It's a small world, unless you're the one who sets the clocks. Years ago, keeping track of the time around the world meant a row of wall clocks with labels like "Leningrad" and "Peking." Things are easier in this century, and it's easy to keep track of the time in Beijing or Kalamazoo, Mich. But those who need to track multiple time zones simultaneously still face more of a challenge. That's where tools like Sharp World Clock step in.
Unlike many desktop clocks, it's shareware, though it's free to try for 15 days. But it's hard to find comparable freeware that can track multiple analog or digital clocks in customizable configurations, let alone as capably. Sharp World Clock Version 5 offers many new features, including automatic updates of Daylight Saving Time that don't rely on Windows Update, independently undockable clocks, Aero effects, an Alarm Center, and extras such as Sticky Notes, Weather Report, News Feeds, and Spoken Time.
When we tried it, Sharp World Clock's semitransparent main window displayed eight docked analog clocks set to major cities around the world. A Help feature controlled by a handy, tiny toolbar at the bottom edge of our screen opened when we ran the program for the first time. The Quick Start page makes setting up Sharp World Clock very easy: simply select a city or other location, and the program's Time Zone Calculator does the rest. You can also select a location on a Daylight Map or directly enter latitude and longitude. The Clock Designer tab offers tons of choices in a nicely designed layout with clean graphics -- something we can say about the rest of this program's layout and design choices, too. For example, sliders let us quickly resize our clocks as well as their international flag displays. A System Tray icon accesses a comprehensive menu of Sharp World Clock's settings and features.
Despite its many options and extras, Sharp World Clock is extremely easy to use: Simply right-click any clock face to undock it, customize its look, change its settings, and access extras like the Feed Reader and others. If you need to track time around the world, try this tool.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Sharp World Clock 5.83.
Sharp World Clock is a sophisticated desktop world clock program with a variable number of resizable analog or digital clocks, in a horizontal or vertical line or in a grid arrangement. Always accurate time zone / daylight time information with Windows updates. Clocks can be undocked from the main window and resized without any loss of quality. Many editable configuration presets and selectable colors, background images, transparency and more. Soft shadows (Windows 8 / 7 / Vista). Analog clocks feature editable clock hands and numbers, country flags and a graphical representation of the day/night sky and an out-of-office dimmer. Hourly / quarterly chimes and spoken time. World map shows the areas of day and night, the position of cities, country borders, sunrise / sunset times and moon phases. Time Zone Converter with meeting scheduler and RSS feed reader. Alarm Center with unlimited single / count-down / daily / weekly / monthly / annual / periodic alarms Settings export / import. Weather Report feature for the current day and the next four days, for every city or (if city is not included) for every location, with minimum / maximum temperature, conditions, wind speed and direction, with animated icons (day and night). Weather conditions for the current day and other detail info on mouse-over for each clock.
What's new in this version:
Version 6.4 added a "Configuration Assistant" to the program, which is launched on first installation, instead of the help dialog (or later from the context menu: "Assistant").