iPhone Apps: Timers - 5 in 1 Timer (1/5)

| February 27, 2009

The 5 in 1 Kitchen Timer is an elegantly designed app that tracks multiple items and is super simple to set up. I've been using this timer the longest, so it was natural to start here. (Caution: The clickable links in the headers will take you to the App Store. Don't click on them unless you want iTunes to launch.)

5 in 1 Kitchen Timer (0.99)
This is common-sense design that lets users visually match their kitchen setup with its five timers, which includes four 'burners' and one 'oven'.

If you don't like the colors, you can change them in the settings. The timers themselves are really easy to operate - just tap +5 or +1 buttons to add minutes. It features dings and vibration alarms, an automatic force-awake function (to keep the phone on during use) and a continuity feature, so you can open another app and go back in. The app factors in the elapsed time and puts you back on track.

What you should know:
You can't apply labels or adjust time increments while a timer is running. Also, the alarm only dings three times, not endlessly, so if you somehow miss them, it doesn't keep sounding off. On the up side, the alerts are loud enough to hear if you're anywhere near your phone (and you don't have Linkin Park turned up or something).

When I put the phone to sleep (to shut off the screen and put it in my pocket), the alarm is kind of hit-or-miss. I got it to work occasionally this way, but definitely not consistently.

Not bad. I love being able to keep track 5 things at once (which could be applied to multiple activities, not just cooking). It's very easy to use, and I even like the little icon on the main screen. The fact that it doesn't sound off when the phone's asleep, however, is sort of a dealbreaker for me. I'd like the ability to put it in my pocket without accidentally changing the settings.

That's where Chef Timer comes in.