“You Should Really Write an Alarm Clock App”

When I bought the iPhone 4 last summer, I gave my old iPhone 3Gs to my sister. When we met recently over the holidays, I asked her how she liked it and how it compared to her old feature phone.

It’s absolutely great, she said, but you know, you should really write a good Alarm clock app for it. I looked through the free ones on the App Store and they all suck.

What’s wrong with the built-in alarm clock? I asked her.

What, the iPhone has a built-in alarm clock? Where?

Even though she had had the feeling that there must be an alarm function somewhere (after all, every single phone that came out in the last 10 years has this feature), it never occured to her to look for it in the Clock app. In the 5 months she has had the iPhone, she hadn’t even launched the Clock app once.

What would I need another clock for? The time is right there in the bar at the top, she told me.

iPhone 3Gs Homescreen
Why is there another clock? And where the heck is the alarm clock?

Just goes to show that most people are not geeks. If they do not find a particular feature, they don’t hunt around until they found it, they simply give up. Unambiguous design is important. And maybe even Apple doesn’t get everything right.