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CreaBros Oy: Touchy feely stopwatch 2.0 for Symbian^1, Symbian^3, Anna and Belle: now new and improved

Touchy feely stopwatch 2.0 for Symbian^1, Symbian^3, Anna and Belle: now new and improved

Mar 1, 07:02 AM

Give it a try at Ovi store

People have been complaining about the user experience on Symbian. We agree that the standard components offered to the developers are quite boring and lack charm.

With the new Stopwatch we decided to develop it like we’d develop a game. Everything must be fluid and look good. Response must be the absolutely fastest possible without compromise. It must be intuitive so no help documentation is needed and it must look beautiful.

So what all had to go. In the old stopwatch displays were done with the standard frameworks edit boxes. This meant that the font had to be chosen from the given set and no nice shadow or transparency effects could be added. So that had to go.

Once you throw away the framework what are you left with? Well basically only thing left was the graphics context and bitmaps. And that is how the interface is constructed. Everything is done by blotting bitmaps over each other from buttons to numbers to the sliding result panel. At first a lot of transparency was used, but to save resources some were dropped and others were combined into static bitmaps.

Lot of thought was put into responsiveness. One reason sound wasn’t incorporated was that it added overhead into the button response. Tactile feedback seems to work on its own so it was a better choice. To enable “reaction” testing i.e. pushing the start/stop button as quickly as possible graphics update isn’t started until first tenth of a second has passed. Fastest I’ve been able to do this is seven hundredths of a second. To see ones true ability thousands should be also shown, but they are not practical for functioning of the stopwatch. On N8 we can obtain framerate of almost 100 frames a second, but because that would drain the battery, we limit ourselves for the first ten seconds to about 60 frames a second and then to about 30 frames a second. With bright screen and watch running whole time in the foreground visible battery life should still be about eight hours. When the application is on the background or not visible it doesn’t consume any battery.

Lack of pause option
Many people have complained that there is no pause option. Reason for this is that we couldn’t think of an elegant way to implement it. One way is to have the Yellow button work as resume button, but would it be intuitive? Perhaps and it might be worth a try. One thought is to have yellow restore, but then change the mode into rest <-> active mode where resting time and active time are recorded.

Clearing of the screen
Most people liked the wipe to clear concept. Unfortunately in the new version the main screen can’t be cleared that way. A menu button needs to be used. Not very elegant, but practical. Running screen can still be cleared this way when the watch is stopped.

Other new features
Results can be sent or saved as memo. Reason for using memo is that it provides rudimentary editing tools. They could be better, but have to suffice for now.

Left handed operation
Sometimes the stopwatch needs to be in the left hand. Maybe out of handedness, preference or necessity. Not many applications take this into consideration. We decided to give it a try and it propably was a good idea.

Give it a try at Ovi store

Supported devices: Nokia 5228, Nokia 5230, Nokia 5233, Nokia 5235, Nokia 5250, Nokia 5530 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia C5-03, Nokia C5-04, Nokia, C6-00, Nokia N97, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia X6, Nokia X6-00m, Nokia 500, Nokia 600, Nokia 603, Nokia 700, Nokia 701, Nokia C6-01, Nokia C7 Astound, Nokia C7-00, Nokia N8-00, Nokia Oro, Nokia Oro C7-00s, Nokia T7-00, Nokia X7-00, Nokia E7-00, Vertu Constellation T, etc.

Supported Platforms: Symbian^1, Symbian^3, Symbian Anna, Symbian Belle

Kalle Kuismanen

Current Projects, Mobile

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