Please allow me to present the all new Speech Timer for Mac OS X and Speech Timer HD for iOS. After many trials and tribulations (and app store rejections), Speech Timer now officially reaches 2.0 and support all of Apple’s computers.
The biggest new feature is the big timer display, literally. Speech Timer now explicitly supports external displays — via cable or AirPlay — so that you can show a status board that shows the timer and the current speech details to everyone. You no longer need to lift up your iPhone to flag the orator since she’ll be continuously informed of the timing progress. But in case you don’t have a projector handy, you can still use your device as the time signal flag by lifting it up.
Simply hook up your iOS device with one of these cables to an LCD projector or connect them wirelessly to an Apple TV via AirPlay and amaze your Toastmasters friends when they see their name and the timer on the big screen.
The next major feature is not really a feature, but an actual app. Yes, the Mac app is new and is designed from the ground up to be a true blue multi-window OS X application — not just an iPhone app that also runs in the Mac. Yes, you can also use an LCD projector with the Mac version.
We’ve renamed the iOS app to Speech Timer HD since it is now a iOS Universal app that also works on the iPad in addition to the iPhone and iPod touch. The app fully takes advantage of the bigger iPad screen and different interaction style and not just an enlarged iPhone app – trust us 😉
We’ve also worked hard on iCloud sync. Your data should sync seamlessly between all of your Apple devices; both the iOS and OS X editions of Speech Timer. Unfortunately we won’t be able to include Android to this union, for obvious reasons 😉
The Mac App
Since we normally use a trackpad or mouse to control a Mac, we can do away with the oversized controls normally seen on touch-screen devices like iOS. This way we save a significant amount of screen real estate and better support the multi-tasking nature of Mac users. We make the timer controls window in the Mac app as a small floating window, much smaller than an iPhone screen but still legible and usable thanks to the mouse cursor.
On the other hand, we splurge a lot of space on the timer display window, aiming to show it on a secondary screen for everyone to see. However if you only have one screen, that’s okay too and you can easily resize this window by pinching your trackpad in addition to dragging its resize corners.
We took no compromise in the Mac app and brought in all of the features from the classic iPhone app:
- Customizable speech types with green, yellow, red, and blink time marks.
- Speech history log with both e-mail and CSV export.
- Timer flag display (yes, the timer display window gets colored green, yellow, or red when you press the Flag button).
- Auto complete of speaker names from your address book.
The iPhone App
We’ve overhauled the iPhone app design to the modern iOS 7 look – complete with translucency, animation, and UI dynamics. It’s not something that we can show just using screenshots or even videos, so I’d suggest you try it out and feel it for yourself.
Now Speech Timer also supports landscape mode. When turned sideways, it’ll hide all of the timing controls and display the timer in a much larger font – pretty useful if you want to quickly show the time to the orator and not just the flag colors.
The iPad App
On the iPad, Speech Timer takes the device to its fullest potential and not just an upsized version of the iPhone app. The extra display space is dedicated to the timer and signal lights – all buttons remains firmly thumb sized as they are supposed to be, as well as all other controls.
The app supports landscape mode on the iPad as well. Unlike on the iPhone, we’re able to keep all of the timer control buttons remaining visible in landscape mode – we have enough space for that on the iPad.
Since the iPad’s screen is big enough, we can afford to keep the timer display always available and use popovers for all other ephemeral functionalities such as setting up the speech and looking up the timing history.
Speech Timer for iPad and iPhone is available on the iTunes App Store – look for “Speech Timer HD” either on iTunes or from the App Store app on your iOS devices. Whereas the OS X version is available on the Mac App Store, search for “Speech Timer” there. By the way, have we forgotten to mention that we have an Android version as well?
That’s all for now. Take care.