Bit Timer: A Brilliant App That Makes Interval Workouts Easy

This iPhone app is so elegantly designed that, while you still won’t want to work out, you’ll really wish that you did.

Runkeeper was placed on Earth by supreme beings of some sort. Its programmable, GPS-tracked interval runs make the iPhone into a serious, and entirely thoughtless, training tool. But Runkeeper’s interface leaves much to be desired. The buttons are in weird places and every screen works a little differently. I’ve used Runkeeper for over a year and it’s still unfamiliar.

Bit Timer isn’t as robust as Runkeeper, and that’s entirely its marketing approach. Bit Timer promises to be the “World’s Simplest Interval Timer Ever.” It is.

The interface shows you the three most important settings of interval training right on the home screen: work, rest, and repeat. You tap your selection, and rather than messing with up/down arrows, typing, or using that number roller that I suspect most iOS users have grown to loathe, you just drag your finger up or down to increase/decrease each value.

I know, interfaces always seem confusing when explained in words, so just realize this: You can set up totally custom interval training in about 10 seconds. And everything is clear through large, high-contrast typography. (Frankly, the whole thing looks a lot more like a modern Microsoft product than anything from Apple. It makes me crave a build of Windows Phone 7 on Apple hardware … just for a taste.)

Bit Timer runs all of $1 in the App Store. It won’t work for longer interval workouts--the max interval is just 2:00--but I respect that, rather than a one-size-fits-all app, the designers built a one-size-fits-perfectly, even if that perfect fit isn’t me.

Buy it here.

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5 Comments

  • Brad

    Simplicity wins in this app!  Beautiful work focusing on the key objectives of the user and not bloating it with "fluff"!

  • Peter

    I have used so many workout apps for timing and training. I will try this one too. But the biggest problem with timing with your iphone is, it is hard to touch the screen when you are sweating.