Version Reviewed: 1.0.1
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Suno is a neat idea that hasn't been as well implemented as its ergonomic layout would suggest. It's also an app that's far from ideal for light sleepers.
Its core concept is to provide a "natural" form of dawn for its users, simulating a sunrise and, hopefully, ensuring that the person wakes up more smoothly than the abrupt noise of an alarm going off. It does this by brightening the room gradually, starting half an hour before the alarm goes off, thereby (theoretically) preparing the body to wake up. It's an interesting idea and one that I found worked reasonably well for me. I found myself waking up less abruptly, although I do think if my iPhone had been placed nearer to myself that the light would have woken me up immediately.
Using a form of sleep cycle analysis, Suno backs such things up by recommending a time that the person should set their alarm for, correlating with the idea that sleep is cyclic and it's ideal to wake up at the end of such a period, rather than in the middle. Having tried this in the past, I can confidently say it works for me.
While the principles behind Suno are sound, it's the implementation that lets it down. For the original asking price, users are offered three musical tracks to be woken by and none of them are particularly appealing. Extra purchases must be paid to use one's own library. Also, despite offering ergonomic design, Suno isn't the easiest of apps to use with confusing controls slowing down the experience. Finally, the app has to remain in the foreground at all times meaning it needs to be plugged in overnight. This is something that can't really be helped given iOS restrictions and what's required of the app, but it is something to consider.
These issues aside and Suno is a curious app. I'm not convinced it'll work for everyone, particularly light sleepers, but given the importance of a healthy night's sleep and the potential benefits (that I know I felt), it's certainly worth trying out.