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Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Buzzer, a free countdown timer that shouts and shakes

Buzzer mobile phone countdown timer
All mobile phones have a free stopwatch and a free countdown timer built in. It's been like that for ages. After all, what's the point of leaving them out?

But it seems that Nokia saw a point: their Symbian phones are full of all sorts of programs that are of little or no use, but they have no stopwatch and no countdown timer.

Of course there's some software to fill the gap. The best stopwatch and countdown timer applications for Symbian are BestTimer and Time Machine, but unfortunately they cost more than a real hardware timer. And if you're looking for freeware, you'll be looking for a long time.

Buzzer is one of the very few (maybe the only) free phone countdown timer programs that work. It can tell you that time's up with noise, vibrations, or both. Buzzer is not a real Symbian application (it's written in mobile Java), you'll need to have warning tones switched on (don't forget to switch 'em off if you want your camera to be silent), and its user interface could use a few improvements too.

But it's better than nothing, so if you want to count down for free then go get Buzzer.



dev said...

Just curious, how would you improve the user interface? I found it more intuitive than the built in timer on Nokia S40...

symbian underground said...

1) What about softkey labels on the main screen. An "options" menu for the left key, "start" for the central key, "exit" for the right key?

2) Increased resolution of the program icon, because it looks very bad on screens with a resolution of 240x320 and up.

3) Maybe the program could detect if warning tones are off, so it could warn the user to switch them on if they don't want to miss the alarm. "About" screens tend to get overlooked.

4) What about a "preview" of the alarm sounds in the settings screen? That saves people the trouble of setting a one second alarm to test them.

5) When you're in the second screen (after hitting a softkey), what about "back" (to the main screen) under the left softkey instead of leaving it empty?

Of course a few extra features (multiple alarms, save alarms and give them names, using the phone's own volume slider, custom alarm tones, stopwatch) would be welcome too, but that's something for a review of a future version of the program.

Christoph said...

I just installed Buzzer on my Motorola Z6W, and it works awesome!

It DOES allow me to set it up as one of the shortcuts on my home screen, which is great, and I agree the icon needs to be improved for 240x320 and greater screen resolution.

Hint: The "church organ", is a loud, piercing, and long series of tones. If you want to make sure you don't miss it, go with that.