Monday is Teahouse/Tea Room, Accessory and Brand Review Day!
There are several “Tea Timers” which I’ve run into on the iTunes AppStore. My Tea Timer is the first of my encounters.
|Title||My Tea Timer|
|Publisher||Desire Life Software|
When you first launch My Tea Timer you’ll be presented with a mug which has a tea bag in it. I almost wish it was an infuser or something… but you’ll see why it doesn’t matter in a moment.
This initial screen presents you with “interesting” tea info. From tips to quotes and history, you’re likely to see something you haven’t seen before on this simple screen.
The downside is that the mug with the tea bag remains in the background, making this screen difficult to read at the least. The “info” screen also requires an active internet connection to load this bevy of tea info, which causes the application to load more slowly. My Tea Timer won’t let you move on to another screen until it either loads the “info” or it decides to give up trying.
The next screen (selected by a row of options at the bottom) is a list of favorite timers you’ve set up. This is useful if you decide to use non-standard times for brweing your teas. Since every tea requires slightly different times most “standard” times are based on a general rule of thumb.
The “Favorites” screen is a bit out of place here. It doesn’t come pre-populated with any “standard” times and you can’t add a new timer from this screen making it a bit tricky for first time users.
Moving on we get to a screen labeled as “My Timers”. Here you can add new timers with customized times. You can also mark those timers as “Favorites” automatically placing them on the “Favorites” screen mentioned earlier. Sadly the “Favorites” toggle is automatically marked for every new timer. I would think the default would be set to “off” or that after the first timer you add the default would switch to off as a courtesy. No such luck.
When setting up a new timer you use a “wheel” selector. If you have an iPhone you’re probably familiar with these already. They work much like a slot machine does, except there’s no lever to pull. You simply adjust the settings with your finger. This is a comfortable and useful way to implement this feature.
The final screen is the “Settings” area. You can really only do two things here. Turn vibrate off and on. And Select the alarm sound for when the timer is finished. While some would be annoyed by it, I think having individualized sounds for each timer would be nice. Especially if I have company over, I may be brewing multiple cups at once and it would be helpful to know which cup was finished, when.
For all the griping I’ve done about this product I have to say it could be worse. Although I would have liked to have seen some “basic” timers included to get me started, at least you have the option to create your own timers.
I do like having the “info” option there, but I have to ask if its placement as the primary screen is the right choice. Especially given its requirement for an active network connection (be it WiFi, 3G or EDGE). Perhaps rearranging the tabs for a more effective user experience would help.
It’s a close call between a 2 and a 3 out of 5. I’ll be nice and round up because it’s certainly a valid effort to fill the tea timer niche. But the developer has plenty of work to do to improve the software.