iPhone Apps: Other (very cool) timers (5/5)

| February 28, 2009

Sometimes a timer is just a timer. After all, how many bells and whistles can you put on something so straightforward, right? Well, actually, we've covered multi-timers, verbal countdown apps, timers that work when the phone's asleep, and now ? really cool dedicated-use timers.

I checked out these four, but they didn't multi-task too well. But they did succeed in doing what they were meant to do extremely well. So, they make the list of honorable mentions for their creativity and for giving me something I didn't realize I wanted or needed ? but totally do.

eggXactly (0.99)
Super cute visuals that promises the perfect boiled egg. Science nerds may dig this, since it's based on physical experiments and studies. Users input variables, like the egg's temperature, the altitude (manually or automatically via GPS), and the size (by swiping to enlarge/reduce the image on the screen to match your egg). Plus, the clucking chicken alarm is just pure fun. And you can shut off or reset the timer by shaking the phone.

Gourmet Egg Timer (1.99)
Features a photo-realistic egg in water that moves with the phone's accelerometer. Comes with size chart, simple room vs. fridge temperature input, altitude gauge that's manual or automatic (via GPS), and the ability to time multiple eggs. It also continuously tracks elapsed time, so you can switch to another app and come back mid-timing, and forces the phone to stay awake, so you don't miss the alarm.

Tea Time! (0.99)
I admit, I like tea, but I?m no connoisseur. I have no idea how long to steep a cup before it goes bitter or what the time differential is for loose leaf vs. bags. No prob. Tea Time! figures it out automatically. I just put in what I?m having, and it sets the timer for me. The only downside I can see is that the selection is a little limited, to just Black, Green, White, Oolong, and Herbal. Hopefully, future updates will include more varietals, but for now ? fortunately ? I?m an avid Green tea drinker with an easy (and adorable) way to sustain her habit.

Game Timer (0.99)
Love the wooden theme of this app. Not to be confused with Game Timer App, this one features dual interfaces pointed in opposite positions, which is perfect for Chess, Checkers, Go and other games. You can configure the individual start times for handicapping a player, track number of moves per game, play sounds during use, track overtime per player and force the phone to stay awake during use.

So that's it, my top timer apps so far. Wow, I had no idea there was so much to say about timers. Of all the ones I tested, my favorite is probably the Talking Timer, followed by Chef Timer. Both work well even when the phone's asleep, which means I can put it in my pocket and it will vibrate to tell me when time's up without worry. But since I loaded Talking Timer, with its verbal countdown, I have not even slipped once while running into the kitchen ? which is huge for a klutz like me. It warns me when there's 20 seconds left, at which point I just saunter over to my stove to finish cooking, cool as a cucumber.