AirClock offers a standard Palm clock application with a twist…it will also turn on electronics like your TV when set as an alarm. Please welcome Nesbo to our review ream with this, his first bargainPDA.com review.
AirClock is a decent Palm alarm clock with a unique feature, the ability to turn on various appliances via IR remote on wake up, an available option that some may deem unnecessary or the answer to a quirky problem.
As a clock, AirClock has some nice features. Visually, the numbers are fairly big in size, which is nice for those that wish to leave their Palm on while left in the cradle. The program is relatively easy to set up. You can make changes to the main time, alarm time and date by directly clicking on those areas on the screen or by the pull down menus at the top of the screen. You can also change the colors of the program in the preference menu which allows you to choose from some preset themes or you can customize your own colors.
The main feature of AirClock is the alarm options. You can set the alarm to wake you up from your Palm device, with various sounds included with the program. However, the most unique feature of this program is the ability to wake you up by having various appliances turn on when the alarm goes off. Yes, you can program AirClock to turn on most devices that use infrared remote control. First, you simply click on the Wake Up area on the screen, or choose Set up Wake-up Appliance from the drop down menus. Then you choose what type of device you wish to turn on (television, radio, CD player, other). After that, you aim the remote control of the device you wish to have turned on two inches towards the infrared port located on your Palm device. Press and hold the power button on the remote for a few seconds and your Palm will have learned that device. Then, after you set your alarm, place your Palm a few feet away from the appliances, preferably directly towards it at an even level, and when the alarm goes off, the appliance should turn on (the Palm device will ring also unless you set the Ring Volume off in Preferences). You can test to see if the Palm device will turn on the appliance by choosing Test Infrared Signal in the drop down menu area.
I tested this feature using several appliances including my television, DVD player, CD player and audio receiver and all of them worked fine. The range of this feature works well too. I tried it anywhere from 3 to 5 feet from the particular appliance and it worked as expected. I tried it at different angles which almost all worked, but it probably is best to keep your Palm at a direct angle to the appliance. There is even an option to boost the signal with a third party application, which theoretically should allow you to use your Palm from a greater distance. Keep in mind that the instructions tell you that not all appliances can be turned on. Most infrared remotes should work, however they tell you that certain brands such as Kenwood will not. Also, AirClock will not turn on appliances that use radio frequencies which means those of you who wish to wake up to the sound of your garage door opening will be out of luck.
Overall, AirClock is a decent clock program for Palm devices (currently the program does not offer full support Palm OS 5) that may be unnecessary for some people. The large number sizes and easy set up make it a nice clock for those that find those characteristics necessary. If you want an alarm clock that wakes you up by having your remote controlled TV, radio, or CD player turn on, then this program is definitely for your. If none of that is important to you, you may just want to stick with the standard clock built in with your Palm device.
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