Some people might argue that no matter how idiotic it sounds, normal phones do have a lot of advantages over smartphones. You can’t transfer data as easily to your Windows Phone 7 as you can to a dumb-phone with an SD card (you can’t on iOS and Windows Phone, at least). You have lots of restrictions which were unheard of in the pre-smartphone era. There isn’t even a stock app for countdown timer and stopwatch in WP7. There have been quite a lot of good timer apps in the Marketplace for quite a while, but since Nodo did not allow its users to run apps in the background, you always had to keep the timer apps running in order for them to work properly. However, in Mango this restriction has been lifted, and you can use the new app named Timer, which is a simple countdown stopwatch that keeps running even after you quit the app.
WP7 is not famous for running apps in the background. True multitasking is not available in Nodo and earlier versions but with the latest update (Mango), this feature has been enabled. Timer is a small app which makes use of this latest Mango feature. You can set up as many timers in parallel as you want simply by tapping the add sign at the bottom of the screen. Tap the time and after selecting the desired time period, you are all set for the countdown. Don’t forget to start the timer by toggling it on.
The timer you set will go off regardless of the state your phone is in (as long as the phone is turned on, of course). Timer doesn’t do much, but it does perform the task it promises to do and is absolutely free.
Update: It is good to see that the developer of such a simple app has not abandoned it completely after initial release. Timer has received a few significant updates since the time we covered it first. The app is now available in plenty of languages, making it useful for a much more wider range of users. Apart from that, the biggest feature to be added to the Timer app is audio preview. Now you don’t have to keep looking at your WP7’s screen to know when the timer is going to start, as the app will read the countdown aloud for you.