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Google acquiring Timely maker Bitspin (bitspin.ch)
43 points by aashishkoirala 1296 days ago | hide | past | web | 12 comments | favorite



I like the idea, but really, the description of the product[0] seems like a bunch of buzzword soup:

> Beautiful wake-up experience.... Timely started with a desire to simplify the way people use their alarm clocks. Our team designed a novel way to set an alarm. Swiping from the edge of the screen allows you to instantly set the desired time by dragging a bar. This intuitive gesture makes the experience more enjoyable than ever before.

(emphasis not mine).

What's "intuitive" about swiping from the side of a rectangular object in order to set my alarm?

Furthermore, why does it have to be "enjoyable"? I don't really care about the pleasure I get from setting my alarm - I just want to be able to do it quickly and forget about it.

I appreciate the importance of good design, but overusing language like this causes it to lose its meaning.

This actually reminds me of the first chapter in Freakonomics, where they dissect the words that real estate agents use when listing their own homes for sale. There's more to it, but in short, subjective, meaningless words like "beautiful" are essentially filler - a good description contains a concise, concrete description of what someone can expect to find.[1]

[0] http://www.bitspin.ch/

[1] http://freakonomics.com/books/freakonomics/chapter-excerpts/...


I agree the copy is silly. But the truth is, most time-picking interfaces are total shit. We have a million pixels of touch-sensitive surface to work with, and apps want me to scroll through two small spinning wheels and tap through several screens just to give it the information "8am"?

Representing the 24 hours vertically using the entire screen is a much better way to do it. So I wouldn't say it's necessarily more "intuitive" or "enjoyable" but it definitely seems like "less of a pain in the ass".


For me these little things matter. I use an alarm clock nearly every day and I'm amazed at how awful most of them are. In a previous era it was the LCD kind, and there were two buttons to adjust the alarm time. Each button advanced the time by only one hour or one minute, and you could have only one alarm, and it jolted you awake. Awful. I was amazed to find a LCD alarm clock that had 10 number buttons to set the time rather than the lousy two buttons.

At the end of my era of dedicated alarm clocks I had the Now and Zen, which sounds great but is still annoying to set, and the Philips wake-up light, which actually is pretty great.

In the smartphone era it's incredible how many alarm clock apps will crash or fail to sound the alarm, which instantly gets the app a failing grade seeing as reliability is the essence of an alarm clock. They also have horrible interfaces, with skeumorphic spin dials to set the time--come on, this is a $500 smartphone, give me a keypad!!

I have tried many Android alarm clock apps since the one in Android, while previously decent, was ruined a few versions back. The interfaces are bad and cluttered or full of skeumorphic nonsense. Some are unreliable.

It's clear that the designers of Timely put a lot of thought into their alarm clock and, yeah, it is enjoyable--which is a lot better than "aggravating," which is how I would describe a lot of alarm clocks, both dedicated and software models. Timely actually is intuitive and fast and it makes good use of the touch screen form factor. There are a few features I wish it had, but I also appreciate that if they jammed every possible geeky feature in there it might collapse into an unusuable mess or, worse, it would be harder to test and thus as unreliable as some of the other clocks I've tried.

Too many things used every day get no design attention, so I'm glad Timely is elevating things a bit.


Its an incredibly well engineered app. I ran it on my phone and it wouldn't even lag and looked incredibly smooth. I have other apps on the phone which wouldn't come anywhere close.

As soon as you used it whether it was pleasant or not it felt like a lot of effort was spent putting together the simple thing that it was.

I emailed the devs once to ask them a bit on how they managed to get it this way but they seemed too busy then. They said they would make a blog. I hope they still do this.


They did a 50 minute livestream about some of the technical aspects of the app a couple of months back: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rbDTV9-MsBA


Hopefully they will add some similar flair to other Android apps within Google.


The Timely app is absolutely beautiful and incredibly well-polished. This is great news for the Bitspin guys, but I'm worried about them getting the Sparrow treatment. I would love to see Google replace the stock clock on Android with Timely.


I used to use Timely and even bought the ad-free unlock, but had to stop using it once I saw that it was triggering hundreds of wakelocks during the day, even when I didn't have any alarms set. Hopefully Google will set that straight.


Beautiful app and beautiful ads. Would like to see that it thrills and gets popular.


Does anybody know an iOS equivalent?



love the apps thanks for the work guys.




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