SPB Software recently released an updated version of Time. Time is a one-stop shop for all your time-keeping needs, and the updated version (v3.0) is packed full of analog and digital modes, a world clock, timers, stopwatches and alarms. It may very well be all you'd ever need in a time application.
So what's new with v3.0? Here are the highlights:
- Online skin catalog
- Three alarms: Classic, Paranoid, and Bio
- Improved touch UI
- Scrollable Calendar
- Moon Phases
- Mobile Shell Widgets
- New alarm sounds
We took SPB Time v3.0 out for a test drive. More after the break.
One has to wonder why you'd want to buy an application dedicated to time keeping when your Windows phone already has a clock and alarm. Asides from being graphically pleasing, SPB's Time goes beyond simply keeping track of the time and setting alarms. It's an application to help you better manage time and gives you a little more functionality than the native clock and alarm.
Clock and Alarm
I guess it would be silly for an application called Time not to have a clock and alarm feature.
Spb Time really catches your eye with a wide range of analog clock faces. Want a classic watch face? There's a skin for that. Want a sports watch face? There's one for that too. The application comes with a default analog and digital clocks but you have dozens that can be downloaded from SPB.
The alarm feature allows you to create, save and edit alarms. You have a wide range of options available when creating an alarm ranging from occurrence of the alarm to the style (paranoid, classic and bio).
Classic alarms are your run of the mill, straight forward, clock-hits-the-time-and-the-alarm-sounds type alarm. Paranoid alarms is the style you would choose if you are afraid you'll sleep through your alarm. To silence the Paranoid Alarm, you have to solve a puzzle. The Bio Alarm is for those who like to be gently awoken. It starts off by a gentle alarm sound and flashing screen to get you into the mood for waking up then hits the full alarm.
When you establish alarms, icons will appear around the main clock view to serve as reminders of pending alarms. You can modify the alarm by tapping on the icon to enter the edit alarm mode or by dragging the icon around the clock face. I'm on the fence with this feature. It does make it easy to modify an alarm but it also clutters the clock face up a bit.
Stopwatch and Countdown Timer
SPB Time has a stop watch feature that has the basic stopwatch features such as start, stop, pause, clear and save. You can have an unlimited number of lap times and allows you measure time intervals up to .001 seconds.
The countdown timer feature of SPB Time has five preset timers (30 seconds, 1, 5, 10 and 30 minutes) as well as the ability to add custom timers.
World Time and Moon Phases
For those who like to keep track of world times, SPB Time has a global city listing where you can monitor global times. A 3D globe graphically helps you keep track of the time as well.
For those who like to keep track of the moon's phases, SPB Time has a feature for that as well. The calendar component makes it easy to track the lunar phases of the month. SPB notes that the phase calculator is very accurate but the images of the moon's phases are approximations.
Widgets and the Calendar
SPB Time has a calendar feature that has no real functionality other than showing you the calendar. It would have been nice to have this calendar interact with your phone's main calendar or show the dates in which an alarm is set. As is, the calendar is mainly a reference source.
For those running SPB Mobile Shell version 3.5.1 or higher, SPB Time adds widgets for City Time, Moon Phase, Next Alarm and Stopwatch to your Mobile Shell widget list.
SPB Time is graphically pleasing and touch navigation was smooth. While SPB does provide navigational arrows throughout the application, Time puts a lot of emphasis on navigating by touch. For example, setting the time and date for an alarm is done by touch scrolling. You don't have the customary up/down arrows to tap.
The app was stable with no lock-ups or crashes experienced. SPB Time has a few settings to help customize it's functionality ranging from selecting the language to turning off/on sleep timers. I would have liked the option to set SPB Time as the default time manager for the Windows phone.
I have to admit I was a little skeptical on how useful SPB Time could be. Graphically, it adds a lot of flare and pizazz to your Windows phone. With respect to functionality, SPB Time brings a lot to the table with respect to time management. Combine the two and you've got a very good application.
I like the integration with SPB Mobile Shell but would have liked to have seen more interaction available for those who don't use Mobile Shell. It would have been nice to import or link SPB Time's calendar with your Outlook Calendar.
The downloadable skins are a very nice touch and gives you a nice variety of clock faces to choose from. The large selection keeps the graphics from getting dull.
You can pick up a copy of SPB Time in the WMExperts Software Store, as well as a trial version. If you need more functionality to time management than what your native clock and alarm features provide, SPB Time is definitely worth a look.
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