I’ve got a pilot study coming up, so I’ve been looking around for a stopwatch app to use on my android phone (HTC Desire S). I used the native stopwatch on my phone, but I had a few issues with it. Firstly, I couldn’t choose whether to make the screen stay awake. This was problematic in the studies I’ve conducted so far, because my screen locks and unlocking it is annoying during a study. I didn’t want to have to change my phone’s general settings, so I wanted a stopwatch app that had its own option for this.
First requirement: Option to keep screen awake
I also thought it would be nice to be able to label my laps. It’d be great to do that in advance so that the app would keep track of my study for me, but I guessed that might be a bit farfetched for a free app.
Second requirement: Label laps (in advance?)
I wanted to be able to save the timings somewhere, either to my phone or via email.
Third requirement: Export lap timings
So I searched the apps on Google Play for Stopwatch. I’ve compared them with reference to the three requirements, and for clarity of interface and presence/absence of ads. As you can imagine, there are a lot of results when you search for “stopwatch”. In that light, I am including 12.
|Ads||Keep screen awake option||Set lap description||Interface||Save/email|
|UltraChron Stopwatch Lite (Thespinninghead)||No||Yes||Yes||Clear, but neon||Yes|
|Ultimate Stopwatch & Timer (Geekyouup)||No||No||No||Beautiful but not clear||No|
|Time Study Stopwatch (Leanmfgapps)||No||No||No||Clear||No|
|StopWatch – Winner StopWatch (FinestAndroid.com)||No||No||No||Quirky but not clear||No|
|Stopwatch & Countdown Timer (Beste It-systems)||Yes||No||No||Clear||Yes|
|Stopwatch and Trainer (Shawn B)||Yes||Yes||Yes (and create 2 presets)||Clear||Yes|
|StopWatch & Timer (Sportstracklive.com)||Yes||Yes||No||Clear||No|
|StopTimer – Stopwatch & Timer (SynAppze)||Yes||Yes||No laps||Okay||No|
|Stopwatch (Clever mobile)||Yes||Yes||No||Clear||Yes|
|Stopwatch & Timer (L Droid)||Yes||Yes||No||Clear||Yes|
This app seemed to have potential, but the ads combined with no options for lap description or keeping the screen awake make this not a viable contender, even though it’s possible to email yourself the results. There is a paid app with more functionality.
*UPDATE: I’ve been informed that this app has screen lock by default.
UltraChron Stopwatch Lite (Thespinninghead)
Ultrachron stopwatch has a relatively clear interface, and you can change the colour of the numbers in the main timer. Having said that, it does have a rather neon vibe, which doesn’t look too professional. You can keep the screen awake, and edit the lap description, which are both useful, but its visuals are offputting.
Ultimate Stopwatch & Timer (Geekyouup)
Ultimate Stopwatch & Timer seems to be the polar opposite of Ultrachron. Its display is beautiful, with the image of an analogue stopwatch dominating the screen. However, I can’t seem to find any settings apart from viewing lap times and changing the mode from stopwatch to timer. I was unable to figure out how to use the lap function by intuition, which isn’t a good start. It’s lovely for basic stopwatch/timer tasks, but not viable for something more complicated.
Time Study Stopwatch (Leanmfgapps)
I had high hopes for Time Study, as it seemed to be designed for the purpose I was looking for. However, it seems to have no features that would set it apart in this respect. Unless there are some settings I just can’t find…it appears that there aren’t any.
StopWatch – Winner StopWatch (FinestAndroid.com)
I’m always a bit sceptical of any product with “Winner” in the title, but I’ll forgive this app as it may be referring to the winning times you’ll clock up on this app. It’s quirky looking, with buttons that look like they belong on a guitar or a sound system.Like Time Study, there appear to be no settings or features to speak of, so I wouldn’t use it unless you really like the design.
Stopwatch & Countdown Timer (Beste It-systems)
With this app, you can change the background, and the design seems fairly clear. You can export the data as a CSV file, view statistics, and there are settings. Unfortunately the settings I want are absent, so this app is a no go for me.
Stopwatch and Trainer (Shawn B)
The name of this app suggests it was created with a sporting context in mind, and it does have a setting specifically for creating and following workouts. It does have ads, which makes it less than perfect, but it does have what I’m looking for. I can keep the screen awake (it’s a very accessible option, not hidden within other settings). I can’t edit lap descriptions as I go but I can create presets with my lap descriptions. In the free version, I can only do two different sessions (i.e. habituation and baseline), but I can do more in the paid version. It’s not obvious from the settings, but it is possible to view your lap statistics once you’ve stopped the stopwatch, and then email them.
Ah, another innovatively named stopwatch app. The interface is clear, and the settings allow me to keep the screen awake. Although the lack of ads are appealing, the lack of specific functionality I’m looking for is offputting, so I won’t be using this app for my study.
StopWatch & Timer (Sportstracklive.com)
This app looks clear, and you can change the colour scheme. I can keep the screen awake, but I can’t edit lap descriptions or email my results. As such, this app is not for me.
StopTimer – Stopwatch & Timer (SynAppze)
Stoptimer excludes itself immediately, because laps aren’t possible yet. Apparently they will be in the future. Until then, it’s not for me.
Stopwatch (Clever mobile)
This one looks nice, and I can keep the screen awake and email results. However, I can’t edit lap descriptions, so this doesn’t quite work for me. Perhaps the full version will let me, but t’s not clear. Tantalisingly, the app just tells me that the full version has “more options” (and no ads)…
Stopwatch & Timer (L Droid)
This app looks very similar to the sportstracklive.com Stopwatch and Timer. However, it has more functionality – I can export my results in a variety of formats.
My biggest disappointment was Time Study Stopwatch. It is advertised as being for studies measuring time, and it seems to have no functions that set it apart from any other stopwatch app. In fact, it seems to have no settings to change, but I could just be missing something.
My favourite was Stopwatch and Trainer. It had the functionality I was looking for, and the interface was nice. I can make preset sessions (designed for workouts, but applicable for studies), and this has a lot more possibilities with the paid version (more sessions to set, rather than just 2 in the free version). I do feel slightly bad about that consider that this is a post on free apps, but this app alone gave a taste of what the full version could do, rather than promising mysterious “further options”.
This is my first comparison review, so gentle feedback would be lovely!