“Is it ok if we use Debatekeeper?” – words you’ll often hear at tournaments, proving that an app supporting the adjudication process is always welcome. However, there was one problem: iOS users had no possibility to use it. An alternative app is now available – New Zealand debater Philip Belesky programmed “Timekept”, which is available for 0,99€ at the App Store. Following his invitation, the Achte Minute had Anastasia Kreis check it out.
After starting the app you’ll first be offered a broad list of national and international debate formats, which you can arrange, prioritise and delete as you like. Small signs give an overview about each format, indicating speech times, POIs, additional answer speeches. Preparation time is also included, as well as time for adjudication and feedback. The latter are calculated with only 10 and 5 minutes which is rather short, but can be changed in settings. After changing something in settings, it may take some time until the changes are applied, so best already set it before use.
For use in a debate, the app can take the time for you and indicate how much time is already over or – if you prefer that – how much time is still left. The app also indicates time marks, e.g. in BPS there is one mark at 1:00, one at 6:00, two at 7:00 and optionally three at 7:15. The app offers a free combination of vibrating, lighting up and a bell sound for the marks. Time progress is also indicated by the background colour: being green during the first minute, blue from 1:00 to 6:00, yellow/orange until 7:00, red until 7:15 and finally black after that.
POIs can be started via a button on the screen and can be marked as “Opening” as well as “Closing”. Acticating a POI will start an extra timer for the POI, automatically switching back after a certain amount of time. This worked well for BPS, the also tested OPD format however showed that buttons are sometimes missing or disappearing.
In summary the app is quite simple and intuitive to use. It has some small flaws, which however don’t cause much trouble.