Start the clock ticking with 30/30

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By Pete Davison Comment

30/30 is a new iOS productivity app from Binary Hammer. It’s available now as a free download with additional optional in-app purchases.

30/30’s basic principle is one of time management. By dividing one’s day (or a smaller project) into timed chunks, the theory runs that users will be able to get more done by sticking to these specific timings and then moving on to the next task.

30/30 allows users to create multiple lists and then populate each with a list of tasks, each of which must have a timing attached to it. Once the user has created their list and is ready to begin, they tap on the large on-screen timer to start the clock. At this point, the top task in the list becomes “active” and its individual timer starts to count down, and may be lengthened/shortened by 5-minute intervals with on-screen buttons if necessary. When it expires, the user is alerted that it is time to move on to the next task. By default, the list will “loop” when it reaches the end, though this behaviour may be turned off if the user desires.

A simple use of the app would be to encourage the user to take regular breaks during their working day by setting a timer for, say, 50 minutes of work followed by 10 minutes of break and then allowing the auto-loop behaviour to run the sequence indefinitely. There’s nothing stopping the app being used to plan out a whole day with very specific timings, however, for those who like to micromanage their schedule.

The app is attractively presented with a distinctive visual aesthetic. Sound effects punctuate almost every action, giving the app a somewhat “game-like” feel — understandable, given Binary Hammer’s background in iOS game development — but this may likewise be switched off if the user wishes for a bit of peace. Each task may also be illustrated with one of a series of icons, and additional icon packs are available for in-app purchase for maximum flexibility. The user may optionally make an in-app purchase to simply show their support for the app at one of three different levels, too, if they do not wish to acquire any of the additional icons. There is no advertising in the app, so all monetization comes from these purchases.

30/30 is a well-designed app, though it does take a little time to acclimatize to the gesture-based interface. The app does not rely on standard iOS interface conventions, instead choosing to establish its own language of multitouch gestures for navigation. For example, to edit an item, users must double-tap; to create a new item, they must pinch outwards; other functions are performed by somewhat clumsy two- or three-finger taps. It’s a little offputting to begin with, but once the user has become accustomed to the app, it becomes second nature. It is somewhat puzzling as to why the decision was made to adopt this custom system of gestures rather than use iOS’ established conventions — though using custom gestures does mean that minimal adjustments will have to be made should Binary Hammer decide to port the app to Android.

Ultimately, 30/30 is designed with a very specific type of person in mind — those who like to micromanage their time and stick to a fairly rigid schedule. For those people, it is an excellent app; others may require a little more convincing of its charms. There’s little denying that it is a slick, well-presented solution, however, and coupled with the free price point, that may well be enough to get a few more people to give it a chance.

30/30 is currently ranked at No. 187 in Top Free Productivity Apps, No. 399 in Top Grossing Productivity Apps and No. 87 in Top Free iPad Productivity Apps. Follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for mobile and social apps and developers.

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