that there are six different versions of it on APK Mirror, for example. Today Google has finally decided to post the app to the Play Store, enabling automatic downloads for millions of Android users and letting the company refresh the app free of over-the-air updates. You can download it right now.
The new APK for the clock app from the Android M Developer Preview doesn't look very different from the one you'll find in Lollipop - most of the functions (alarms, world clock, timer, and countdown) are in the same place and operate in the same way. But there's one tiny change that a small amount of users will be extremely happy to see. The Clock app can now "start" your week on Saturday, Sunday, or Monday.
This is one of those little formatting questions that has never really been properly resolved by society. Most western calendars "start" the week on Sunday, but a majority of people with what you might call a normal job go to work on Monday and consider Sunday the "end" of their week.
Android 5.1 is in the wild on Android One devices, but it's still not totally official yet. Google has yet to announce it and there's no changelog available. As more people get their hands on 5.1, though, we're bound to learn some things about it. Like, for example, the quick settings changes and these neat little animations in the 5.1 clock app.
With every new Android version, we get a long list of useful new features and a few, well, quirky ones. Nevertheless, we're here to dissect every aspect of Lollipop and that includes this fun new feature of the Clock app. Short story: the app's background now switches gradually throughout the day to mirror the time. Just in case, you know, looking out the window or reading the actual time isn't clue enough as to what it feels like, outside.
Long story? There are purple hues for the early morning and late evening, blue for mid-day, and darker shades of blue and indigo in between.
Update: It looks like the app isn't compatible with some versions of the M8 yet either. Feel free to chime in if any of your Sense 6 devices are currently listed as compatible.
Dear M8 owners, HTC has dropped your default clock app into the Play Store. This will allow for easier updates in the future, untangling software improvements from big firmware releases. It's not a particularly exciting app, but hey, the essentials are important too.
HTC's app includes alarms, a stopwatch, a timer, and a world clock. Personally I find it easier to dive into than the one Google's shipping these days (speaking of which, Big G, why isn't your clock in the Play Store yet?).
Captain's log, stardate 45638.2. A scan of a long-lost pleasure cruise that exited Earth in the late twenty-first century has yielded some fascinating archaeological findings. In addition to a pair of primitive foot coverings that Commander Data identified as "Converse All-Stars," a complete and mint-condition collection of the classic mythological saga known as Animorphs, and a small, vibrating "Furby" that Mister Worf immediately eviscerated, we have discovered a piece of anachronistic human technology.
The device is called an El Gee Geewatch, and in itself is not notable - it's one of many artifacts that runs the Android operating system, an early precursor to Soong-type positronic matrices.