Time Out 2.8 released

I'm pleased to announce the general release of an update of Time Out, my popular break reminder tool.

Version 2.8 includes several great enhancements, including a new option to end a break early, the ability to postpone breaks instead of skip them with app exclusions, support for Do Not Disturb for exclusions, a choice to show the time since the last break in the status item (instead of a countdown to the next one), support controlling the app via URL schemes, a new LCD Digital Clock theme, and much more.

Read on for details.

New option to end a break early

  • Added a checkbox and interval picker to the Break Appearance page, to show a button to end the break early.
  • If checked, at the specified interval after a break starts, a End Break Early button will appear in the control panel, enabling stopping the break.

Control for the end early option

  • This is different than the Skip Break button, as it counts the break as done successfully; a distinction that matters if you care about the break statistics.
  • The interval defaults to halfway through the break duration, but the amount and units can be changed as desired.
  • When the End Break Early button appears, the Postpone and/or Skip buttons are hidden.
  • Another use case is to set a long break duration, e.g. half an hour, but allow ending the break after a few minutes, to have variable-length breaks.

End early break control

New option to postpone breaks for app exclusions

  • Added a pop-up menu at the top of the Exclusions page to choose to postpone due breaks if an app exclusion applies when due, instead of skipping it.
  • If one of the postpone intervals is chosen, when a break is due to start, and one of the specified apps is open or frontmost, the break will be rescheduled by the specified number of minutes.
  • This was a popular request for people on Zoom meetings, to ensure they get their break soon after the meeting is over.
  • The breaks will continue to be postponed until the exclusion no longer applies.
  • Also renamed the When Open and When Frontmost options to be more compact, both to show more of the app paths, and because Skip When Open doesn't make sense with a postpone option.

Exclusions options

Added an option to skip breaks when Do Not Disturb is on

  • A new checkbox was added to the Exclusions page to also skip breaks when the macOS Do Not Disturb feature is on.
  • Useful for important meetings when you don't want any interruptions, including breaks. If you always leave it on, you might want to disable this option.

Can now show the time since the last break in the status item

  • Added options to the General preference for the status item, to show the time since the most recently completed break, instead of a countdown to the next one.
  • Useful if you want to see at a glance how long you've been working.
  • The icon can also show the label color of the last break that was done, instead of the next one due.
  • The tooltip for the status item now also includes the time since each break was done.

Option to show the time since the last break

Control Time Out via URL schemes

  • A popular request: some functions of Time Out can now be controlled via URL schemes.
  • timeout://break/micro/start will start the Micro break.
  • timeout://break/micro/postpone1 to postpone the Micro break by the first postpone amount.
  • timeout://break/normal/postpone2 to postpone the Normal break by the second postpone amount.
  • timeout://break/mybreak/skip to skip "My Break"; use lowercase and omit spaces and punctuation for the break name in the URL.
  • timeout://break/micro/reset to reset the Micro break.
  • timeout://pause will pause breaks indefinitely.
  • timeout://pause/10m will pause breaks for 10 minutes (use "s", "m", "h", or "d" units, or no suffix for minutes).
  • timeout://resume to resume after a pause.
  • timeout://preferences to show the Preferences window.
  • Let me know if you want any other functions to be available via URL.

Other changes

  • Added a LCD Digital Clock theme, that shows a nice old-school LCD-like digital clock.

LCD Digital Clock theme

  • Updated the Pexels Nature theme.
  • Added the option to not register a purchase in the Mac App Store edition, or defer registering. Registering the purchase with Dejal enables restoring it on any of your Macs; if you don't register, you'll have to purchase again if you install on another Mac, or wipe your current Mac.
  • Entering your name is now optional when registering in the Mac App Store edition, or restoring a purchase in the direct or Mac App Store editions.
  • Now prevents app expose during a break.
  • If the Advanced option to disable switching breaks etc is enabled, continuing typing is now also prevented during breaks. (Let me know if you'd prefer this were a separate option.)
  • When changing a break to start from fixed time on the Break Schedule page, the natural break option is changed to Continue Countdown, to avoid it drifting (you can change it back if you don't mind that, but it's a common support question).
  • Fixed the screen fading when using the Ask When to Start schedule option with the None theme.
  • Also fixed handling of Break Actions when Ask When to Start is used.
  • Improved the layout of the Break Actions to avoid occasional drawing anomalies.
  • The status window can now be displayed in all macOS Spaces, and the preferences window will move to the active Space when displayed.
  • Added a check that the timers are still working, to diagnose an issue that one person reported.
  • Fixed the Spotlight keywords of the app to use an array instead of a comma-separated string.

Want to try it?

If you are using the Mac App Store edition, you can update via the App Store app.

Similarly, if you are using the Setapp edition, it will handle that update for you.

If you are using the direct edition, you can use the Check for Updates feature in the app to update.

Otherwise, download Time Out now!