Sony’s had an elegant app in the app store for a while: α Clock. It is a collection of fixed point images from around the world, highlighting many beautiful landscapes and cities. Now Sony has added TV support to the app, allowing any Android TV user to download it as well. It works as a standalone app and as a Daydream.
When you first load it, you see the instructions. Throughout the day, the photo updates based on the actual time, showing you the same location in the morning, afternoon, and evening.
However, Sony’s added “time-shift UI”, meaning you are able to control the photo currently displayed. While in the app, just hit the up or down button and you’ll view a menu. You can go earlier by pressing up and later by pressing down.
If you want to check out another location, you can scroll through a list by pressing left or right. Each series of photos need to be downloaded on their own, presumably to save storage space. This list seems to continue being updated as more photos are made available. You are also able to delete photosets you no longer want in order to save memory.
This app seems to be adapted for TVs very well. The UI is elegant and also easy to understand. Plus the photography is amazing. I am a bit disappointed that neither the daydream nor the standalone app displays the real-world time, as that’s something I like to have in my daydream.
You may wonder what Sony’s purpose is in doing this, and what the α means. The photos were taken by a Sony camera, part of the α series. This app is a collection of photos that Sony has curated in order to demonstrate the picture quality of their cameras. It’s an idea that has become a great interactive art display, although it is missing a bit in functionality that would make it a more useful app.
The app is free to download on Google Play.