[Clock][UX] Add timers functionality

Bug #1427566 reported by Martin Pitt on 2015-03-03
156
This bug affects 28 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
Indicator Date and Time
New
Undecided
Unassigned
Timer
Undecided
Unassigned
Ubuntu Clock App
Low
Unassigned
Ubuntu UX
Wishlist
James Mulholland
ubuntu-application-lifecycle
Undecided
Unassigned
indicator-datetime (Ubuntu)
Undecided
Unassigned

Bug Description

It is hard to implement Timer application, by using standard alarms.
Example of application: https://uappexplorer.com/app/timer.mivoligo

Using standard alarm has several disadvantages:
- indicator-datetime doesn't check seconds for alarms (lp: #1480200)
- Timer's alarms are visible in the core clock app. (lp: #1494229)
- Standard alarms will not work correctly for Timers, after timezone/DST change (lp: #1512180)

Changed in ubuntu-clock-app:
milestone: none → 3.x.backlog
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → High
importance: High → Wishlist
Nekhelesh Ramananthan (nik90) wrote :

Thanks for taking the time to report this bug. Timer was removed for the following reasons,
- The platform did not support notifying the user when the timer was over. As a result if the user set a timer for 15 mins and the screen turned off, the clock app was suspended and even if the timer was over, there would be no audible notification.

- The clock redesign was done in the end of July 2014 while RTM milestone was planned for October 2014 giving me about 2-3 months to rewrite the clock app. Since reaching the RTM milestone we have been focusing on bug fixes and been in maintenance mode.

I can get started on this when I get a design for the timer feature and also the platform supports waking up the device to notify the user. I am afraid I cannot give a ETA for this.

summary: - Add back timers
+ [Clock] Add back timers functionality (Requires design)
summary: - [Clock] Add back timers functionality (Requires design)
+ [Clock] Add back timers functionality

I am tracking the SDK + Indicator-datetime support at bug 1427714.

Martin Pitt (pitti) wrote :

Thanks! I don't quite understand the "support notifying" issue, though; obviously it works for regular alarms, timers are the exact same thing? you calculate the time when it should ring, set up a new alarm (in the system, not the UI), and it shoudl work like an absolute-time alarm?

Nekhelesh Ramananthan (nik90) wrote :

Well the issue with using the alarms backend for the timer use case is that,

1. They would appear in the indicator-datetime as an alarm. While we could filter out these special one-time alarms by tagging them as timers to ensure that they don't appear in the indicator it felt like a hack. Also the notifications shown for a timer would include the snooze button and show the actual time of the alarm say 10:30 AM rather than the timer duration 00:30 etc.

2. It also turns out the EDS is a convoluted mess and is not performant enough on the phone. So if you create a timer for 5 seconds, then by the time the alarms is added to the EDS backend followed by it appearing in the indicator-datetime, that 5 seconds would have already passed. At the moment, the SDK devs are creating a much simpler DBUS backend to fix these performance issues since using EDS for this purpose is an overkill.

Anyway the good news is that a simpler, clean API is in the works. Once that is done, the backend story would be much stronger IMO and also give 3rd party apps to create alarms and timers easily which at the moment is not possible since they require access to the EDS database which is restricted to the core apps like clock, calendar only.

Changed in ubuntu-ux:
assignee: nobody → Magdalena Mirowicz (magdalena-mirowicz)
Changed in ubuntu-ux:
status: New → Triaged
importance: Undecided → High
tags: added: needs-design
Changed in ubuntu-ux:
importance: High → Wishlist
summary: - [Clock] Add back timers functionality
+ [Clock] Add timers functionality

Not implementing this will result in the same thing that happened with android: A ton of 3th party apps that implement core functionality with varying degrees of quality.

There are already a number of timer apps available, that all look very out-of-place on an ubuntu touch device...

https://uappexplorer.com/apps?q=timer

Changed in ubuntu-ux:
assignee: Magdalena Mirowicz (magdalena-mirowicz) → James Mulholland (jamesjosephmulholland)
Bartosz Kosiorek (gang65) wrote :

Waiting for UX design

Changed in ubuntu-clock-app:
status: Confirmed → Incomplete
summary: - [Clock] Add timers functionality
+ [Clock][UX] Add timers functionality
Changed in ubuntu-clock-app:
milestone: 3.x.backlog → 3.5
status: Incomplete → Triaged
assignee: nobody → Bartosz Kosiorek (gang65)
description: updated
Changed in ubuntu-clock-app:
assignee: Bartosz Kosiorek (gang65) → nobody
Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in indicator-datetime (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Changed in ubuntu-clock-app:
milestone: 3.5 → 3.6
Changed in ubuntu-clock-app:
milestone: 3.6 → 3.x.backlog
Robie Basak (racb) wrote :

I have a UX request when setting the timer. In addition to setting the time remaining until it expires (as you'd expect), I'd like to also switch to the ability to setting the clock time that I want it to expire. This would be very similar to setting an alarm of course, but the alarm setting UI is geared towards persistent alarms, not ephemeral ones.

Example use case: there's a one-off thing I need to do at 2pm. I could set an alarm for 2pm by adding a new alarm, and then going in and deleting the alarm after it has rung but this is tedious. Alternatively I could calculate the time until 2pm myself and then quickly set a timer for that length of time. This way there is no alarm to delete after it has expired. I'd like to just go to the timer section and add a timer to ring at 2pm by toggling to an "ETA" display instead of "time remaining" and setting it from there.

Nekhelesh Ramananthan (nik90) wrote :

@Robie, that's a great idea. I have appended it to the bug description to ensure we don't forget it.

description: updated
Changed in ubuntu-clock-app:
status: Triaged → Incomplete
importance: Wishlist → Low
Sam Bull (dreamsorcerer) wrote :

A proposed lifecycle solution from bug #1502628:

I would like to be able to send a notification to the user after a set amount of time. Additionally, I would like the user to be able to respond to the notification with a couple of buttons (e.g. Yes/No or similar).

This could also be used by the clock app for the timer functionality.

Currently, this is only possible with the push notification service. But, as a developer, I do not want to implement the complex push notification service or have to run a server for this simple use case, and as a user, I do not want to depend on network connectivity for this functionality.

This could be solved with some kind of interface to anacron that can schedule a notification to appear at a specified time.

On Tue, Oct 13, 2015 at 01:30:57PM -0000, Sam Bull wrote:
> I would like to be able to send a notification to the user after a set
> amount of time. Additionally, I would like the user to be able to
> respond to the notification with a couple of buttons (e.g. Yes/No or
> similar).

+1. I had thought along the same lines but didn't know where to file it.
Thank you for noting it.

This would also enable, for example, an offline reminders app.

Sam Bull (dreamsorcerer) wrote :

Exactly my usecase. I'm making a nagging reminders app, that will nag you more and more frequently till you complete a task.

description: updated
description: updated
description: updated
description: updated
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