Track Time Around the World

very good
key review info
application features
  • Statusbar/Toolbar Clock Tooltip
  • (3 more, see all...)

Given the different time zones on Earth, staying in touch with our friends from many miles away can sometimes be difficult. A solution for this problem would be having more clocks, instead of just one, all of them showing different times in various locations of the world.

FoxClocks is a free Firefox extension created by Andy McDonald that allows you to keep track of the time in many regions of the world using small digital clocks. Being a Mozilla product, FoxClocks can be installed on different products such as Firefox, Thunderbird or Sunbird, and on different systems like Mac OS X, Windows or Linux. The first thing you need to know about this extension is that, once installed, it can work without an Internet connection.
 
After installation, FoxClocks can be accessed in different ways, such as selecting the FoxClocks item from the Tools menu, double-clicking on the toolbar or on your statusbar, or by using your keyboard as well: Ctrl+Shift+Q to open it and Ctrl/Command+W to close it. For a better time tracking, this extension customizes your statusbar by adding multiple digital clocks. You can change your clocks by setting individual colors, or program them to show a specific color during certain hours. For example, the USA-corresponding clock can turn green when it’s time to chat with your friends in L.A or Chicago.

Nevertheless, FoxClocks is not only about those clocks from your statusbar. Its features are many and advanced, so I will explain them in detail.

The Main Window of FoxClocks can be accessed using your keyboard - Ctrl+Shift+Q, or by selecting FoxClock from the Tools menu. In its turn, it is divided in two panels: Zone Picker and Watchlist. The former allows you to navigate through all the world’s time zones and to select the geographic region you need - after you expand a continent, you can choose the country or city you want to add to the statusbar. For each zone, Zone Picker displays its current time set according to the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), while offering additional information that can be seen after double-clicking on the respective zone. Just in case you have no idea in which geographic region the country or city you are looking for is situated, use the search bar with the utmost confidence because it’s accurate and really fast.

The Watchlist panel displays all your selected locations and their current local time. You may choose to hide/show a location’s statusbar clock by pressing the Space key, or to access its properties window by double-click on it. The location of the clocks in the statusbar is determined by the order from your Watchlist so, in order to change their place, use the Move Up or Move Down buttons, or opt for sorting them based on their location or time.

Between the Zone Picker and Watchlist panels, the Main Window also includes some other buttons meant to enhance its functionality. Add/Remove enables you to add wanted locations from Zone Picker to Watchlist, without operating any change as far as their names is concerned. The Add As button comes with the same functionality as the first one, but it also allows you to customize/change the name of the locations. The Move Up/Down buttons, as already noted, can be used to easily organize the Watchlist panel.

Furthermore, FoxClocks can be customized to an even greater extent by using The Location Properties Window and the Options Window.

Opening The Location Properties Window is done by double-clicking on any location from the Watchlist panel or, if it’s more convenient, you may do so by using the right-click as well. It contains the Time Zone tab that displays many details about a specific location, such as Latitude or Longitude coordinates and information about the time zones that may be included in it. The Display tab allows you to pick the right place for a location's clock, and to customize it by adding a color of your choice, or by programming it to display alternative colors at certain hours (for instance, when you schedule a conference call or it’s time to chat with your friends).

The Location Properties Window is enhanced with a small Google Earth button that, naturally, enables you to access it for the current location, in case the Latitude and Longitude coordinates are available. The single mention that must be made here is that Google Earth needs to be installed beforehand for you to be able to enjoy this option.

The Options Window, with its four tabs, lets you manage all your FoxClocks with the greatest ease. The Time Format, as its name suggests, is for customizing the format of the clocks, by applying standard time formats to clocks from the statusbar, toolbar or FoxClocks window. As it happens, you can also create your own customized manner of having the time displayed. The Position and Style Tab presents you with the possibility of choosing between displaying the clocks in the statusbar or toolbar, and of having multiple clocks under a single FoxClocks icon. Should you go for the latter option, all you have to do is to hover the mouse over the icon and all your clocks will be displayed in no time.

The Time Zone Data Tab shows information about the current database, displays the GMT/UTC time, and allows you to choose between automatic or manual search for updates. The Advanced tab can be used to change the location for your clocks and flags, or provides you with a setting in case you want to receive notifications about updating your time zone database.

Were we to take statistics into consideration, we notice that most Firefox users seem to prefer FoxClocks and this is precisely why Andy McDonald is constantly improving this extension by enhancing its current features or adding others to those already existent. Naturally, your feedback is essential in making the FoxClocks extension better – on that note, those using this method will probably agree that an alarm or a reminder for it would be really helpful.

The Good

FoxClocks is a smart, simple and easy to use extension that offers you an extensive cities or countries selection, aside from the many settings that allow for impressive customization options in terms of its interface. Another positive thing is that this extension can be used even when your Internet connection is disabled.

The Bad

It doesn’t have any major bugs or problems, but like with any other application, there is always room for improvement, both visually and technically. The fact that it lacks a reminder could be considered a drawback but, hopefully, this will be solved in a future version.

The Truth

FoxClocks is an ideal app for those who have friends or family members located all over the world, thus in different time zones, and with whom they want to keep in touch at the appropriate hours. It also comes very in handy in many other situations, like when you want to hold an international conference. As already noted, the fact that it lacks an alarm could be considered the only downside to FoxClocks.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:

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user interface 4
features 3
ease of use 5
pricing / value 5


final rating 4
Editor's review
very good
 
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