Spb Software House Week: Spb Time

by PocketGoddess on February 14, 2006

Spb Time has a variety of functions that are both useful and easy to use. When you first start the application, you are presented with a large clock face and several tabs along the bottom of the screen. The first tab allows you to switch between clocks or timers, and the rest of the tabs to the right of the screen will change functions depending on which you choose. Assuming that you start with clocks, the three tabs allow you to quickly cycle through a simple clock view, a clock/calendar view with a monthly calendar, and a world time view. The simple clock view is large, bold, and very easy to read, with a moving second hand. If you’ve set custom alarms, they’ll show up on the edge of the dial in the appropriate spot, which is a nice little detail. Even better, you can tap on the screen when the large clock is on display and all of the tabs on the bottom as well as the task bar on the top of the screen are instantly hidden. I appreciate the clean look of the screen, and that consistent level of attention to detail is what sets Spb applications apart from their competitors.

Spb Time large clock face, with Alarm dialog

The clock/calendar is also well done, wtih the time in very large numbers at the top of the screen, again with constantly updating seconds, the date, and then the full month calendar with today’s date highlighted in red. The world clock view allows you to see the time in four different cities at once, with optional day/night highlighting. You can even zoom in on the globe by pressing a small icon on the bottom left corner of the screen; you can then scroll and tap as you please to see the time in various cities around the world.

Choose the timers option, and those tabs at the bottom of the screen will change. You have the choice of a large stopwatch display, five different countdown timers, or five small stopwatches that appear in rows on a single screen. The large stopwatch has huge buttons you can easily manipulate with your finger or thumb instead of the stylus. As with both the large stopwatch and the series of five stopwatches, there is a “lap” button you can use for timing athletics and other time-sensitive events. You can also save those lap times for future reference if you wish. The countdown timers are pre-configured for a variety of useful times, including 30 seconds, one minute, five minutes, ten minutes, and 30 minutes. You can change any one of those times by tapping on the small arrow icon by each timer; this takes you to the options screen where you can name the timer, change the interval, and choose an alarm sound and volume to play when the timer expires.

As with just about all of Spb Software House programs, Spb Time is fully skinnable. Three themes plus the default one are included, and there are plenty of options to choose from, running all the way from fine art to funky. All of the program options are accessible from the small Options tab in the bottom left corner of the screen; this is where you choose your skin, set alarms, choose the cities that show up on the world clock display, etc.

Spb Time is one of those programs that seemingly “does it all” for you and has such an easy to use interface and pleasing style that you’ll wonder how you ever did without it. I especially like using it as a desk clock; sure, I could squint at that tiny little clock in the task bar, but why should I have to? You can get a 15 day free trial of Spb Time at the Spb Software House web site, or purchase a full license for $9.95.

5 out of 5

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