This post was published 4 years, 6 months ago. Due to the rapidly evolving world of technology, some material it contains may no longer be applicable.
The Android clock app has become the latest Google app to make its way to the Play Store for faster updates and easy installation on OEM-skinned devices.
Google (along with many OEMs) have gradually moved their pre-installed apps over to the Play Store because it brings many benefits when compared to bundling them with the OS. The primary advantage of this is that it allows apps to be updated independently from the system itself. However, in the case of Google apps, it also makes it simpler for users to download the stock Android system apps from Google to use instead of the OEM variants which came pre-installed with their device.
Along with the Play Store listing, the app has also been updated to include a new feature: the ability to snooze or dismiss alarms from Android Wear.
Being able to dismiss alarms from your watch is certainly a cool feature, but since Google acquired Timely a while back and I had hoped some of the functionality from that would have finally make it into the stock clock app. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case, although it could still happen in the future.
One downside to this trend, is that it usually means the app will no longer be updated in AOSP. Google have a habit of leaving the AOSP version behind once they move an app to the Play Store, something which is frustrating to those who want access to the latest source code. Hopefully this won’t happen to the clock app, although I don’t hold out much hope.
Although this is something that likely won’t directly affect the average user, Android’s openness is a huge part of what made Android the success it is today and so it is a shame to see Google not sticking to their and commitment to open source. After all, it was something which they once claimed to value so highly.
Anyway, If you want to grab the latest version of the app you can download it below: