Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter. Matthew Panzarino was Managing Editor at TNW. He's no longer with the company, but you can follow him on Twitter.
Each day I make myself a pot of coffee with my simple glass Chemex brewer. To do this I need to time three separate processes, every morning.
First, I set a timer for about a minute and a half. That’s how long it takes my electric kettle to boil 20 ounces of water to around 205 degrees. Then I set a timer for my ‘bloom’ pour, about 30 seconds to release the flavor in the coffee. Then I set a timer for 4 minutes as I pour the full amount of water through the grounds, as that’s the maximum amount of time it should take the water to pass through the 6 tablespoons of coffee.
And that’s all before breakfast. I set a lot of timers.
Normally I just use Siri to do this, as she will set multiple timers on my iPhone 4S. But there are a couple of disadvantages to that. The timers, although set, are not constantly visible, and I have to ask Siri how long is left to get them to come back up.
I can, of course, use the built-in Clock app on my iPhone, but it’s super fiddly to set and trigger timers, especially if you have to do three within a short period of time.
This is where a sweet little app I’ve been testing, called Timer, comes in. It’s a simple utility that features 12 buttons, each one representing a timer. 9 of those buttons are programmable presets and three are ‘one off’ jobs.
You can see that I’ve set the top row to my coffee timers. The third one is running, as is shown by the lit button. Each button allows you to trigger a timer with a simple tap. The buttons are nice and large, for easy use.
This fits in well with Fits’ Law, a model for human movement that UI designers use to determine how big to make touch targets. I’m greatly simplifying here, but basically it states that the faster you want your user to be able to reach for and hit a target, the larger you want that target to be.
These buttons are big, have customizable colors and labels and are extremely easy to see and tap. If you need to set more than one timer on a daily basis, the $1 price tag of Timer is a bargain.
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