VoiceoverEasy.net courses are tutorials geared toward blind and visually impaired users of iPhones and iPads with Siri capability, and who use Apple Corporation's accessibility technology called Voiceover to read the screen of their device.

Debug Label

Unit 6: On the Clock.

For iOS 8.

Section 1: Introduction.

In order to display customized text to meet your needs VoiceoverEasy.net needs to know if you want to learn about iPhones or iPads.


DeviceNumber = -1
DeviceType = iOS Device

The Clock Application has several functions which can be handy for day to day use. You can time something cooking on the stove, set an alarm to wake you up, use a stopwatch to find out how long it takes you to run that mile, or find out what time it is in many major cities around the world. This lesson covers all four functions. The lesson objectives are:

SECTION 2: Launching the Clock.

Let's start by launching the Clock application. There are several ways to do this.

You can also use Siri to activate many functions of the Clock application without having to open the clock first. Examples of this will be seen throughout the rest of this lesson.

NOTE: The appointments and reminders we studied in the previous two lessons will synchronize across multiple devices, but in the testing done by VoiceOver-Easy.net, alarms do not.

2.1: The "Tab" Item.

The Clock application has four tabs. Tabs are used to divide an application into several screens that are equal in hierarchy, in much the same way that tabs divide a notebook into sections. Tabs appear at the bottom of the application screen. No matter which tab you select, all the tabs will still remain visible and in the same location. This emulates the behavior of the Dock on the home screen grid. You Select a Tab item just like you do with a button.

SECTION 3: From the Bottom Up.

Let's take a look at the Clock application screen starting at the bottom. There are four tabs at the bottom of the clock which correspond to it's different functions. From left to right they are; "World Clock," "Alarm," "StopWatch," and ""Timer." Use the Explore gesture to hear each item. Note that VoiceOver says the word "Tab" after each item to tell you the type of item it is. VoiceOver will also say, "Selected," before one of the tab names. This is to tell you that this is the currently selected tab, and what is above the tab row are the controls for that function.

The clock application remembers which tab was selected when it was last closed, and returns to that tab when it is launched again. Use an Activate gesture on the World Clock tab so we can start the next section.

SECTION 4: the World Clock Tab.


DeviceNumber = -1
DeviceType = iOS Device

4.1: Adding a City to the List.

When you press the Add Button, a list of cities throughout the world is displayed. The cities are listed alphabetically. At the top of the list is a Search Field. You can enter a city name, country name, or country abbrieviation to narrow down the list.

If you Explore to the right side of the list, VoiceOver will say, "Table Index, Adjustable." When the Table Index is the Current Item, you can use the Move Forward and Backward gestures to jump through the list one starting letter at a time. You can also use the Zip To gesture to move more quickly through the letters.

When you find the city you want to include, make it the Current Item and use the Select gesture. You will be returned to the World Clock Screen, and the city will be added to the list.

4.2: The Cities List.


DeviceNumber = -1
DeviceType = iOS Device

4.3: Deleting a City from the List.

  1. Press the Edit button in the upper left corner of the City List.
  2. Explore down the list until you find the city to delete. Each row has three buttons. There is a Delete button on the left, the long button in the middle with the city name, and a reordr button on the right.
  3. Activate the Delete button on the left. The Reorder button on the right changes to Another Delete button.
  4. Activate the second Delete button to remove the city from the list.
  5. Press the Done button or close the Popup window when you are finished deleting cities.

4.4: Reordering the Cities.

  1. Explore down the right side of the screen until you find the reorder button for the city you want to move.
  2. Use the Tap-hold gesture on the button.
  3. Without lifting your finger, Explore up or down the screen. As you move your finger VoiceOver will announce the position the city will move to if you lift your finger at that point.

SECTION 5: The Alarm Tab.


DeviceNumber = -1
DeviceType = iOS Device

5.1: Adding an Alarm.

Let's create an alarm to wake you up in time to go to work. For purposes of this exercise, VoiceOverEasy.net will assume you work on weekdays, and that you need to wake up at 6:00 AM in order to get to work on time. If you would like to change the hour to match your actual schedule, go ahead. Press the "Add" button at the right side of the Action Row just below the Status Bar. The Add Alarm Screen appears.

There is an Action Row at the top with a Cancel button on the left, the "Add Alarm" heading in the center, and a Save button on the right.

Setting the Time for the Alarm.

  1. Explore down from the Action Row. You will find a row of three Picker Items where you can setthe time you want the alarm to go off.
  2. NOTE: When a Picker Item becomes active, the Rotor automatically dials itself to the Adjust Value function. You can use the Increment and Decrement gestures to change the value for each item.

  3. Make the hour Picker Item on the left side of the row the Current Item and use the Increment and Decrement gestures to set the hour to 6, or whatever time you prefer.
  4. Use the Next Item gesture to change the current item to the Minutes Picker Item.
  5. Use the Increment and Decrement gestures to set the Minutes picker item to zero, or to the time you prefer.
  6. Use the Next Item gesture again to change the Current Item to the AM/PM Picker item.
  7. Be sure it is set to AM. Having this set wrong is one of the most common mistakes made in setting alarms.

If we were to hit Save right now, our alarm would go off once tomorrow morning, and that would be it. Since we need it to repeat every weekday, let's look a little further.

Making an Alarm Repeat.

  1. Explore down from the row of Picker Items. You will find a button that VoiceOver reads as, "Repeat, Never," but VoiceOver doesn't tell you it's a button.
  2. Press this button. You will be taken to the Repeat Options Menu.
  3. There is a Back button at the upper left corner, and seven buttons in a column below it that are labeled "Every Sunday," "Every Monday," and so on.

  4. Explore until you find the "Every Monday" button and use a Select gesture on this button. If you explore over the button again, VoiceOver will now say, "Selected, Every Monday."
  5. Repeat this process for the "Every Tuesday, "every Wednesday, "Every Thursday," and "Every Friday" buttons.
  6. Since there is no cancel option, take a moment to Explore all the options again, and make sure VoiceOver says, "Selected" before all the right ones. If they are wrong, correct them.
  7. Press the Back button to close this menu.

If you Explore over the Repeat button again, VoiceOver now says, "Repeat, Weekdays."

Labeling Your Alarm.

By Default your iOS Device gives each alarm you create the name, "Alarm," which is not very informative. Let's change the name of this alarm to "Time for Work," so we can distinguish it from other alarms we might create.

  1. Explore down from the Repeat button until VoiceOver says, "Label," followed by the word Alarm. Again, VoiceOver doesn't tell you this is a button.
  2. Press the button. A Text Field appears with the word "Alarm" in it.
  3. Edit the text Field so that it says, "Time for Work," using the techniques discussed in VoiceOver Basics, Editing Text Fields.
  4. Press the Back button in the upper left corner.

If you Explore over the Label button again, VoiceOver will now say, "Label, Time for Work."

Setting the Alarm Sound.

Below the Label button is another button which VoiceOver reads as "Sound," followed by the sound which is selected to be played when the alarm goes off. Pressing this button takes you to the Sound Selection Screen.

The screen for selecting sounds has an Action Row at the top. When the screen is activated, There is a heading which Voiceover reads as to indicate the type of sound you are selecting, and to indicate the Current Item. Use the Next Item gesture to move to the Sound Volume Picker Item.

The Sound Volume Picker Item.

This Picker Item allows you to adjust the overall volume of your iOS Device in 10% increments. You make the adjustments useing the Increment and Decrement gestures. Be careful not to turn your volume down to zero. If you do, you won't be abale to hear Voiceover.

Change With Buttons.

This button toggles the ability of the volume Up and Down buttons on the side of the iOS Device to affect the volume of the Ringers and Alerts.

The Sound Selection Screen.

Explore a little further down and you will find a heading which reads as, Default. Below this is a button which Voiceover reads as, "Selected," followed by the name of the sound that is played by default for an Alarm sounds. If you Activate this button, you will hear the default sound. However, if you want to change the devault sound, it must be done from the Settings App.

The Sound List.

The list of available sounds begins immediately below the Action Row. The list is divided into two sections, ring tones and Alerts. If you dial the rotor to the Headings function, you can move quickly between the two sections with a Set Mode gesture. You can set any sound from either section as a sound as follows:.

  1. Make one of the sound buttons the Current Item.
  2. Use the Select gesture to select the sound and play it.

At the end of the ring tones and the Alerts sections there are "Classic" buttons. They open other screens with even more sounds. There's some good stuff here, so don't forget to check it out.

Use the ", Back" button at the upper left to return to the previous Screen.

NOTE: When you press the ", Back" button, the last sound you played will be the sound set for the sound. If you decide you liked the previous setting best, be sure and select the sound again before exiting the Sound Selection Screen.

Controling the Snooze Option.

Below the Sound button there is another button that VoiceOver reads as, "Snooze, Switch Button, on." If this button is set to On, then a snooze option will appear when the alarm goes off. If it is off, there is no snooze option. Press or Activate the button to toggle between the two settings.

Saving Your Alarm.

To save your alarm, simply press the Save button on the right side of the Action Row.

Adding an Alarm with Siri.

You could also do the same thing with Siri. You don't even need to launch the Clock Application. Activate Siri and say, "Set Alarm called Time for Work for every week day at 6:00 AM," but if you want to remove the snooze option or change the sound, you'll have to create the alarm first. After you create it, you can go back in and edit these settings.

Let's try creating a different alarm with Siri. Activate Siri and say, "Set alarm for every Sunday at 9:00 AM called Wake up Time for Church."

5.2: The Alarms List.

Temporarily Suspending a Repeating Alarm.

You may be on vacation. In that case, you don't want your Time for Work alarm to go off every weekday at 6. You can suspend the alarm temporarily by doing the following:

  1. Explore down the Alarms List until you find the alarm you want.
  2. Use an Activate gesture. VoiceOver will switch the state of the alarm to Off or Inactive.

Sadly, all vacations must end. When you are ready to turn the alarm back on, repeat the steps above, and the alarm will be turned on again.

You can also use Siri to turn alarms on and off. For example, if we want to enable or disable the alarm called, "Time to Wake Up for Church," we would use one of these commands.

  • Activate Alarm, Time to Wake Up for Church."
  • Turn On Alarm, Time to Wake Up for Church.
  • Deactivate Alarm, Time to Wake Up for Church.
  • Turn Off Alarm, Time to Wake Up for Church.
  • Cancel alarm, Time to Wake Up for Church.

Actually, the word "Alarm" is not necessary in any of these commands, but it makes the speech sound a little more natural.

5.3: Deleting Alarms.

There are four ways to do this. For three of them the Alarm List must be in Edit mode. Press the Edit button on the left side of the Action Row of the Alarms List. When you do, the Edit button becomes a Done button, and and a small button appears on the left side of each row. VoiceOver reads the new button as, "Delete," followed by the name of the alarm.

Using the Delete button.

The Delete button appears at the left side of each row in the list. Activate the button that corresponds to the alarm you want to delete. The button disappears, and another Delete button appears on the right side of the row. Press this delete button to complete your action.

Using the Actions Function of the Rotor.

  1. Make the alarm you want to delete the Current Item. You must use the long buttton in the row, not the short Delete button on the left. The rotor automatically dials itself to the Actions Function.
  2. Use the Set Mode gesture until VoiceOver says, "Delete."
  3. Use an Activate gesture.

From the Alarm Editing Screen.

There is a Delete button at the bottom of the Alarm Editing Screen. See Section 5.4 below.

Using Siri

Simply activate Siri and say, "Remove alarm" followed by the alarm name as it appears in the list. For example, "Remove alarm, Time to Wake Up for Church."

IMPORTANT! You cannot Undo a delete. You will have to create the alarm over again from scratch.

5.4 Changing Alarm Settings.

If you want to change any of the settings for an alarm, the Alarm List must be in Edit Mode. If there is an Edit button at the left side of the Action Row, Use an Activate gesture to enter Edit Mode. The button will change to Done. Now follow these steps:

  1. Explore down the Alarm list until the alarm you want to edit becomes the Current Item. The rotor dials itself to the Actions Function.
  2. IMPORTANT! Be sure that you are not exploring down the small buttons on the left side of the list. If VoiceOver is saying, "Delete," then move your finger to the right.

  3. Use an Activate gesture on the alarm you want to change. The Edit Alarm screen appears. This screen is nearly identical to the Add Alarm screen, and you can change any setting using the techniques already discussed in Section 5.1 above. At the bottom of the screen below the Snooze button is a Delete Alarm button, as discussed in Section 5.3 above.
  4. When you are done making changes, press the Save button at the right side of the Action Row. You will be returned to the Alarms List. If you want to edit another alarm, you must press the Edit button again.

SECTION 6: The StopWatch Tab.

The StopWatch function can keep track of total elapsed time, and lap times. At the top of the screen is a heading that says, StopWatch. Below that are two readouts. One is for the total elapsed time, and the other is for the lap time

6.1: Starting and Stopping the Watch.

There are two ways to start and stop the watch. The easiest way is to use the Start/Stop gesture. The second way is to Press the Start button. The Start button is located slightly to the left of the display's center. When you press this button, it changes to the Stop button. Press it again to pause the watch.

When you stop the watch, you are really pausing it. When you start it again, it will begin where it left off. Don't confuse this with the lap timer. The lap timer simply notes the elapsed time when you activate it, but the watch keeps on running.

6.2: Using the Lap Timer.

The Lap button is located to the right of the Start/Stop button. If the watch is not running, then VoiceOver says, "Lap, Dimmed," to indicate that the button is currently disabled. When the watch is running, and you Press this button, the Lap time is recorded and displayed in a list below the Start/Stop button. The list appears in reverse chronological order with the latest lap at the top, and the first lap at the bottom.

You can use the Explore gesture to read the information in the list. As you pass over each row, all the items in the row are read at once. The list contains these items:

  • Lap numbr.
  • Lap Time. This is the time it took to complete each lap. In other words, the time between presses of the Lap button.

NOTE: If you are timing something that requires accuracy to a tenth of a second, then VoiceOverEasy.net recommends that you use theSplit Tap gesture to Press the Lap and Stop buttons. Using the double tap gestures will add time to the watch between the first and second tap of the gesture.

6.3: Resetting the watch.

When the watch is paused, the Lap button becomes the Reset button. Press this button to clear the lap timer list and set the watch back to zero. The Reset button will turn back into the Lap Button, but it will be dimmed.

SECTION 7: The Timer Tab

The timer tab is a great way to time something on the stove or in the oven. It can be used to time a workout, or how long you spend on Facebook, or just about anything else. If you haven't already done so, be sure the Clock application is active, and use the Select gesture on the Timer Tab.

7.1: Setting the Timer.

At the top of the Timer screen just below the Timer heading there are two Picker Items that set the length of time for the timer. The maximum time you can set the timer for is 23 hours and 59 minutes. Let's suppose you want your dinner in the oven for 45 minutes .

  1. Explore down the left side of the display until you find the "Hours" Picker Item.
  2. Use the Decrement gesture to set the Hours Picker Item to 0 hours.
  3. Explore to the right or use the Next Item gesture to move to the Minutes Picker Item.
  4. Use the Increment gesture to set the value to 45 minutes.
  5. Explore down the screen or use the Next Item gesture. You will find a button that VoiceOver reads as, "When Timer Ends, Radar, Button."
  6. Skip this button for now. We'll talk about it later.
  7. Explore down the screen again or use the Next Item gesture. You will find the Start button.
  8. Press this button to Start the timer. Alternatively, you can use the Start/Stop gesture without bothering to look for the button.

Of course, as long as your internet connection is good, you could also do this with Siri. Just activate Siri and say, "Set timer for 45 minutes."

7.2: While the Timer is active.

Once the timer begins, the row where the Picker Items was becomes a label that counts down the remaining time. Make this label the Current Item to hear the time remaining. If you leave it as the Current Item, your iOS Device will speak a running countdown. To stop the audible countdown, just touch another item on the screen.

When the Timer is running, the Start button becomes the Cancel button. This will stop the timer and reset it to the beginning. To the right of the Cancel button is the Pause button. This button pauses the timer and becomes the Resume button. Press it again and the timer will pick upwhere it left off.

You can also use the Start/Stop gesture. It works like the Pause/Resume button.

7.3: Controling the Sound When the Timer Runs Out.

Remember the, "When Timer Ends," button that we skipped? You can use this button to change the sound your iOS Device plays when the time is up. When you press this button, The same screen appears that you used in Setting the Alarm Sound.

7.4: Additional Siri Commands for the Timer.

It's easy to work the timer with Siri. You don't even have to launch the Clock application to do it. Just Activate Siri and try these commands.

  • To start a 1 hour and 25 minute timer say: "Set the Timer for 1 hour and 25 minutes."
  • To pause the Timer say: "Pause Timer," or "Stop Timer,"
  • to restart a paused timer say: "Start Timer," or "Restart Timer."
  • To stop the Timer and Reset say: "Cancel Timer," or "Reset Timer."

7.5: Responding to the Timer.

When the time is up, a Popup appears and a sound plays. There is an OK button on the popup. Press it to clear the popup and stop the alarm sound.

SECTION 8: Exercises.

  1. What command can you give Siri to start the Clock application. What do you need in order for Siri to work properly?
  2. How many Tabs does the Clock application have? What are they?
  3. How many hours ahead of New York City is Cairo? How can you use the Clock application to determine this?
  4. How can you create an alarm that sounds at 5 PM each weekday to signal the end of the work day?
  5. How can you temporarily stop a repeating alarm from sounding?
  6. You want to determine how much time in your favorite 30 minute sitcom is actually devoted to the show instead of commercials. How can you do it using the Clock application.?
  7. You want to find out how much of the New York Times Crossword puzzle you can get done in 60 minutes, but you know you will be interrupted fairly often. How can you use the Clock application to help you?

Click here for answers to this exercise.

Congratulations! This finishes the lesson on the Clock application..

Before you go on to the next lesson, would you like to take the optional survey for this lesson?

Email the Web Master..
© 2014, 2017 VoiceOver-Easy.net
RSS Feed.