Ok, so setting an alarm, timers or even a third-party clock isn’t anything new on Chrome OS. For about as long as Chromebooks have been around there have been web apps and extensions to do this very task. However, thanks to the addition of the Play Store, users can now take advantage of the oh-so-familiar Google Clock app found on Android devices around the world.
In the earlier days of Android on Chromebooks, I actually downloaded the Clock app from the Play Store to find it only barely functional and quite buggy. Thanks to an email from Peter W., I have revisited the useful little app to find it works just as you would expect in most aspects.
Default applications can vary based on your device manufacturer and your provider but a large percentage of Android devices come with the free Clock app from Google. I, for one, have used it as my go-to clock/timer/alarm for about as long as it’s been around.
On a Chromebook, the Clock app is a bit harder to find as it doesn’t show up in a search of your app launcher. If it is installed on your Android-enabled Chromebook, you can find it using a couple of different methods.
Just like on your phone, you can open the Play Store, click the hamburger menu then select My Apps and installed apps. It should be right there near the top. The quicker way is to simply open the Play Store and search “Clock.” Google’s Clock app should be there in the top row, four or five over and look like the image above.
From there, just click “open.” You will be greeted with the exact same user interface you are accustomed to on your mobile device. You can now set a timer, use the stopwatch and even set alarms.
One little catch with using the alarm feature is that you will only have the option to choose “silent” or “default” (Oxygen) for your alarm sounds. That’s because alarm sounds, like many Android apps, are manufacturer specific.
No worries. Above the preset ringtones, you will see the option to “add new.” You can download pretty much any sounds you like in .mp3 format and add them to your personal list of alarm sounds. A quick search of the web will give you thousands of sites where you can grab as many as you like for free.
One such site I used today was soundbible.com. Preview the sounds beforehand then select the ones you want and download in .mp3 format. (You can use .wav files but they generally take up more space in your downloads folder)
The really cool thing about the Clock app on Chrome OS is the fact that it works even if your device is locked. Also, just like on your phone, the settings don’t disappear when you power off your device. If you have a few alarms that you have set to go off regularly when you power on your Chromebook they’re still.
When your alarm goes off you will even get the standard “snooze” or “dismiss” notification in your system tray.
One more feature of the Clock app that many users may not even be aware of is the screen saver setting. It’s exactly what it sounds like. When enabled, your clock will lazily float around your display, changing position every 60 seconds. While this feature doesn’t seem to work on a solo Chromebook, I was able to use it when attached to an extended display. Instead of closing my device, I simply launched the screensaver which took action on the Chromebook’s screen while I kept working on my external monitor.
For many, this might be filed in the “neat but useless” department but I still think it’s really cool and wanted to share. I’m sure there is more than one user out there that might find the Android Clock app useful on their Chromebook and now, you can use it.
A very special thanks to Peter W. for the email.