Best Timer ($1.99) by Smartphoneware is a beautiful timer app for your iPhone and iPad.
Here’s the truth – our iPhones and other gadgets have replaced many things in our lives. So why shouldn’t we also replace the concept of a timer with it as well? Best Timer is here to give us a beautiful timer experience on our iDevice.
The first thing you’ll notice with Best Timer is that it truly has a beautiful interface. The app is universal, so it is great for both your iPhone/iPod Touch and iPad. The developers used HD graphics so that it will look great on the large screen of the iPad and the Retina Display of the iPhone 4. Each of the four modes looks fantastic and one can tell that they put a good amount of time into the look and feel of the app.
Best Timer has four modes: Digital Sand Timer, Kitchen Timer (Egg Timer), Countdown, and Stopwatch.
The Digital Sand Timer mode is my favorite in terms of looks – it provides a digital display of an hourglass with sand represented as small pixels. This hourglass is going to last for 10 minutes and you can start and reset it at any time. Once it gets started, you can watch the sand trickle down one by one. When it reaches 00:00, the alarm will go off.
The Kitchen Timer mode lets you set a timer from 00:01 to 59:59 by simply tapping on the screen. When the timer is set, you will see it start ticking down, at which point the alarm will sound off when it reaches 00:00. Again, the timer looks like what we saw on old fashioned kitchen timers and is wrapped in a beautiful design that would look great anywhere.
Countdown Mode is similar to Kitchen Timer, in that you set a designated time and watch it start ticking down. However, there’s some differences between these two modes. Countdown lets you set a timer for a much longer period of time, going up to 99 hours. When the countdown starts, it’s not represented with a traditional timer-like interface, but instead a blue-colored ring that gets filled with black as time decreases.
The last mode is Stopwatch, which let’s you time things like any old stopwatch would do. You have choices between two modes: Lap and Split. You can tap the button at the top to change between the modes, which will change the button that is in the middle. The button in the middle (between Play/Stop and Reset) will let you record the time for the lap or split underneath the buttons. As you press the button additional times, there will be more and more results, all of which can be copied onto the device clipboard.
As I watched the Stopwatch timer, I noticed that the nanoseconds seems to have some odd bit of counting. Instead of showing every digit in a fast sequence, it’s a bit slow and shows even and odd numbers in a sequence. I noticed that it would be something like: even, even, odd, odd, even, even, etc. I’m not sure why this is, and it makes it feel weird since the lag is noticeable when you’re watching it. It’s not smooth, and bugs me. I hope the developer addresses this issue in the future.
The app does not need to be open all the time to get the alarms to sound – multitasking is supported (since the app requires iOS 4.0) so you won’t ever miss that timer!
Overall, the app has a great interface and has four useful timer modes. However, I sometimes feel that the way they designed the app makes it waste screen space – there are some empty corners and black space around the white borders. It looks nice, but wastes space. Another feature that would be nice to have is to have multiple timers at once. I also hope that the .01 second issue in Stopwatch mode gets fixed.
Even with these minor flaws, Best Timer is still handy to have and not critically affected. So if you’re in the market for a timer app for your iDevice, consider checking out Best Timer.