iClock 2.1.5, by Script Software
Posted: 17-Jun-2005

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Script Software Type: SHAREWARE

Reviewer: Hazel Valera Class: MULTIMEDIA
     
$20   Download

Overview
Dealing with people in different time zones requires a way of knowing the time quickly and at a glance. Script Software answers this need with iClock. iClock is an evolving application that replaces the menu clock with one that is much more functional and customizable. iClock provides many time related functions, as well as a few bonus extras. iClock is an essential utility for business people, pilots, travelers, and anyone who communicates with other people in different times zones. It's a great time keeper and a reminder, providing a desktop "time secretary" right at your fingertips.

Additional Features

  • iClock brings back the OS 9 applications menu
  • Get weather for selected cities with a single click
  • View your IP address and system information
  • Import birthdays into your calendar from your address book
  • Launch applications along with your reminders
  • Track your Portfolio from the menubar and customize it to show the info you need
  • Get telephone country and area codes
  • Download free calendar themes from our website


Requirements

Mac OS X 10.1 or later


Setup
Installing the software was very easy. Just download it from the
www.scriptsoftware.com web site, run the installer, and it's ready to go.

In Use
After installation of the software, I took my time customizing it. I wanted to apply it to my everyday routine to see how functional it could be in my life. Setting it up was extremely easy, and its menus are self-explanatory. Setup changes are instantaneous.

First, I set up the look and feel of my iClock through the Preferences Menu. For those that prefer an all black menu bar with consistent font, that is an option. However, I like to be a little bit different, and since iClock supports different colors and fonts, I saw this as an opportunity to make the date and time stand out. I chose the type face, the color, the size, and which information is displayed. iClock not only supports different time formats to show in the menu bar, it also allows you to specify various date formats so that you can have the date available in the menu bar (no more having to click the menu to see the date). All these changes are processed in real time, so I could see exactly how it looks on my menu bar immediately. If I didn't like the font, I could easily change it in a snap. The menu also shows a little flag to remind you what country you are in.


iClock Preferences


Next under Preferences, I accessed the multiple time zones (the "Locations" tab). Setting this up was also easy, as it shows all the major cities in all the states and countries in the world. Just click and customize which time zones and cities you want displayed and it will be available at your finger tips. Anytime you click on the iClock menu item, the menu displays all of the selected locations and their local times.


Setting up Time Zones


iClock even provides an option to check the weather for selected cities. Just click on the city, and Safari will open up the weather channel in a browser window, and display the weather for the selected city. In addition, iClock has a selection of floating clocks to choose from, giving you the option to put a clock anywhere on your desktop rather than just in the menu bar.


The iClock Menu

I had a lot fun with the calendar function of iClock. I found it to be fully customizable just like the rest of iClock. The thing I liked about it the most is how you can change the background. They have flowers, nature scenery, and much more! You can even download more themes from the Script Software site, or use your own pictures. I selected a picture of my dog, Peaches, for the background of my calendar. With iClock, you can set up monthly themes so that each month you can have a different look. Printing your calendar is easy too. I printed large, high resolution versions of my calendar that turned out quite nice. Last but not least, iClock supports tracking of birthdays. Never forget another birthday again. You can import birthdays into your iClock from Apple's address book, and then print them for your office.


Customizing a calendar in iClock

Another function that I found extremely helpful is the Alarm and Warning function of iClock. I have a habit of working way too long and forgetting the time, so I set iClock to remind in 1 hour that I have to pick up my brother or I remind myself to have lunch. iClock makes it very easy to do this on-the-fly. It also allows you to set wake up alarms using iClock alarms, or music from your iTunes library. You can customize your alarms or warnings to repeat at certain times, as well as change the alarms to a distinguishing sound for different reminders. In addition to just setting alarms and warnings, you can even launch certain applications at certain times. For example, if you had to do the accounting and budgeting at 11:00am, you could schedule Excel to launch so you can enter all your figures in just in time for Payroll. Looking around in the iClock folder, I found scripts to use to initiate the application launching function. It wasn't hard at all considering the fact that when someone says "script" I think of programming, and I am definitely not a programmer. I used the Alarm function more than any other function in iClock.

Keeping track of your stocks is also an important function that you can use. For all you smart investors out there, you can keep track of your stock portfolios discreetly in real time by just setting it up in the Stock Symbol or Edit New Symbol function in the Preferences Menu. I saw the stock menu and how easy it was to set up stock symbols and check them. I do not have a stock portfolio, but I have been considering getting into the stock market. Playing around in iClock, I can see that this would be a very useful tool should I decide to start trading.

Web access to information is also a part of iClock. You can find zip codes, telephone numbers and even see your IP address information. Just put your mouse over the time, and your account name and IP information is displayed as a tool tip popup. iClock even includes a function for having an application menu in the top right, where it once existed with Mac OS 9. I never used Mac OS 9, being a Windows switcher when Mac OS X came out, but this appears to work quite well. Those accustomed to the OS 9 application menu will love this feature.

Summary
iClock is an application that replaces the menu clock, and does a whole lot more. It provides a lot of different options for displaying the time in various fonts and styles. You can have both the time and date displayed, so you no longer have to click the menu to see the current date. When you do click the menu, a list of all the time zones you are interested in are displayed along with their local times. You can customize iClock in different ways, choose your time zones, setup alarms and reminders, create and print custom calendars, and it does this all in a very attractive manner, both visually and audibly. The fact that it was so easy to customize, made it fun and encouraged me to explore all its utility. Setting it up the first time takes the longest to do, only because it has so many choices that it took some experimentation before I made a decision. This application is very useful for managing your time, an essential tool for every Mac user. For those with increasing communication with relatives, friends, and business partners located in various time zones, you will like seeing their local times with a simple mouse click. Simply put, this is one of the nicest add-on utilities I've used, and I highly recommend it.

Pros

  • Intuitive interface
  • Menu and date always in view
  • Lots of customization options
  • Fun and useful extras, like calendars, alarms, and the application menu
  • See other time zones quickly and easily


Cons

  • So many options that initial set up may be time consuming
  • Could not find an easy way to revert to system default font style for menu


Overall Rating

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice