UPDATE 6/11/20- While we did a small update in 2019, the article below was from 2018. There have been new timer apps released and some of these apps have gotten updates. We have re-reviewed every app on this list and will be posting new timer app reviews soon! Subscribe in the About page to be in the know!
Obviously time is key concept for this blog. It affects everything we do and we all have the same 24 hours in a day everyone else does. Wearing a watch can be a great way to help you become more aware of your time and how you are using it. I remember before I wanted to improve my time management I considered a smartwatch. Now mind you I hadn’t worn a watch in over 20 years and generally don’t like to wear anything extra on me.
I sort of wanted a smartwatch for the tech things it could do like check notifications, control media, and have to pull out my phone less to maybe check the actual time. I ended up getting it more for the actual watch features. I like to say I got a dumb watch that can do smart things. My main uses on the watch are for knowing the time, setting timers, and using the stopwatch (controlling media, checking the weather, and monitoring steps are all nice as well). I have gone through 4 smartwatches in a little over 2 years, a Pebble Time Round, the Asus Zenwatch 2 (the big one), the LG Watch Style, and now the Gear S3. The funny thing with all of these watches is I have not found a perfect timer or stopwatch app. I didn’t think it was so hard or my requests were that demanding. We plan on reviewing all apps that on the app store that have a timer or stopwatch because if you are like us, you want to use your watch like a watch! Below are my reviews of all of the timer apps. Here is the link to the review of all of the stopwatch apps. There are 17 timer apps on the Samsung app store. We spent a total of $16 buying all of the apps.
Samsung Timer (Free)-
We really like it and it is sleek, but you can’t do multiple timers and it makes the screen stay on which uses battery. What if you want to set a timer for multiple hours? The app is just going to continue draining battery. If it could work in the background this is a great app that we just wished has multiple timers. In it’s current form though, it is too limited and drains too much battery even if the design is very appealing.
Multi-Timer Widget ($1.50)-
This is a widget timer app that is better utilized if you have set timers and don’t need to change them. I have 3 timers for work that I use almost everyday and they are named as well. Once set up, all I have to do is go to the widget, hit one button to start the timer and it is good to go. It looks and works well. The 2 issues with it though (and they are big) is that if you don’t use the same set of timers, you are always going to be have to go into the widget settings to change it and it only works for one timer. It adds more steps because then you have to go back to the widget to actually start it. It’s just not the simplest way and is more complicated. The other, maybe even more deal breaker issue, is that it doesn’t always stop at the set timer. It happens pretty frequently where it goes off a minute or two over the set time if the watch face is off. For us this is not a deal breaker, but if you needed to rely on it being 100% accurate, this is not the app for you.
4Timer Widget (.79)-
This is a simple concept app, that just like Multi-Timer, it functions only as a widget. This app differs in that it is only 1 widget that has 4 timers on it. They use different colors and you can set them all at the same time. What we don’t understand is you can’t use the watch bezel to set the times. We feel like you should be able to use the touchscreen and the bezel. It is slower and more cumbersome to set the timer using the touchscreen. We get that it is a widget and when you turn the bezel you leave the widget, but maybe if you double tap the widget it launches the app and you can set the timer there.
The other problem we have run into with this app is when a timer goes off, you can choose either to have a sound or vibration. I never play sounds out of my watch so I did the vibration alert. The vibration alert is very quick, but it sends you a notification right after so its basically like you get 2 vibrations so it somewhat makes up for the quick initial vibration. On the widget and the notification it is pretty cool in that it tells you when you started the timer and when it ended in case you did not look right away. We think this is an awesome and unique feature.
Workout Interval Timer (.99)-
This app actually has great reviews and for what it does we can understand why. The way we are looking at this app though, it is terrible for productivity. You might ask, why are you reviewing a workout timer for productivity? Well if you are familiar with the Pomodoro technique then you will know why. Basically you could set up a repeating timer of let’s say 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break. The way this app works though the way you change times is in 5 second increments and it starts at 1 minute so anything over 3 minutes is basically impossible. As a workout timer it is very basic, but it does what it says. Most likely your workouts won’t be longer than a minute or two and your rests definitely less than a minute. It even keeps tracks of your reps. If you are you using this timer for workouts, it is recommended. For productivity, not so much.
If you were to just read the description and pictures of this app, you would think it would be feature packed and a top choice…you would be very wrong. Most of the timer apps do not have any reviews, this one has over 20, and they are all bad and right on point. The app barely works, it is super slow, not easy to use, and is flat out broken. You can’t hit the settings button at all on the Gear S3. So if you can actually figure out how to make a timer, a really loud and obnoxious beep starts the timer and then ends it. My wife came from the other room when I was testing it and said “what was that is everything okay?!” It’s not like you can turn it off either because you can’t change the settings! AVOID AT ALL COST!!!!!!!!
Simple Timer (Free)-
It’s so simple it isn’t even worth it. You can only go up to 60 seconds, it does not run in the background, and does not make a sound when the timer is down. Need we say more?
Timer 3.0 (.79)-
Maybe because the app is in Spanish the English translation is not right, but this is a stopwatch not a timer. The name on the app store and the description are in English, but once you put it on the Gear S3 everything is in Spanish. So for a timer this is a terrible app. As a stopwatch it is simple like the name says. Even in Spanish you can still figure out the two buttons, and it runs in the background. For a simple stopwatch, it’s not bad. As a timer you need to keep looking.
Exercise Timer (.98)-
We are having a hard time rating this app. The interface isn’t the smoothest, it’s not the fastest, but it works. You set a category (or workout since this is an exercise timer), then you can add different sets in there. You can choose between minutes and seconds so this would work for productivity or any repeating task for that matter. This app would be great if you want to do multiple tasks and keep your self on track. Just make sure your first task does not take more than an hour as it can not go over this time. It only makes a short vibration when the timer is done which is disappointing.
One thing we do like is the fact that it locks the screen when the timer is on and gives you a slide to unlock feature so you don’t actually stop or cancel the timer.
One downside is that you can’t edit a category once you create it. For instance if you made a category Productivity with 2 reps, but you wanted to change it to 1, you need to delete the whole category which means you lose all of the sets you created inside of it.
Now this app is geared toward exercise. You set your time in seconds using the bezel (a nice touch), then your pause, and how many reps you want to do. A vibration plays every each pause or rest. This might not be ideal for longer tasks, but short ones or exercising it does what it is supposed to.
Cooking Timer (Free)-
This app is free?!?! This might be the most useful, best designed timer in the store! While you could use this to track activities other than cooking (which would probably really resonate with you if you are into cooking!), the app has 2 oven timers and 8 stove timers. The timers are designed like their real life counterparts. There is a little fire icon when the timer is going and a friendly buzz and beep when the timers finish. We don’t even cook and love this app. If you do anything remotely with cooking that needs a timer download this app.
COOKING TIMER UPDATE- We don’t know if it was because of an update to the watch, but when you leave the app it does not update the timer anymore basically rendering the app useless. We have tried uninstalling and reinstalling the app, but to no avail. If anyone else downloaded this app and is experiencing the same thing or it is working for you please let us know! We miss using this app!
Time’s Up (.79)-
The first thing we noticed with this app is when setting the time, we rotated the bezel and nothing happened. We then realized you need to twist the bezel in the opposite way. A very weird design choice. The interface is pretty nice and setting timers is easy. We don’t love this app, but as far as timers go it’s okay. You can set hours, minutes, or seconds in the app. It runs in the background and goes off when the timer is done which shouldn’t be a feature, but since some timers don’t it is a plus.
Archer Timer (Free)-
This is about as niche as you can get. We can’t imagine why you would use this for anything outside of Archery. The timer is set at 120 seconds which we assume is standard for Archery. It somehow calculated we hit 3 arrows when we did the timer. We personally don’t understand how the app works so unless you are a big Archery player, you can pass on this app. At least it is free.
Music Timer (.99)-
This app does exactly what it says but in our opinion the only way it is useful is if you play a lot of music through your watch and go to sleep listening to it. We asked the developer if the app would work with phone music and he said maybe in the future. Basically you set a desired time and whatever music is playing on the watch will turn it off. That’s it. If that is what you want then this is the best app ever. If you never play music through your watch you can pass.
Toothbrush Timer (.99)-
It has a image of a toothbrush with a set timer at 2 minutes. Every 15 seconds it will vibrate until you get to the end. If you are not good at brushing your teeth than this could be great motivation. 2 minutes is a long time though. Even though we are sure that is the recommended time you should brush your teeth, we wish you could adjust the timer. We went to about 1 minute 30 seconds and then stopped. Maybe we should have kept going. A regular timer could accomplish the same thing as this app, but if this helps you improve the habit of brushing your teeth then there is nothing wrong with it.
We don’t understand this app at all and it seems broken. There is an analog clock in the back and it looks like you can set a timer, but it’s not clear if it is seconds or minutes and now we can’t seem to change it. Avoid.
Cooking is something I leave up to my wife. I can handle some things around the kitchen, but that is an area she excels in more than I do. Cooking eggs is something I don’t do now, but I eat them! This is a pretty cool timer that takes into account the size of the egg, small, medium, large, or XL. You can even put in a custom weight by grams if you are hard-core about this. The next step is the level of doneness. Do you like your eggs very soft, soft, medium, or hard? The next step is the egg temperature, from fridge, room temperature, or again you can put in your own temperature. Then it gives you a timer set based on what you put in the app. I don’t know the first thing about cooking eggs, but I would have to believe this would be helpful and the app is very well put together.
This app is tied for being priced as the highest timer app at $3.49. It is not bad, but super basic, slow performing, and not worth the price in my opinion. Basically it is an interval timer you can set only in seconds, you set your rest duration, and then your intervals. I would also say if you could set the time for minutes it may be worth it, but sticking with seconds and charging this much isn’t worth it in my opinion. The app is very slow to operate as well. For the highest priced app, you should expect a more robust feature set. Instead you get a good, not great interval timer.