After writing my successful article on battle judging and criteria, I decided to see what timer apps are out there for battling. After 5 hours of trawling the Apple App store and making numerous dubious purchases of buggy and poorly designed apps I finally did it. I've found a really great battle timer! It's called MultiTimer and it's by Sergey Satakhov. It's available for iPhone, iPad and iWatch. It's FREE, it's FULL SCREEN and it's ADVERTISING FREE.
Why is it so good?
Multi Timer is the sexiest battle timer out there. I mean, look at it, it's sexy. It operates effortlessly in either Landscape and Portrait mode.
Each timer can have it's own labels, colour and even a microphone icon! You tap to start or pause a timer, double-tap to reset and tap-and-hold to edit. There is a clear visual display of the remaining time too.
If you set a timer to ONCE then it counts down to zero and cannot be reset. If you set a timer to STORE then it counts down to zero and then goes into overtime.
A matrix system enables you to display all 12 timers (4x3), 6 timers (3x2), 4 timers (2x2), 2 timers (2x1) or just 1 timer (1x1). The 1x1 mode is great for eliminations and the 2x1 mode is great for 1v1 battles.
The matrix in any combination other than 1x1 and 2x1 lets you zoom in on any single timer. So, you could have 12 timers set and view them all (in 4x3 mode) to see multiple competitors then zoom in to each one individually.
The only downside to Multi Timer is that you cannot custom label the title at the top or change the background colour scheme. It would also be useful to select which timers are visible in the 1x1 and 2x1 matrix modes - with a page swipe to select the next set of timers. btw: I've already contacted them with these suggestions!
Using Multi Timer for Live Battles
The beauty of using an iPhone or iPad app is that with an Apple TV box you can mirror your display to multiple HDMI screens. Within seconds I set up a battle timer display using my Apple TV and a Samsung TV.
In a live situation, I would want a backup so you could have two iPads both running the app, each with an operator, then if one runs into trouble you simply swap cables.
Other Multi Timers you may consider...
- Board Game Time - Simple Tomato: FREE. This is the easiest timer to use. You can have up to 6 battlers (if you want) and the timer counts down to zero for each battler. You can pause and restart a battler easily. It's portrait only which is a shame but it is full screen. There is a nice visual to show the time left as well as the timer and each battler can have a name and a colour.
- Countdown Clock - Multi Timer - Codemic, LLC: Lite version is FREE. (full version is £0.79) This is very easy to use and supports both Portrait and Landscape use. Names can be entered. The Lite version has an an annoying Google ad which is the only thing removed by upgrading. It's a shame the app doesn't make two timers full-screen and there are no options to control colours or sound.
Chess Timers that you might find useful...
- Chess Clock Pro Free by Katax: FREE: Side-by-Side or Inverted view so it will work for personal or tournament use. The free version works well. Although you cannot enter battler names, you can change the background image and colours. This means it could be customised for a tournament. The FREE version does have an annoying Google advert on the screen. The full version can be purchased in-app (£2.25). The full version gets rid of the Google adverts, however you get extra information on the screen that isn't so useful. The screen can be a bit buggy. Unable to PAUSE and switch battler so you have to be very quick and switch battler and PAUSE. However you can set a simple delay (e.g. 4 seconds) - this is a countdown before the next battler's counter starts. It would be nice if the Settings and Menu buttons weren't so large. You can get round the timer finishing when the first battler uses up all his or her time by setting overtime. It's not ideal but it is a work-around.
- Chess Clock (Merkmatics) by Merkmatics: £0.79, iPhone: Inverted and Side-by-Side view. This clock is a little buggy and did crash on me once. You can allow both battlers to get to zero by allowing negative time in the settings.