PocketTimer Pro™
for iPhone / iPad / iPod Touch

from Stevens Creek Software

Latest released version: 4.0

Version 4.0 Addendum

Version 4.0 of PocketTimer Pro adds a number of new features to the software. This Addendum is designed for those who have already been using the software to quickly learn about the new features, without having to read through the full manual looking for the changes and additions.

Settings Screen

There are two types of settings which control the behavior of PocketTimer Pro. One type, which are those which you typically need to set only once, and changed in the iPhone/iPad Settings app (the app with the "gears" icon), in the PocketTimer section. The second, which are those which you may wish to change more often, and even while timing and scoring a race, are on the Settings screen of the PocketTimer Pro app itself. In earlier versions ofthe software, this screen was accessed from a button on the upper-right of the the Results screen. In version 4.0, we have made it into a separate "tab" on the bottom of the screen for easier access.

Data Transmission

Manual Transmission

The three types of "data" which PocketTimer Pro uses – categories, racers, and recorded times – can now be transmitted from one copy of PocketTimer Pro running on one device to a second copy running on a second device via Bluetooth (which is specified as having a range of 30 feet, although in practice somewhat longer distances seem achievable). This allows you to accomplish a number of tasks. You can configure the categories and racers on just one unit, and then copy that information to other units. Of course if you were able to enter all this information prior to the race at home or in your office, you could have simply downloaded it into the various units. But if you need to enter or modify this information at the race site, it can be very advantageous to do so on just one unit, and then transfer the updates to other units. For recorded times, this features allows you to accomplish a variety of tasks. You can use multiple units to record finishers in multiple chutes of a large race, and then combine the recorded times in one unit for scoring. You can record times with different units at different aid stations in an ultra, or at different transition zones in a triathlon, and then combine the recorded times in one unit and do lap scoring (discussed in the next chapter).

To set this up, several steps must be taken:

  1. Each unit must have Bluetooth activated. In the Settings app (the separate app, not the "Settings" screen of PocketTimer Pro), find the Bluetooth section, and turn it On. Bluetooth will stay on until you turn this setting off, but note that activating Bluetooth does consume power, so you don't necessarily want to leave it on all the time.
  2. Now on the Settings screen of PocketTimer Pro, find the toggle that reads Accept transmittted info and turn it On. You only need to do this on the unit(s) which will be receiving data, not on unit(s) which will be sending data.
  3. On the receiving unit, make sure PocketTimer Pro is open (it will have to be open on the sending unit, since otherwise you won't be able to initate the transmission).

To transmit the data from one unit to another, there are two options.

  1. On the Settings screen, you'll see three buttons – Transmit Times, Transmit Names, and Transmit Categories. Tap any of these to activate transmission.
  2. For Categories and Racers, go to the appropriate screen and "triple-tap" (3 quick taps) the title bar on the top of the screen (the one that reads "Categories" or "Racers". For recorded times, do the same thing, but not on the Timer screen (which has no title bar), but instead on the Results screen.

In either case, here's what happens: the software will search for other units within range that are running PocketTimer Pro and which have the Accept transmitted info switch activated. Assuming it finds one, the data will be transmitted from one unit to the other. In the case of names and categories, the transmitted information will replace the information in the receiving unit. In the case of times, the transmitted information will merge with the recorded times already in the receiving unit, but eliminating any duplicates (identical bib# and time). This latter feature lets you do this transmission multiple times from one unit to another (perhaps as more times are recorded), without worrying about which times you have previously transmitted.

Automatic Transmission

In addition to manual transmission of all recorded times, PocketTimer Pro lets you automatically transmit each recorded time from one unit to another as it is recorded. Using this feature, times can be recorded using one unit (say, an iPhone), and then transmitted to a second unit (perhaps an iPad) which is displaying the results, which are then instantly updated as each finisher crosses the line.

To set this up:

  1. On the receiving unit, go to the Settings screen and make sure Accept transmitted info is On.
  2. On the sending unit, go to the Settings screen and set Auto-transmit times to On.

Now as each time is recorded on the sending unit, it is automaticallly transmitted to the receiving unit. Note that with Manual Transmission of data (described above), the screen of each unit displays relevant messages ("Sending names", "Receiving recorded times", etc.). With Automatic Transmission, however, no messages are displayed, since they would interfere with recording of additional times.

Instant transmission also takes place if you delete a recorded time, or if you modify a recorded time (either the bib# or the time itself).

Note that you can turn Automatic Transmission on or off as the race progresses, as appropriate. As one example, if the receiving unit becomes unavailable, you'll want to be sure to deactivate Automatic Transmission so that the sending unit isn't struggling each time to find find a receiver that isn't there any more.

Racer Search

It's common for a friend or relative to approach the timer and want to know if their racer has finished (or passed through a particular checkpoint). Version 4.0 now includes a search function which allows you to do just that. Double-tap (two quick taps) on the word "Bib#" on top of the table of finishing times and a screen will appear allowing you to enter a Bib#; when you tap the Search button on that screen, the software will find (and scroll to the top of the table) the longest time associated with that Bib# (if there are more than one), or will make a buzz sound if that Bib# isn't found. Double-tap instead on the word "Name" on top of the table of finishing times, and you can enter a name to search for. The name search is case-insensitive, and will also search for the name or fragment of a name that you enter anywhere in the actual name of the racer. Thus you can enter a full name, a first name, a last name, or any portion of the name that is likely to be unique.

Multilap Races

PocketTimer Pro has always had the ability to record as many times for the same racer (same bib#) as you like, but you could only score the Nth lap, and the results would display only that single lap (typically the last lap). Version 4.0 now includes three new features to substantially enhance the scoring of multilap races:

  1. First, the ability to transmit recorded times from one unit to another (discussed above) means that you can combine times from multiple checkpoints or different transition areas in a triathlon.
  2. Once you have multiple times recorded for each racer, on the Settings screen, you can set Results include lap times to On to display the results for each lap (as well as the finishing time) on the results output. With the iPhone/iPod Touch version, this will only apply to the results as they are output from the software (e.g., to your website). With the iPad version, the full-screen display of results allows you to display results with laps right on the screen of the device itself. Lap times by default are displayed as cumulative lap times. In the Settings app (not the Settings screen), however, in the Scoring section of the PocketTimer section, you'll see Show laps as differences in the Duplicate Bib#'s sub-section.. Set this to On, and now the times displayed will be the actual times for each lap, not the cumulative time to that point. As a subtle matter, in this mode, if there are, say, three laps, the software will display a finishing time and three separate laps. If Show laps as differences is Off, then the software will only display the finishing time and the first two laps (since the cumulative time for the third lap is the same as the finishing time, and therefore it wouldn't make sense to display it).
  3. Also in the Duplicate Bib#'s sub-section, the Score Using setting now include one new option: "N, <N Laps". If you select this scoring option, then you allow racers to be scored if they have finished fewer than the Required Laps (specified by the next setting). So if, for example, 8 laps are required, all racers finishing 8 laps will first be scored in order of finishing time. Then, below them will come racers who only finished 7 laps, then racers who only finished 6 laps, etc.

Input/Output using Dropbox

Dropbox™ is a "cloud" service which allows you to store files and share them among a wide variety of devices – computers running various operating systems, and handheld devices including smartphones and tablets also using a variety of operating systems. Read more about why we use Dropbox, and how to get your own free account, in this separate document.

Once you have a Dropbox account, to use it from within PocketTimer Pro is simply a matter of entering the word "dropbox" (no quotes, and case-insensitive) into the Base URL fields for Download and Upload in the Files sub-section of the PocketTimer section of the iOS Settings app. The first time you do this, you'll be asked to "allow" PocketTimer Pro to access Dropbox. In your Dropbox account, there will be a folder named Apps and in that folder there will be a folder named PocketTimer Pro. In order to download (input) files into PocketTimer Pro, you'll put them into that folder; when you upload (output) files from PocketTimer Pro, it is into that folder that they will be transferred. The beauty of Dropbox will then be that, assuming you have one or more computers also "hooked up" to that same Dropbox account, those files will be instantly transferred to your computer, making this an indirect but extremely fast and easy way to transfer files wirelessly between your iOS device and your computer. Conversely, when you prepare a file on your computer (say, the file of racer information) and move it into the PocketTimer Pro folder in the Apps folder in your Dropbox folder, then almost instantly that file will be transferred to the Dropbox cloud storage and be available to be downloaded into your iOS device.

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