Wednesday, July 20, 2016
App review: Bloom Coffee Timer (iOS)
Apologies to the Android owners out there. I know there are excellent coffee timer apps for you but as I have an iPhone, it's hard to review the Android offerings. If anyone wants to write a guest post with an Android coffee timer review, let me know. :-)
Anyway, a few years ago, when I started making coffee by hand, I realized that regular timers were kind of sucky - there are multiple things to time, sequentially - the bloom time, the brew time, etc. Having to reset the timer several times was a pain. Most often, I used the native timer on my phone, but it wasn't any better - just more convenient, because like everyone these days, I'm a slave to my phone.
So, before a camping trip, I downloaded every single freebie coffee timer app available at the time. I think I downloaded 7 or 10 different coffee timer apps. And when I had a spare moment, I played with each app. When I found it wanting, it got deleted.
And I hated them ALL. They sucked. Every. Last. One.
The people in the surrounding camp sites probably wondered what was up - constant dinging, and lots of muttering, and the occasional swearing.
I wanted one that would allow me to either program my own series of timer (like ... you hit start, then 90 seconds later, it dings, then 1 minute later it dings again, then one minute later it dings again, then 2.5 minutes later it dings for the final time). The freebies either didn't allow me to program my own, or edit pre-set timers, or I couldn't figure them out within a few minutes of playing.
That's actually a pet peeve of mine - if a phone app is hard to figure out - then someone screwed up. They should be intuitive, and if they aren't ...? Seriously, if someone who spent a year at Best Buy being paid to figure out how to use various smart phones and write how-to manuals for the Blue Shirts, can't figure out how to use a simple timer app, then the app was badly designed.
Anyway, I took to Google, and came across the recommendation for Bloom. It wasn't free. It was actually kind of expensive ($2.99). But, it does everything I wanted. It had plenty of preset timers depending on the brewing methods. It allowed me create my own, or edit the existing, and well, I've used it nearly every day since I bought it, several years ago.
So ... highly recommended.
Final note: The coffee-hater in my life and I share an Apple ID, and he was quite ... put out to find coffee apps (of all things!) on his phone. It was kinda amusing. The bazillion games he tries out wind up on my phone, so I figure fair's fair. Every few months, we spontaneously have a "What's this app?" session to figure out what to with the apps the other person picked out, that auto-downloaded to the other phone. Yes, I know how to shut off the app sharing function - but I don't want to.