January 30, 2023

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Android 24 Hours owners have a new and easy way to set appointment times

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Military time has its positives, but Android has always had its flaws in the experience


As someone who was born and raised in the USA, I like to use 24 hour time. It’s a long story, but in a sense, I find it a little annoying that many Android phones won’t show an AM or PM signal unless you dig a little – that kind of defeats the whole point of information that can be obtained through, for example , Good smart watch. Anyway, for the longest time, Android 24 Hours users have had to deal with a somewhat uncomfortable interface in determining the times of calendar events, appointments, and so on. But thanks to some work from Google Material design Researchers, this interface is due to be changed soon.

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Until recently, when setting the time in 24-hour readouts, users would need to select the hour from a two-ring analog clock with hours from 1 to 12 on the outer ring and from 13 to 24 on the inner one. Once the users choose the hour, the interface moves to setting the minutes. However, those with larger fingers have known the frustration of touching the wrong watch because the targets, especially on the inner ring, were so close together—they would have to tap again on the hour field and then re-select the watch they actually wanted to place.

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Android has provided this interface in one form or another for many years. We’ve already spotted an example from 2013 via the old one Google operating system The blog that reversed the position of the watch rings.

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The Material Design team tried to address the issue Accessibility issue for the 24-hour two-ring clock face in 2020 with the debut of a single-ring clock face displaying only even-numbered hours between 2 and 24. This was part of a broader redesign of user interfaces for choosing the time and during rest Of the group that hung, 24-hour clock users demanded the old two-ring clock back—apparently, they weren’t too happy with having to infer the position of individual clocks.

The researchers decided to delve into this issue with a comprehensive, limited study, and put 50 people through timekeeping tests using a variety of different watchface-based designs — out of 50 original drafts, four made it to the candidate stage — followed by surveys.

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The conclusion the team reached was that no 24-hour clock face design was intuitive enough for users to set the time accurately and reliably. Considering the rarity of such a design in physical watches, this really shouldn’t be surprising.

So, the Material Design team moved to making the numeric input option the new default – introduced with the Material Design time picker update in 2020 and users can tap the keyboard button in the clock prompt box to access it if it’s not already default. The digital entry will live alongside the users current analog clock wallpaper on a 24 hour basis. Since the team collects data about user behavior, the company may decide to default time settings to the digital input.

It remains to be seen if there is a future without a 24-hour face on Android, but I, in my ambivalence, also wouldn’t stand by to watch analog watch faces disappear, so… there is that.

Updated: 2022/12/04 19:24 EST BY JULES WANG

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An earlier version of this story indicated that the digital input option was introduced more recently when it was actually introduced during the 2020 Update. We apologize for the error.

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