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The best timekeeping iOS apps

Brian Beam | April 22, 2014
As someone who runs a freelance consulting business, it's important to track my time accurately so that I can bill my clients properly, and there just so happens to be a plethora of standalone timekeeping apps available for iOS.

I'm a little confused as to why the developer offers two different timekeeping apps, and why Hours Keeper Pro is more expensive than its sibling. Regardless, I would like to see them integrate the best features of both into a single app. A free version of Hours Keeper with limited features is available so that you can try before you buy.

The rest of the pack

There are several other time tracking apps that are worth mentioning. Although they're not as high on my list of features, they function just fine for those who may have simpler time-tracking needs.

HoursTracker

HourTracker, by Carlos Ribas, comes in two flavors: HoursTracker Pro for iPhone and iPod touch and HoursTracker HD for the iPad. With the exception of the iPad-enhanced screen of the HD version, each app is priced at $7 and works similarly. You can get started quickly by simply creating jobs and assigning each a billing rate. Then you can start entering time manually or use the timer. An in-app purchase of $1 will add "location awareness" that workers who travel to different job sites might find very useful. This lets you set a location for each job site so that the app can either prompt you as you come and go, or even clock you in or out automatically.

If you need to produce invoices within the app, though, then this is not the one for you, although you can export your data in CSV format for external reporting or invoicing. You can also export your data as a native SQLite file, which can be used to restore your data if necessary. A cloud-based backup solution is available via an in-app purchase of either $2 per month or $15 per year. If you own both apps, you can use either method to help keep your data in sync between devices, but it's still an awkward substitute for a true syncing solution. A free lite version of each app is available.

Time Tracker Pro

Time Tracker Pro, by Nonlinear Ideas, is a free universal app that does exactly what it says. The app's main screen lets you have several timers visible at once and quickly alternate among them. While you can track the total time spent on projects and tasks, the app doesn't create invoices. However, you can produce time reports and graphs that can be exported. While I appreciate unique designs, the app's quirky interface may not be to everyone's liking. A $1 in-app upgrade will let you back up your data in case you should need to restore it to another device.

Bottom line

 

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