We’ve all had the experience. You’re out to dinner with friends and splitting the check has become an exercise in futility. Sure you could do the math, either in your head or by using the built in calculator on that cool Windows Mobile device you carry in your pocket; but both of those require thinking, which can be a lot to ask for.
Tipper for Windows Mobile Pocket PC (their name for it, one of these days the developers are going to catch up to the new naming scheme for Windows Mobile), solves this problem. Tipper is designed to assist in calculating tips and split checks between multiple people.
There are some twists to this application, which are detailed for you after the break.
As I said, the primary function of Tipper is to calculate your tip and then divide the check between different people. Tipper does this by taking three things into account. The first is the number of people paying, which can be entered by either tapping the up or down arrows (or using your d-pad) or by simply typing a number. The check amount is simply the total price of your order, which must be entered with a keyboard or number pad. The last variable is the tip percentage, which can be configured from 0% to 50%.
I would’ve liked to see the input be a little easier. A simple number pad or slider bar would have been a better interface to some of the functionality. Also, this application is not very finger friendly. The controls are small and the easiest method to interact is a combination of the stylus and d-pad.
Quirk #1 is the fact that Tipper automatically rounds the total up to the nearest full dollar. They spin this feature as a way to achieve a more simplistic and aesthetically pleasing round number that is cash friendly and looks professional on your expense reports. My problem with this “feature” is that there is no way to turn it on or off. Also, there is no indication as to how much the number was rounded. If Iambic had simply added a field for “Rounded amount” this wouldn’t be an issue. Some people may not want to pay almost a full dollar extra just to get a round number out of the transaction.
Quirk #2 is really more of a complaint. Why is the price for the Windows Mobile version of Tipper ($4.95) more than twice the amount of the iPhone version ($1.99)? I understand that the iPhone app store has standards for pricing, but with the Windows Mobile versions you aren’t paying the piper, so I would think you could lower the price for it and still get a healthy profit. It’s not like this application took a lot of development time and effort as it is just simple math.
After climbing off my soapbox, this is a usable and handy application. Personally I tend to round my checks to the nearest dollar anyway, so that particular quirk doesn’t irritate me too much. Quirk #2 was more of an issue with the mindset of developers than it was against the pricing of this particular piece of software. $4.95 isn’t unreasonable, it just doesn’t seem right that it’s comparably so much higher than the same app on a different platform. I’m sure the reason for this is that there is more competition on the iPhone due to the sheer number of applications being developed for the platform right now.