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Quick Look: MultiTimers for iPhone

Multitimers is a simple app that does exactly as its name implies, and I think it ‘s the kind of app that will flourish when iPhone 4.0 and Local Notifications hit. However, even in its current iteration, Multitimers does a great job of working around the limitations of the iPhone 3.x SDK, so that you can use the app almost as if you were multitasking on current firmware.

MultiTimers is the solution to the problem that is the default Clock app, which features multiple, customizable alarms, but only one, nameless timer. There doesn ‘t seem to be a hard limit to the number of timers you can set within MultiTimers, but I ran into some lag displaying six countdowns simultaneously.

Timers, multiplied
Each timer can be named and assigned a colour, and you set the countdown on each one using the default iPhone time picker. Once set, small timers (one or two minutes) will drift around the screen, while longer timers count down in place.
The display is very minimal and actually reminds me a lot of Tron. Every timer is composed of a numerical countdown and a circular progress bar. The timer colours are neon, and the only controls on-screen are a plus and minus button to add or remove timers. It ‘s an appropriate look for such a laser-focused app.

Once a timer runs out it will ring until you put a stop to it (which can be tough if you ‘re juggling a lot of items in the kitchen and the timer keeps floating around). The Multitimer icon eveb displays a badge on the Springboard to show how many timers are running, but the badge isn ‘t updated live as timers run out. You don ‘t receive any Push notifications either (unlike in BugMe!).
However, what the app does do very well is keep timers active even when you’re in another app. You ‘ll likely want to keep MultiTimers loaded at all times, but in the event of a phone call or a text message, all of your timers will keep going in the background. If a timer runs out while you ‘re away, it will simply show up as *done* and ring like normal. I think it would be a great extra touch if the timers would show how far overdue a certain timer is, but I ‘m not sure if that ‘s possible from a development standpoint.

Problems, minor
I have two minor issues that probably could be fixed, though. My music was paused upon loading MultiTimers, which I don ‘t think was necessary ” if games can pull off music and sound, then a simple timer app should as well. If the problem is volume, then the app could simply instruct the phone to vibrate.

The second issue I had was with certain timers phasing into one another. Removing timers from the app (through deletion or completion) causes other timers to shift position, and sometimes the leftover timers will end up inside one another, which is as awkward as it sounds.

MultiTimers is definitely a niche app, but it features a finely crafted interface that should be incredibly useful in the kitchen, or in any other situation where you need to juggle multiple, time-sensitive tasks (preferably not more than five, though ” unless you like lag).

MultiTimers is available for $1.99 on the App Store

The app was provided by Moby Digital Limited (not the artist) for review on Just Another iPhone Blog. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.

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