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timer apps for androidTime – it passes. Whether we like it or not, time’s inexorable progress cannot be stopped. So the least we can do is measure it, right? This morning I went in search of interesting Android apps for doing just that. I don’t mean just kitchen timers, although I did find a few nice ones. I also mean tools for tracking longer periods of time, slicing time into custom bits and pieces, and more.

Ovo: As Minimalistic As They Come

timer apps for android

There’s an old quote attributed to Antoine de Saint Exupéry – “it seems that perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away“. The Ovo user interface embodies this quote and creates a user experience that is, for lack of a better term, drop-dead elegant.

To start Ovo, just touch the screen and start rotating your finger clockwise, as if winding a clock. The middle of the circle will show how much time you’re setting it for. You can get to the exact amount of time you want to count down from with a quick circle motion, or keep moving your finger in circles to increase the countdown duration (up to 60 minutes). Once you’ve set it, let go of the screen, and Ovo starts counting.

In truth, there is no way to do this app justice with a text description. It’s free – get it, try it, and you’ll be hooked.

Kitchen Timer: All Utility, All The Time

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Kitchen Timer may lack Ovo’s studied elegance, but it has other assets. A memorable name (that’s important!) and three different timers that can run at the same time. Like Ovo, Kitchen Timer is free. You can also configure presets and give them names, so if you always like to make hard-boiled eggs for exactly 5:37 minutes, that’s no problem for Kitchen Timer. Also, you can set Kitchen Timer for much longer intervals than Ovo – Ovo maxes out at 60 minutes, and Kitchen Timer can easily track up to 23:59:59.

The only thing I missed in Kitchen Timer is saving per-timer settings: When you tap Timer 2 (for example) the duration in the textboxes below doesn’t change. I wish the duration would reflect the timer’s current duration, or (better yet) the last duration you set it for.

Energy Timer: For Ramen Aficionados

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Our last kitchen timer for this roundup, Energy Timer is aimed at fans of Ramen and other types of noodles. It has a single timer and can track up to nine minutes, but it provides multiple alarms before the timer runs out. This means you can set it even for a time-sensitive kitchen task, walk away from the stove, and rest assured it will call you back with time to spare before the moment of truth (also known as the moment you take the noodles off the fire).

Like Kitchen Timer, Energy Timer lets you create your own presets, and you can even attach photos to them, presumably of ramen types that go well with each preset.

Shush: To Stop Missing Calls

timer apps

Much like Ovo, Shush! is a study in elegance. This isn’t a kitchen timer, though: It’s a “ringer timer.” Its sole purpose in life is to unmute your phone a while after you’ve muted it. Have you ever went into a meeting or a movie and muted your phone, only to realize six hours later that you forgot to un-mute it and have five missed calls and a bunch of worried text messages from your mom and/or significant other wondering where you are? If that scenario sounds familiar, Shush! is what you need.

You don’t even have to launch Shush! manually. It kicks in as soon as you lower the phone’s volume down to mute. Swipe across the radial menu to increase or decrease the interval, or tap the left side of the circle to decrease, and the right to increase. An app that tries to do just one thing, and does it perfectly.

Ubuntu Countdown Widget: It Does Almost Nothing, But Does It Well

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The silliest app in this roundup is definitely the Ubuntu Countdown Widget, but I love Ubuntu (and I am not the only one 4 Things You'll Love About Ubuntu 12.04 4 Things You'll Love About Ubuntu 12.04 The new version of Ubuntu–12.04, codename "Precise Pangolin"– is officially here. 12.04 improves on Unity's strengths, and addresses some of your old complaints. It's fast, includes new features desktop users will love, and, as always,... Read More ) so I’ve decided to share it. Since Ubuntu Linux has a regular release schedule, it’s easy to predict when the next release is coming. This widget will not let you forget the date.

If you’re a dedicated Ubuntu user, or thinking of switching, this is a nice one to have. The widget comes in two sizes (1×1 and 2×2), and two color schemes (light and dark). Not much more to ask for here, really.

Smart Timer: The Powerhouse

timer apps for android

Smart Timer is the only app on this roundup which isn’t free – it costs $1. It isn’t elegant or slick, doesn’t have a widget, does not use cool swiping gestures to do stuff, and is generally as workmanlike as apps come. So, why feature it? Because it’s damn powerful, that’s why. All of the other timers here just count down time. Kitchen Timer lets you keep track of three timers, but that’s about it. Smart Timer kicks things up to another level, letting you set up and nest complex chains of timers following each other, each with its own alert settings.

If you do anything like kettlebell resistance training, weight training, interval running, or meditation, you know that sometimes counting down five minutes just doesn’t cut it. You may want to repeat a two-minute set three times, with a 15-second break in between sets. Or maybe you want to plan an entire session and be confident that it will take exactly 45 minutes, and lay it out in advance. Whatever your complex timing scenario is, Smart Timer can handle it.

The only thing I feel it’s really missing is a built-in “break” setting. I wish there was a way to define a two-minute timer which repeats three times with a 10 seconds break between each repeat. Instead, you will have to configure six different timers. Then again, you will only have to do that once and you’ll be set.

A Call For A Timer: Do You Know Such An App?

When researching this post, I wanted to find one thing and simply couldn’t – I wanted a timer that supports speech recognition. Something to which I could say, “Count down five minutes,” and it would just count down the time. That could be great for the kitchen, when my hands are messy and I still need a timer.

Do you know of something like this? Share it in the comments, and if it will amaze me, I might even put it into our Best Android Apps list.

  1. Amr
    June 11, 2016 at 11:10 am

    A Call For A Timer: I need a timer that i can specify five minutes. Then, specify a small alert or a beep on top of each minute. And, a different alert at the end of the five minutes.

  2. Malcolm
    February 17, 2016 at 12:20 am

    Ovo will allow you to speak a time. Just press the microphone icon.

  3. Evl
    January 17, 2016 at 8:36 am

    By the way, if you like the layout and functionalities of the Kitchen Timer, but is not working well on your newer (or bigger) device, as it was not updated since Android 2.3, then you should give a try to Kitchen Timer Revived, which is simply the rewrite of the previous, but adapted to the newer phones.

  4. Wizard Prang
    January 4, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    What I need is a timer that can be set via a URL. This makes it easy to co-ordinate raids, chats and conferences in an online game.

  5. Mahesh C
    October 20, 2015 at 5:53 pm
  6. 1811shrey
    June 23, 2015 at 4:41 pm

    here's something different https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.shreyasr.quicktimer
    designed to be simple and quick to use....and its a widget!

  7. Greg
    May 6, 2015 at 5:02 pm

    On my phone (HTC One M8) I use the "Voice Control" button on my home screen. I press it, say "Start timer for 5 minutes" and it automatically starts counting down the timer for 5 mins. It's pretty slick really. I think this is a general Android thing so it should work for most phones.

  8. Dennis Q
    March 20, 2015 at 4:09 am

    Multi Timer is the best app for this category. You can set up as many times as you like. Each can have there own alarm sounds so that you can distinguish one alarm from another. Have used Multi Timer for a couple of years now. Shush is another that I have been using for a long time now.

  9. Umesh
    January 21, 2015 at 2:38 am

    Is there a count down timer that maintains the time even after a phone restart?

  10. Prateek
    October 5, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    I am looking for a timer which can beep after every 2 minutes which would help me keeping track of time taken by me in solving maths questions..

    • Erez Zukerman
      October 9, 2012 at 12:37 am

      Not sure I know of such an app, to be honest. You could try asking on MakeUseOf answers! http://makeuseof.com/answers

  11. PotatoTree
    July 29, 2012 at 8:08 am
  12. Samsudeen Hussain
    June 2, 2012 at 8:07 pm

    OVO certianly seems to a eyecatching timer. Will try using it. Thank you for the recommendations.

    • Erez Zukerman
      June 3, 2012 at 7:59 am

      Sure thing! Yeah, Ovo is my go-to these days. I only wish it would keep ringing rather than stop after a few seconds.

  13. waylon smithers jr.
    May 24, 2012 at 7:05 am

    https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.timerrr.namespace

    This one looks nice. It brings back a lot of memories...

  14. Lawrence Siebert
    May 20, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    The android voice actions let you set an alarm like that. You can both pick a specific time or a set interval in the future.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 21, 2012 at 6:28 am

      Yup, just discovered that! Thanks Lawrence :)

  15. Hildy
    May 19, 2012 at 6:18 pm

    I like OI Countdown - one of a number of simple, free, and ad free apps from Open Intents. As for a voice timer, Android 4 has it baked in. You can say "Set alarm for five minutes from now" and you're golden.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Nice tip! But don't I need to use the default alarm app for that?

  16. Scoot Diggity
    May 19, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    I use UltraChron. It has some great features including the voice options that you were looking for. When a timer is set, periodically the phone will also let you know how much time is left also. Wonderful. Can't remember if I paid for it or not. But if I did, it was worth the money.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

      That's very cool! I had a problem with tapping "start" manually at first, but then I found the setting for auto-starting it.

      I like the voice announcements during the countdown, they make me feel like I'm in a Bruce Willis movie.

  17. Clarinus
    May 19, 2012 at 8:48 am

    AIVC does what you are looking for. Its like what Siri is for iPhone. You can give voice commands

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 20, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      Nice! Just gave it a spin and it worked well. The only thing that confused me is when I told it "countdown 2 minutes" it registered "1:02:00", but it really did count down just two minutes (not an hour and two minutes). Thanks for the tip!

  18. Es
    May 19, 2012 at 6:44 am

    A nice timer/countdown (and -up too) I've been using for a while is Event Counter.
    Pretty basic, with nice, simple widgets.

    • Erez Zukerman
      May 20, 2012 at 5:24 pm

      That's a nice app! But doesn't it make it feel like there are still ages until whatever it is you're counting towards? :)

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