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Huge, bold, typography is cool. I mean, letters are just impressive that way. Microsoft understands this, and it’s all over Windows 8 (and Windows Phone 8, in particular). But what if you use Android and want to enjoy the same sort of textual aesthetic, without outright copying Windows Phone 8?
Well, if you really want extreme customization, there’s Minimalistic Text, a great way to create text-only widgets. A slightly more dated option is the BITS widget, which I wrote about back when it was still in XDA forums. But if you’re looking for a quick way to end up with a beautiful all-text homescreen, you should check out WP Clock Live Wallpaper. It’s not as customizable, but it’s simple, has over a million installs, and boasts an impressive 4.3-star average out of over 23,000 user reviews – so it must be getting something right.
It’s Not Free
Let’s get the negative bits out of the way first: WP Clock is not free. I know it shows up as free on Google Play, but don’t fall for it: In its free version, much of the app is disabled, and you need to pay via in-app purchase to enable all of its features.
It’s not expensive: $2 at the time of this writing, which is reasonable enough for a nice Android utility. But I have no idea why the author chose to implement payment as an in-app purchase – it just feels a bit scammy. So there, now you know.
Also, if you’ve owned the previous version of WP Clock, you can email the developer for a free registration code, so you don’t have to pay twice for a product you’ve already bought. That’s nice, and that’s what I personally did (I bought the old version quite a while ago). So for the rest of this review, I’ll be demonstrating what you can do with the paid version.
Out Of The Box
Above you see the default WP Clock configuration, as it comes out of the box. The pixelated part on the bottom-right corner is my WiFi SSID (the network name) – obviously, it’s not pixelated in actual use. Other than that, you can see at a glance the cellular operator, the current time, day of the week, date, week number (51, the year’s almost up), the year, and the battery percentage (100% at the moment). The layout is nice and dense, which means there are lots of spaces for icons on the bottom half of the screen. In use, it looks like this:
Note the subtle gradient effect on the clock itself – that’s something that doesn’t show up in the preview, but happens automatically as you apply the wallpaper.
Tweaks and Customizations
What’s nice about WP Clock is that it doesn’t take a lot of work out of the box, but it does let you change things around. The customization menu is extensive, neatly divided into the wallpaper’s various bits. You get to it by tapping Settings > Appearance:
Let’s say I don’t want my network SSID displayed. I just scroll down the list to “wifi” (yes, it’s all lowercase for some reason, maybe there was no budget for capital letters), and tap it. The resulting screen lets me toggle and customize that specific part of the wallpaper:
I can change the color, include the signal strength, tweak the opacity, and customize the font and its outline. Most importantly, I can just toggle that part of WP Clock off, which is just what I’ve done.
Other elements are trickier to toggle off. Take, for example, the “week number” element:
At first glance, there’s no way to toggle it off. But if you start moving the slider under “show element in year”, it changes to “day in year” on one end, and “none” on the other. Not exactly a standard usage of a slider, but you get used to it.
After a bit more playing around, I wound up with the wallpaper you see above. Gone is the SSID and the carrier information, and now there’s a little “charging” icon next to the battery percentage. I also changed the background color: You can opt for a solid color or any image, and I went with a solid, dark shade to minimize distractions. If you did something similar and now all you need is a cool background you can overlay your swanky new clock on, check out my post introducing the world’s best free mobile wallpaper app.