The App Store has a huge collection of timer apps, clock apps, and apps which count down in every imaginable way. We use them all the time, but we usually don’t launch them just to look at them, until now. When it was suggested that we should check out Emerald Sequoia, we have to admit that we did not put that suggestion on the top of the “do-it-now” pile. Then we heard that Emerald Sequoia released an amazing app for the iPad. Still, we didn’t get it. What could be so fascinating about another clock application on the iPhone? Then we actually took a look at their apps.
The guys (Bill and Steve) of Emerald Sequoia are old Mac programmers that have taken what they have learned from their years of software development and used it to create one of the most visually satisfying iPhone apps we have seen in a while. If you love wristwatches, we don’t have to explain this app any further. If wristwatches don’t do it for you, we won’t bother trying to convince you. However, because we were talking about how to create “tapworthy” iPhone apps yesterday, we felt it appropriate to discuss the “tapworthiness” of the two Emerald Sequoia apps (Chronometer, Observatory).
The Chronometer is an iPhone app that models high-end mechanical watches. These models contain many of the complex “complications” found in real watches, plus refinements found nowhere else. There are fifteen different watches in the collection. All of the displays maintain the look and feel of real mechanical objects, but with the time and location accuracy of the iPhone. According to the book Tapworthy, every tap should have a payoff: information delight, a completed task, a sense of satisfaction. The Chronometer’s “tapworthiness” can be summarized as follow:
- Information delight – check;
- A completed task – check;
- A sense of satisfaction – check.
A great app should also reward the user at every turn, from the first glimpse of its app icon through every tap and swipe. Check. This app made us wish we could wear our iPhone on our wrist!
Emerald Observatory displays a variety of astronomical information like the Chronometer, but is designed specifically for the iPad. Much of the supporting technology, including NTP (atomic time) and the highly accurate astronomical algorithms, was derived from Emerald Chronometer.
We took some shots of Observatory to give readers a sense of the intricacy of the interface. This app would be a fantastic value at $10, but at $0.99, you really can’t go wrong. For the full spec and explanation of the various dials, movements, and displays, go here. For a closer look at any of the images, just click on pics.
The Observatory app is so visually striking that one would be justified in purchasing an iPad just to have it hanging on the wall running 24/7. It is that beautiful. If you don’t have these apps on your iPhone or iPad, take the money you were planning on spending for that latte and give it to these guys today. It will be one more app you can use to show off your iPhone/iPad’s “tapworthiness” everyday.