An Excellent Countdown Timer

About This App

This is an app that has been designed specifically for public speakers, or assemblies where speaking time is limited. It has three display modes, all of which feature HUGE displays; designed to be as visible and uncomplicated as possible.

It has various modes of alarm, from a simple flashing screen, to the addition of beeps and vibration.

It also features a “gesture-driven” approach, so you can easily control the app using taps and swipes.

You can add as many preset timers as you like, so there’s no need to go back and change the time, for example, if you’re timing a “2-minute warning.” Just create a timer that is only 2 minutes long, and run it after the first timer ends. You can also give the 2-minute timer a different display color.

Where to Get the App


This is the app on the Apple App Store

Usage Instructions

The Timer List

The Timer List Page

The first tab of the app is the “Timer List,” and is represented by a small “gear” icon. This displays a list of all the timers that you have created.

Each timer is displayed in a manner that will tell you which mode it’s in (We’ll cover timer modes below). If the mode is “Digital” or “Dual,” then the time display will be shown in a “Digital” font, and the name and time will both be the color selected for the digital display. If the timer is in “Podium” mode, then the time display will be a white default font.

For “Podium” and “Dual” modes, there will also be a little separator that looks like a traffic light. That indicates that the display will feature the “traffic lights” (more on that below).

You can add as many timers as you like, by pressing the “+” button at the top, right of the screen. Remove timers by swiping left over the timer in the list.

If you create more than four timers (iPhone) or seven timers (iPad), the Tab Bar on the bottom will bring in a “More” item at the bottom, but the list will display all of the timers with no interruption.

The timer icons in the main Tab Bar will show the set time for the timer, but the time will be 00:00:00 in the displays in the “More” screen (Technical limitation).

We will cover the switch at the bottom of the display a bit later.

Timer Modes (Running Timer Screen)

The timer can run its display in three different modes. Each features a HUGE, simple display.

The timer works by counting down from the set time for each timer, to 00:00:00 (Hours:Minutes:Seconds). Maximum time is 23:59:59. Minimum time is 00:00:01. The countdown is in seconds, and is quite accurate.

While the timer is active, the device will not go to sleep. You should keep this in mind, with regards to battery usage.

Upon alarm (reaching 00:00:00), the screen will pulse red, and a sound/vibration may or may not occur (according to the setting).

Tapping a timer in alarm will cancel the alarm, and reset the timer to its preset time.

We’ll cover gesture control of the timer in greater detail below.

Digital Mode

Display Mode Digital

Digital Mode features nothing but a simple display of “LED” digits, counting down in decrements of a second.

If you are displaying the controls, they will be shown in a narrow navigation bar at the top of the screen (more on this later).

The “LED” display has been especially crafted to have an appearance reminiscent of old-fashioned “Fluorescent” displays, with a hexagonal grid just barely visible over the elements, and a brief “flash” as the display changes.

There are no “warning thresholds” for Digital Mode, but you can select from a range of colors for the display.

Podium Mode

Display Mode Podium

Podium Mode has a very simple display of only three “Traffic Lights.”

Upon start, the green “light” is displayed. When a “Warning” threshold is met, the screen flashes yellow, and the yellow “light” is displayed. When a “Final Moments” threshold is met, the screen flashes orange, and the display switches to the red “light” being displayed.

These thresholds can be set in the timer settings (more on that later), and can be different from timer to timer.

There is no way to change the display colors in Podium Mode. It will always be Green – Yellow – Red.

Dual Mode

Display Mode Dual

In Dual Mode, we have the same “LED” display as in Digital Mode, and the three “Traffic Lights” of Podium Mode displayed at the bottom.

The digital display can have its color selected, but, as in Podium Mode, the “Traffic Lights” display as Green – Yellow – Red.

Dual Mode does allow setting “warning thresholds,” and the screen will flash as each is reached.

Timer Controls

Along the top of the running timer screen, it is possible to display some classic “Run/Stop/Pause/Fast Forward/Rewind” controls.

If the switch at the bottom of the Timer List tab is “On” (green), then this bar will be shown along the top of the running timer screen:

Timer Controls

Stop

This is the leftmost button (a simple square). Touching this button stops the timer (if it is running), resets it to the preset time, and returns you to the main timer screen (more on that later).

If the timer is running, when this button is touched, the screen will flash red, just before switching to the main screen.

If the timer is already paused, the flash will be white.

Rewind

The next button (left-facing arrow, terminated by a vertical bar) is the “rewind” button. Touching this button will stop the timer, and reset it to its preset time, but does not dismiss the timer screen. It leaves the timer at its starting position, in a “paused” state.

The screen will flash red if this button is touched.

Fast Forward (or End Timer)

The next button is a right-pointing arrow, terminated by a vertical bar.

Touching this button will cause the timer to immediately go to 00:00:00, and trigger the end alarm (Flashing red screen, and any sounds or vibrations you have set).

Start/Pause

The rightmost button is either a right-pointing arrow (start) or two vertical bars (pause).

If the timer is running, then the button will be in the “pause” state (two vertical bars). Touching it will cause the timer to stop decrementing.

If the timer is paused, then the button will be in the “start” state (right-pointing arrow). Touching it will cause the timer to continue decrementing.

This button will not change the current timer time. It will not rewind the timer, and will not return you to the main timer screen.

The screen will flash red if this button is touched while the timer was running, and is now being paused, and green, if the timer was paused, and is now running.

Alarm State

Regardless of the timer mode, if it is in alarm state (blank screen, flashing red, with or without sounds and/or vibration), only the Stop and Rewind buttons will be enabled.

Alarm State

Gestures

The app can be controlled by gestures (swipe left/right, and tap). The results of these gestures are dependent upon which screen you’re in. In some screens, they will be ignored.

Taps

In most screens, taps will behave as expected.

The one exception is a running timer, where taps either pause or start the timer. If the timer is in Alarm State, then a tap “rewinds” the timer.

Swipes

In Most Pages:

You can navigate between tabs with swipes to the left or right.

In the timer List:

A left-swipe over an item in the Timer List will bring up the “Delete” option for the timer.

In a Running Timer:

A left-swipe will rewind the timer. If the timer is already rewound (at its initial value and paused), then a left-swipe will stop the timer (return you to the main timer screen).

A right-swipe over a timer, running or paused, will fast-forward (end) the timer, and put it into Alarm State.

Timer Pages

Timer Page

This is the page that is shown when you select a timer from the Timer List, or from the Tab Bar.

It has a segmented switch that allows you to select what mode the timer will run in, and three wheels to set the timer’s hours, minutes and seconds. This time will be the preset time for that timer.

Above the wheels, is a display of the time. It will be displayed as a colored “digital” number if the Timer Mode is “Digital” or “Dual,” and white system font if the mode is “Podium.”

If in “Digital” or “Dual” mode, the color of the display will reflect the selected timer display color (more on that, later).

If the timer is set to 00:00:00, these will be the only controls, and the Start button in the navigation bar will be disabled.

However, if you have a set time, the navigation bar Start button will be enabled, and a big Start button will appear below the segmented switch:

Set Time Display

Touching either of these buttons will bring in the running timer page (discussed above), and start the timer.

Timer Settings Pages

Each timer can have a number of independent settings, that apply only to that timer.

If you select the button in the top, left of the page (Labeled “Timer X Settings”), it will bring up a fairly involved page:

Digital Mode

When “Digital Mode” Is Selected

Podium Mode

When “Podium Mode” Is Selected

Dual Mode

When “Dual Mode” Is Selected

The top three segmented switches will be the same, but the bottom displays will change, according to the mode selected in the “Timer Mode” switch.

Alert Mode Switch

This controls any audible or vibrational alarms. Depending on the selection, you can have:

  • Silent (No sound or vibration -only the flashing red screen)
  • Vibrate (No sound, but vibration -if supported by the device. For example, iPads don’t have vibration)
  • Sound (No vibration, only a sound, selected below)
  • Both (Vibration -if supported- and a selected sound)

Alert Sound Switch

If the Alert Mode switch is set to “Sound” or “Both,” then this switch will be enabled.

It is simply a choice of five different beeps, with the lowest pitch on the left (1), and the highest pitch on the right (5).

Selecting a sound will play it briefly.

Timer Mode Switch

This will select the Timer mode. The controls below this switch will change to reflect the selected mode.

Digital or Dual Mode:

There will be a wheel immediately below the Timer Mode switch. This will allow you to choose a color for the “Digital LED” display.

Podium or Dual Mode:

Two wheels will appear below the Timer Mode switch (or the Color Selection wheel).

These will be preset to an automatically calculated set of times, the first time they appear. Neither of them can be more than the timer’s preset time:

Podium Warning (Yellow) Time

This is the threshold time at which the “Traffic Lights” in Podium or Dual Mode change from green to yellow (with a yellow flash).

It must be less than the total time set by the timer.

Podium Final (Red) Time

This is the threshold time at which the “Traffic Lights” in Podium or Dual Mode change from yellow to red (with an orange flash).

It must be less than the Yellow time.

Gesture-Only Mode

If you turn off the switch at the bottom of the Timer List screen, the navigation bar with the controls will not be displayed in the running timer:

No Control Bar

This is a great mode for experienced users, as it makes the display as simple as possible.

In this mode, the only way to control the timer is with taps (pause, continue) and swipes (rewind, fast forward and stop). For example, you will be able to mimic the Stop button with two consecutive left-swipes (Rewind, then Stop).

The Info Screen

Info Screen

If you touch the “Info” button at the top, left of the Timer List Screen, you are shown the Info Screen, which is a very simple screen with a link to this page.

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