Up Ahead is a polished new countdown app with widgets for iPhone

Up Ahead is a polished new countdown app with widgets for iPhone

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Countdown apps for iPhone can be super motivating. Counting down the days until you’re next vacation may help you persevere through the weeks before it. Not all apps for tracking days before an event are created equally though.

iPhone countdown apps

The basics for an acceptable countdown app include two things:

  • A top-level view of how many days until an event
  • Home screen widget (and now lock screen widget) support

For Apple Watch users, watchOS support is also great for placing a countdown on your watch face.

Generally, another staple of countdown apps is not being too easy on the eyes. It’s definitely a category in which function over form has dominated. A new entry in the field of such apps breaks that trend.

A new hope

Up Ahead is billed as a countdown app for people who like nice things. As someone who self-identifies as a person who likes nice things, I can say Up Ahead lives up to its promise.

The app has a comfortable design with lots of personalization. Tiles for upcoming events are cleanly laid out linearly with a clear display of how much time before each begins. There’s even a clever twist on the countdown presentation. Up Ahead not only displays how many days before each event but also how many days between each event.

“Up Ahead’s timeline view gives you a fun look at how all your events fit together, past and present,” Up Ahead developer Dan Gauthier wrote on Product Hunt. “It encourages you to build a calendar of good things to peruse, rather than just setting up one-off countdowns.”

We can all use a good-things-to-pursue calendar in our lives. As a tester of countdown apps from time to time, I consider Up Ahead’s approach to solving the problem to be thoughtful and delightful.

While there’s no Apple Watch app in version 1.0, Up Ahead is ready for iOS 16 and the iPhone 14 Pro right out of the gate. The app includes multiple options for home screen and lock screen widgets that look great on the new always-on display.

Crafted with care

So many countdown apps for iPhone are short-lived projects frozen in time that never receive features for new iPhones and iOS upgrades.

Up Ahead isn’t intended to be a one-off app release with a single set of features that never gets updated. There’s a dedicated button at the top of the app to find out about the latest features. (The whole app is what’s new in the 1.0 version.)

up ahead iphone countdown app

Up Ahead is free to use for up to three upcoming events with both types of iPhone widgets. Supporting the app unlocks unlimited events, additional widgets and features, alternative icons and themes, and more. It’s also a vote of confidence for Up Ahead and its future as an app. Up Ahead Plus, as it’s called, is flexible with prices at $1.49/month, $9.99/year, or $29.99 as a one-time payment.

It’s great to see a great new countdown app launch on the iPhone, and we’re counting down the days until the first Up Ahead update.

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