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Is there an application for iOS devices similar to "Announce the time" feature in Mac OS X? This feature simply announces time every hour/half hour/quarter hour with preselected voice.

My idea is that I would start playing music or podcast or run some game, and this app would announce the time in timely fashion (from the background). I searched the App Store for some obvious keywords, but didn't find anything useful yet.

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3 Answers

You could achieve this in a roundabout manner using Prowl, which will get you a growl notification pushed to your iOS device. Setup a simple script that uses growlnotify to push the time via a cronjob, and setup prowl to push it out to your iOS. It may not be exact timing, but it's a possible solution if "near enough" is "good enough"

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As Joe indicated, the reason why you have not found an app to do this is because apps simply can't.

Backgrounding apps can do very little, and even things that they can do are limited to generating a notification which you must acknowledge in order for the app to actually carry out it's task. For example; Skype can background and detect a call, but you must still acknowledge the notification to open the app, and have anything meaningful actually occur. Additionally, backgrounded radio stations / audio streams can continue to stream, and even change channels or support some feature that responds to the "skip forward" and "skip backward" media controls, but if the network connection is broken the app is suspended and will not do anything further until you re-open it.

Sadly, this is also not part of the accessibility features built into iOS, perhaps you could file a bug and request the feature be added in a future software version?

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I have in fact found few apps and I'm now creating my own app to do the same. My app uses local notification mechanism to play sounds on specific times. No alert, no message, just sound. Although documentation says you should not do this, I think it should be fine if user explicitely allows that. Nice thing is that after setting up notifications, these are delivered/executed regardless of whether app runs or not. –  Peter Štibraný Mar 26 '12 at 5:20
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I think this might run up against the 'backgrounding' issue - unless your phone is jailbroken... On the other hand it's not far from what the nikePlus app does where it talks over your music... On a jailbroken device it's relatively simple to write a script for it I think (I just ssh'd into my device and a combination of 'speak' and 'date' commands at the terminal produced the behaviour you're looking for...).

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