Review: Tipper

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.

Functionality

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.

Quirks

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.

Conclusion

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.

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Ratings (out of 5)Functionality: 3Quirks: 3Overall: 3/5 ProsEasy to useNice to be able to handle a common problem with a quick and easy solutionConsAssumes that you want to round up to an even dollar amountShould be priced comparably to the iPhone version

George is the Reviews Editor at Windows Central, concentrating on Windows 10 PC and Mobile apps. He's been a supporter of the platform since the days of Windows CE and uses his current Windows 10 Mobile phone daily to keep up with life and enjoy a game during down time.

6 Comments
  • if you need an app to do simple math throw away your WM phone and get a toddlers multiplication tables device. waste of money, time, and effort on the coders part.
  • I agree with the previous person. Why can't anyone do simple math? Years back I went with a family to a restaurant and at the end of the meal, the mom asked her high school son to calculate the tip at 15%. He thought for a while and could not do it. She gave him a helpful hint to calculate 10% and add half of that. He still couldn't do it. Should we not stop giving middle school students the calculators that they have become so used to? Come to think of it, the first time I as a student was allowed to use a calculator was when I entered engg. college.
  • is it protocol to calculate tips based on the pre-tax or post-tax total? (where i'm from svc charges are included in the bill) also hasn't 1-calc been able to do this for quite a while now?
  • I see the programmer getting bad marks because he/she forgot to provide a better finger-based interface for accessing the fields. This should be a function of the OS and not the programmer as it is on my iPhone. By simply throwing something down as a combo box, for example- the OS brings up the options in a finger friendly format. It seems that'd make a lot more sense than making every coder create a custom interface and having to reinvent the wheel on ergonomics and emulating some standard look and feel...
  • No offense, but... REALLY? There are only a few touchscreen WM phones out there. The majorty of ppl who have WM have it on a standard phone. Why only review software for these phones? Most new posts on this site are aout phones the majority of us will never afford! Why not cater to what the majority of us have and not to a select few who shell out nearly $400 - 500 on a phone? Kinda getting sick of hearing about the Touch Pro 2. There are more standard phones out there yet we still dont have a decent browser. Everyone caters to WM Pro for whatever reason...
  • Should be priced comparably to the iPhone version" You mean they are charging for this?! This could have been turned out in 5 hours by any first year programming student. Not to mention that the interface had no effort put into it at all!