Never underestimate the usefulness of having a clock on a gadget. If you had statistical data about what feature people used the most on their cellphones, I’m pretty sure “checking the time” would rank higher than anything else. Mostly because you normally have to look 2-3 times before you actually pay attention to what the clock says, but that’s another matter. The app I’m reviewing today is a countdown timer for the iPad. It’s free, versatile, and great for….eh…counting down.
The iPad doesn’t come with the clock app that the iPhone has built in. There’s still a clock, just no countdown timer or alarm clock. Luckily there are lots of (free) third party apps for either feature, and they offer more functionality as well. Timer+ is a countdown timer app that sets itself apart from the iPhone countdown timer by letting you run multiple countdowns. This is great for me since I use the countdown timer a lot, for all sorts of things. To be honest, the thing I use it the most for is to remind me to harvest my digital crops in We Rule for the iPad, a freemium type game where you only have to pop in once in a while to make sure nothing burned down which makes it easy to forget. However I also use timers for more practical things, such as cooking and washing clothes (the latter is done in the basement of the apartment building and you have to sign up on a schedule to use the machines, so forgetting to collect can be awkward).
Unlike the iPhone timer app, Timer+ also lets you preset timers and name them. That means you can have timers called “hard boiled eggs”, “pizza”, “washer” or in my case names of various crops. Back when I used the iPhone timer I often set the wrong time because I did it in a hurry and that could be a pain, so it’s nice to just select whatever timer you need in a custom list and know it’s the right amount of time.
There really isn’t a whole to say about such a simple app. It has the usual; various alarms, it can run in the background, push notifications etc. Its simplicity is its strongest point as you don’t need a kitchen timer to be very complicated. There are lots of similar apps in the app store and some of them looked like the developer spent 5 minutes actually coding the functionality, then spent another month designing fancy graphics.
It might be worth mentioning though that there are ads in the app, which is understandable since it’s free. You can remove the ads for $1.99, but they’re not really very annoying. I guess being free is a necessity with these kinds of apps to be able to compete at all, but $2 to support the developer isn’t much if you like the app.
Again, it’s a timer, so there’s not much to say about it. Yet it’s one of the most useful apps I have on my iPad. That’s the beauty of these kinds of gadgets: they can see easily replace dedicated items in doing simple things like showing you time, counting down, or acting as a stopwatch. I still remember back when they had to hand out stopwatches at school in classes like gymnastics and physics. By the time I was in high school, everyone had one on their cellphone. It’s great for the environment though when you don’t need special gadgets to do that sort of stuff.