It’s unlikely that you travel enough to have stayed at a hotel or inn with a view so stunning you’d like to take it with you on your iPhone, but that could be because you’ve never visited the fictional Japanese inn, Yoritsuki.
Yoritsuki is an app for iPhone and iPod touch that replicates seasonal views from a fictitious hot-springs inn in Japan. Designed to be an ambient app for entertainment only, Yorituski does have beautiful graphics and ambient sound and because it includes a clock mode, even has a slightly useful purpose.
When you launch Yoritsuki by Hybrid:Works, the displayed view is based on the current date and time. Thus, if you launch it at 9:00 p.m. and it’s mid-summer, the view out your window will be of fire flies, fully blooming flowers and lush green trees surrounding a back-lit pond at night. However, if you launch it at 9:00 a.m. in the dead of winter, you will see an icy, snowy version of the same trees and pond by the light of day.
Though Yoritsuki is by no means a productive or purposeful app, it does take a unique approach to ambience. It has some interactive capabilities accessible through the displayed tool bar across the bottom of the screen. You can change the views by changing the included shoji designs or slide the shoji to reveal hidden parts of the view. You can also manually change the seasons and switch between day and night. By tapping the clock icon in the top left corner, you can switch to wide-view clock mode. I didn’t see any options to switch between 12 and 24-hour time, and it is set to 24-hour time by default, but it also displays the date in clock mode. If you enjoy the ambient sound effects of birds, crickets, and moving water, leave the sound on, or turn it off while you sleep. Note there is no alarm function included with clock mode.
Yoritsuki makes no claims beyond its visual appeal and while it really is pointless, it truly is easy on the eyes. It would be better if you could pan to the left and right to take in more scenery, as you could if you were taking in a true view, but the stationary view provided is still pleasant nonetheless. If you are looking for a ambient clock app with visual appeal and no other features, then Yoritsuki will deliver that.