How-to: Use Your Android Device as a Timer

The release of 2013’s list of the best apps for attorneys is approaching. I’ve dutifully compiled my favorites, and also added some of your suggestions. Incidentally, you can still suggest your favorites.

One thing that surprises me from your suggested apps, is the number of you that love timer apps. I’m not really sure why, other than to guess that folks love to time their opening, closing, or CLE presentations. For me, the timer is merely a way to ensure The Droid Tots complete their time out punishments.

Unfortunately, you won’t see any — well, one — of these timer apps on the list. That’s because I think that Android has one of the best countdown timers available, so why bother replacing it?

Countdown Timer
Click an image to see a larger version.

How do I find the timer, and how do I use it?

You’ll find the timer in the clock app, so tap Clock to open the app from your app drawer.

Clock App

Next you’ll select the Timer from the row of buttons in the upper left hand corner.

Timer Button

Your screen will look like this:

Countdown Timer

Or this:

New Timer

If you’re seeing the former one with the timer, you’ll need to delete that timer and start a new one. Just tap the trash can and the plus button.

Delete & New

I should mention that you can run multiple timers at once, if necessary.

Next (and obviously), you’ll tap Start to get the timer going.

Start Button

Press Stop when you’re finished, or let the buzzer chime.

Done.

Easy, except for one problem

There’s one drawback to Android’s default timer: there’s no automatic silent button. At least, there isn’t a default method for silencing the alarm directly from the screen.

Normally, that’s not an issue. Unless of course, you’re somewhere (like court) where an annoying buzzing sound would substantially distract from your content. You’ll just need to find an alternative — such as Kitchen Timer (free), which allows you to set the default buzzer — or remember to turn off your Alarms volume.

You’ll shut down your alarm by tapping Settings > Sound > Volumes and toggling the Alarms slider all the way left.

Alarms

Now, the only think you’ll see during your speech is the red buzzer when you run over time.

Out of Time Alarm

And don’t forget your Nexus 7, because apparently, the Nexus 7 helps conquer all public speaking fears.

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Jeff Taylor

I’m just an ordinary guy living an extraordinary life. I’m also an attorney and I blog about Android for lawyers. You can follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Google+.