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track your hoursIt’s very easy to lose track of time, especially when you are absorbed in doing something that you really love. As an extreme example, I know someone who had to be hospitalized after playing a strategy computer game non-stop for three whole days – without sleeping and supported only by light snacks. He managed to finish the game earlier than his buddies, but he had to pay a hefty price for the win.

Even though most of us won’t go that far, it’s nice to have something to nudge us along every once in a while, just to remind us that we’ve been doing something for a certain number of hours and it might be a good time to have a break. If you have an iOS device (iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch) user, you might want to try Cuckoo.

Say Cuckoo!

Cuckoo is a simple application that will chime every hour just like a grandfather clock. The app will help you to keep track of the hours that have passed by. But unlike a grandfather clock, you can customize the sound that will be played. You can also choose the working hours of the app so you won’t be bothered during your good night’s sleep (or any other settings that you choose).

After installing the app, you can easily turn the app on and off, and have a quick preview of what kind of sound the app will play. If there’s something that you want to change, you can access the settings from the bottom of the screen.

track working hours

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The settings mainly consist of “General” and “Sound” settings. There’s also the option to follow Cuckoo on Twitter and Facebook.

track time

General Settings” is the place where you can change the start and stop hour. You can set the range to cover the hours when you do your work or any other arrangements that suit you best. To adjust the range, tap the “Start Hour” or “Stop Hour” and tap the time.

track time

Hear More Sounds

In the “Sounds” settings, you can choose one of the many available sounds. However, there’s only two activated sounds when you first start using Cuckoo. To activate the others, you need to “Join The Game“.

track time

Joining the game means connecting Cuckoo with your Facebook and/or Twitter account. This action will put a post on your Facebook wall, or a tweet on your Twitter account, promoting Cuckoo. If you feel uncomfortable allowing Cuckoo to access your account but you want to activate all the sounds, you could create a new Facebook/Twitter account and link Cuckoo to it.

track your time

After the linking process is successful, other sounds will be unlocked and ready to use. There’s also the option to “Get More Sounds“.

track your time

There are options to get Animal Sounds, Funny Sounds, and human sounds that will Announce The Time. However, these additional sounds packages are not free. You can buy them for $1 each.

track your hours

After finishing the settings, you can close the app. You don’t have to keep Cuckoo running to make the chime sounds.

Simple But Useful

Cuckoo might not be for everybody, because it does only one thing: chime the hours (even though it does it very well). Some people might also think that Cuckoo is too simple. But I think it’s the simplicity that makes Cuckoo great, and you should try it to get the experience. Even though it’s possible to use iOS’s “Clock” to set off an alarm every hour, setting up those alarms might be troublesome. If you need to hear 12 alarms for the next 12 hours, you’ll need to set 12 different alarms. Cuckoo makes everything easier. The best combination would be using the Clock for a daily alarm, and Cuckoo to fill the gaps between alarms.

One feature that I hope will be added in a future version is the ability to set the chimes for customizable intervals – like 30 minutes, 15 minutes, or 10 minutes. There are choices for 15 and 30 minutes chimes, but they are limited to only “Grandfather” sounds.

I found Cuckoo to be very useful, but different people might have different opinions. What about you? Have you tried Cuckoo? Do you have your favorite free alarm application? Share your opinions using the comments section below.

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