Wait a minute, iPhone timer

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Every now and then I want to use my iPhone for something mundane, like setting a timer for five minutes so that it can remind me of an impending task. Fortunately, the iPhone's Clock program includes a Timer function, allowing you to spin two virtual wheels and set a countdown timer of any length (so long as it's not down to the second).

That's great, except for one thing: the Timer function on my iPhone always adds a minute to whatever time you set. I'll grant you, there's an easy fix to this (unless you want to set the timer for one minute): just subtract a minute from the amount of time you want to count down. But it's confusing and annoying and pointless.

Not to geek out on you, but it reminds me of one of the more annoying things I saw on TV as a kid in the 1970s. In one of those "Star Trek" episodes I watched approximately a zillion times — okay, Trekkies, it was "The Corbomite Maneuver" — Mr. Sulu looks down at his ship's chronometer as he counts down to the ship's impending doom. (As you might expect, Captain Kirk averts disaster just in time, and goes on to have some orange juice with a very young Clint Howard.)

Anyway, as Sulu is counting down toward doom, his on-dash chronometer (made of spinning numeral wheels, like an odometer) ticks from 2:02 to 2:01 to 1:00. Now if my iPhone's Timer would broadcast George Takei's voice as it counts down to doomsday, I might stop complaining about this weird software quirk.

Apparently not everyone suffers from this problem, although I am not alone in being affected. In any event, I hope this bug is corrected — or Mr. Sulu's voice added — with the release of the iPhone 2.0 software later this month.

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