Wednesday July 25, 2012

Rename and Rebrand My Timer App

Some big changes taking place for my timer app. First, the backstory…

The legal team for Francesco Cirillo sent me a friendly letter and asked me to change the name of my timer because it was not officially affiliated with The Pomodoro Technique®. They were very gracious about it and gave me a helpful document to understand how they’d like their trademarks and brands to be used.

They’re concerned with protecting their brand, which I certainly understand. But more interestingly, they’re concerned with the avalanche of tech support and feature requests they get about all these productivity apps that claim to support the Pomodoro Technique®. They’re asking app authors to please make it clear that there is no official relationship with Francesco or the Pomodoro Technique®.

Among things to change, they’ve asked me to alter my icon and change the name from what it used to be, “Pomodoro Timer”. That makes sense to me.

They are contacting other app developers about this as well. A quick search of any app store out there and you’ll quickly find many apps claiming adhearance to the technique. Most of them offer a wide range of tracking and retrospective options that try to follow what Francesco writes about in his book.

This got me thinking. My app is really just a timer. I’ve had requests to do Pomodoro™ tracking activities like the other apps out there, but I’ve never had interest to do this. I wanted a mechanical wind-up timer in my pocket with a lot of care for audio quality, motion mechanics, and touch feel. I practice the technique, and enjoy it, but I use the app for far more than just productivity. The app’s simplicity appeals to me as much as the many of you who’ve contacted me to express this as well.

So, to honor their request I’ve decided to rebrand by moving in a totally new direction. The app’s new name is now “Wind-up Timer”. It’s a simple timer, like it always has been. It sports a new icon, a new orange theme (Navel Labs, navel oranges, get it?), and a bug fix to boot. You can use it for whatever you want, but there is no more reason for me to relate it to the Pomodoro Technique®.

As far as the future of the app, I have a few ideas in mind involving subtle 3D rendering with OpenGL. :) I plan to put some more configuration options in there, and those of you who are Launch Center fans will like the URL launching options coming soon.

Thanks for listening, and I’m sorry to shock you with the icon and branding change. It’s for the best. Hope you enjoy it!