Menu Bar Faves: iClock

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Date: Thursday, September 4th, 2003, 07:04
Category: Archive

If iClock gave you nothing more than an update on Apple’s tired “Show time in Menu Bar” option in OS X, it’d already be a worthwhile download. Finally, you can have the date displayed next to the time so you don’t have to click the clock to find out today’s date. But the developers didn’t stop there: iClock includes an arsenal of useful features that make it an absolute must-have, and a no-brainer for inclusion in the prestigious ranks of PowerPage Menu Bar Faves.

Aside from displaying time and date in an almost absurd variety of ways, iClock displays a menu with a list of times in cities of your choice. (No more accidentally calling your friend in Tokyo in the middle of the morning!) Another menu option lets you launch a handy calendar, stopwatch, alarm/timer, floating clocks, phone/zip lookup, even sub-menus for integration with Desktop Effects and CopyPaste.
One of the best features is one you wouldn’t even expect from a clock: there’s an option to restore an OS 9-style application menu for switching apps, complete with hide/show options and icons. If there’s anything you don’t need, you can turn off bells and whistles and only use the features you want. Everything is customizable — I like seeing my times displayed in international 24 hour style, for instance, and preferred a more attractive font and color scheme than the default.
To me, none of the features seem frivolous — you find yourself using them every day. There’s a time zone calculator to find the best time to communicate across time zones, adding people from your Apple Address Book, check world country dial codes, check birthdays from the Address Book and link to iCal, use floating calendars with transparency, set desktop backgrounds for your calendar, double click a day in the calendar to jump to your favorite calendar software, run screen savers on your desktop, and view your current external IP address by mousing over the time/date. More Address Book integration is coming soon, too.
My only criticism: iClock needs a different name! Now, how to describe the app that does everything . . .

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