Phones have been able to replace a lot of technology over the years, including things like alarm clocks. Most people likely depend on their default phone's clock app to vibrate and/or make noise by their bed stand to wake them up these days. While that's a perfectly viable solution, there are some other apps out there that try to go above and beyond in this regard. Check them out below.
Tag: Alarm clock »
Have trouble waking up or simply want to take a selfie of yourself the moment you hit the alarm button? If it's the latter, I think you're mad but clearly there are others like you. That's why apps such as Twake Alarm exist.
Twake Alarm is an alarm app that allows typical features like setting a sound from your iTunes library and setting up multiple alerts. What makes it special, however, is that it'll snap a photo of you as soon as you wake up, just ready for you to share with others if you're so inclined.
As well as that, a simple numbers game is required to switch your alarm off, meaning by the time you've finished, not only will you have a photo of yourself, but you should be pretty awake.
If that sounds like your kind of thing, you can download Twake Alarm from the App Store for free.
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Every week, the 148Apps reviewers comb through the vast numbers of new apps out there, find the good ones, and write about them in depth. The ones we love become Editor’s Choice, standing out above the many good apps and games with something just a little bit more to offer. Want to see what we've been up to this week? Take a look below for a sampling of our latest reviews. And if you want more, be sure to hit our Reviews Archive.
We also went deep in our coverage of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, with a review, strategy guides, and a Commander's diary. Be sure to check that all out.
The original X-Com: UFO Defense has been one of my all time favorite games for almost 20 years. There’s something about the combination of naming soldiers after friends and family members, carefully trying to manage finances and tech trees, and the tense search for hostile aliens in unfamiliar terrain that still excites me to this day. So when it was announced that Firaxis, the developers behind the latest entries in the Civilization series, were going to release a modern update of the 1994 classic I was both supremely excited and ridiculously nervous. Of course I was worried about XCOM: Enemy Unknown for nothing. It turned out to be a fantastic re-imagining of my favorite strategy game that trimmed away a lot of the unnecessary fat and added a few more contemporary elements to create an incredibly compelling experience. Then it was announced that Firaxis and 2K China were going to take that same experience and somehow cram it on to iOS devices. Again I found myself excited and worried at the same time. And again I was worried for nothing. --Rob Rich
Disney’s Where’s My Water series has been both a success both financially as well as creatively, with its original incarnation bringing unique physics gameplay and an original character to the table. Now, Disney has expanded the series in part by integrating their known characters into the gameplay. The problem has been that they just haven’t fit all that well: Perry from Phineas & Ferb in Where’s My Perry felt like Disney just slapping a character into the formula, and to me at least, it fell flat. So now, we have Where’s My Mickey, which ramps up the character integration from “secondary character on a Disney Channel animated series” to“ the very face of Disney.” Thankfully, the Disney folks decided that with their superstar, they had to bring their A-game to Where’s My Mickey and by gosh golly, they nailed it. --Carter Dotson
It’s quite difficult to fault Videon. It’s a video recording app that offers mostly everything anyone could want from such a tool. Something that’s bound to be welcomed amongst those planning on recording plenty of videos this summer. Aligning towards many different needs, users can go straight into recording something or choose to change some settings around first. The former is ideal for when the opportunity arises, such as when a child or pet is doing something cute. The latter is great, when planning ahead. --Jennifer Allen
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Mini-U: Zoo Abracadabra for iPad is a charmingly different puzzle app that kids and their parents will both enjoy. This app includes a circus theme where animals create towers holding each other up, creating wondrous shadow-animal shapes. Children are then asked to choose what animal is making up this grand tower from the animal tiles one can select, seen at the bottom of the screen. There are three different levels of difficulty within this app that include an increase in the number both of the animal tiles to choose from as well as the number of the animals balancing together, creating most interesting shapes. --Amy Solomon
My family and I are always excited when a new role-playing app becomes available as these types of apps allow children to imagine themselves performing various occupations as well as to engage in pretend play, making these apps favorites in our house. This new app, Dr. Panda Handyman, is such an app, as children work alongside Dr. Panda helping to fix damaged objects of animal friends and neighbors seen within five separate scenes. I enjoy how the different animal connected to each scene may vary as do some of the details found in these scenes. It makes me smile to see some old faces from other apps such as the polar bears or elephants or monkeys, as well as new characters to meet along the way. --Amy Solomon
Little Nick is a running game game that is based on the popular Nicolas TV and books character. It’s a running game, and the abbreviated top-down view is quite reminiscent of endless runners like Temple Run. In this adventure, we ditch jungle temples and crazed monkey-ish beasts for somewhat suburban streets and Mr Goodman in pursuit. And, we get a bike! For background, Nick is framed for the dastardly destruction of a window, and takes off out the property gates on his two-wheeler to escape the vengeful Goodman after him. But these city streets are littered with obstacles, making escape especially hard. The graphics were more than decent, with good animations. --Tre Lawrence
Warmly is an atypical productivity offering from The Chaos Collective that seemingly wants to make the descriptive term “alarm” a misnomer by changing the way we do alarms and wake patterns in the first place. The opening user interface is a clear cut celebration of simplicity, and hints at the design elements that govern the entire app. It gives a scroll-through window for setting the time (with an AM/PM toggle), and nine (9) big square buttons. After a scheduling check-off and an off and ok button, THAT’S IT. Laid against the soothing yellow backdrop, the relatively minimalist viewers are hard not to like. --Tre Lawrence
Neon Snap is one of those games that soothes the mine just by looking it. With the tetrominoes and gridded space, it is practically impossible to not think of Tetris, if just a little. It’s advisable to avoid getting too caught up in the similarities, as Neon Snap sorta turns the gameplay over on its head. The developer uses simple graphics to frame the game. With a mostly dark backgrounds, the play pieces are brightly colored, and the color of the pieces depends on their respective shapes. The animations are decent; rotations are handled in a utilitarian manner, and everything comes together with a minimalist feel. --Tre Lawrence
It's likely you use a set tone or a panicky spouse to help you rouse from your slumber, mind, rather than a sound you actually want to hear.
EnSight Media's latest app Radio Alarm Clock helps to make waking up as enjoyable or bearable as possible, though, offering several radio stations and tones to choose from.
Manchul Ko, CMO of Ensight Media, spoke to us about how his company's app stands out in a crowded market, how easy it is to use, and why it shows how the sound of smooth jazz is popular (almost) worldwide.
Accessibility is essential in an app like Radio Alarm Clock, but fortunately it's as simple to use as you might hope.
"You can listen to just the radio function if you like, but if you want to use the app's other features, just tap on the alarm feature and Sleep timer," Ko says.
"Simply touch 'CH+' and choose your favourite channel - you can either select the channel by country, pick from SHOUTcast channels, or search for channels directly and save them as Favourites." According to Ko, not only is Radio Alarm Clock easy to use, but it's also one of the more enjoyable alarm clock apps you can download. "For heavy sleepers, it's great that they can wake up with a smile using our app. I mean, the iPhone's default alarm sounds are not friendly, at all," he explains.
"For light sleepers, it's good that our sleep timer feature will put them to sleep easily by their listening to nature sounds or radio stations or MP3s." What really helps separate Radio Alarm Clock from the many similar apps out there on the App Store, though, is its presentation - its design charmingly harks back to the early 20th century.
"Users of the app are touched by its unique retro UI & UX design, since nowadays everyone is really focused on a purely digitalized world," Ko explains.
"One example of this retro design is visible when the app streams the radio channel, for the app displays a 'Channel Streaming' animation - the user might really think that it actually searches the channel by itself."
Intriguing presentation and ease of use are present and correct, then, but there are also tons of different stations to explore. Ko says a few favourite stations have emerged.
"Through the SHOUTcast channels, French Kiss FM and Absolutely Smooth Jazz are popular," he says. "In their respective regions, the BBC, Europe 1, France Info, Japan-A-Radio, and K-Pop channels are also widely used."
Developing Radio Alarm Clock was harder than you might expect, however, and integrating the radio channels into the app was certainly being the biggest challenge.
"Our biggest difficulty was supporting the various streaming formats and overcoming the technical issues and guidelines," Ko says. In terms of updates, Ko tells us there are no concrete plans in place.
"It is hard to guarantee specific features at this moment, but we will try to focus on social options that will help you interact with other Radio Alarm Clock users who listen to the same radio channels."
You can download Radio Alarm Clock for iPhone now - it is currently free to download [iTunes link].
Remember back in the day when a clunky alarm had to be set and placed on the bedside cabinet every night? All it did was tell the time and make an annoyingly loud noise at a set hour. The presence of the mobile phone and the likes of the iPad ensure that morning risers can use such a device instead of an alarm clock now but how about an app that includes so much more functionality than simply the time? Enter Smart Alarm Pro, an app from Swedish developers Grsoft Labs that sets out to offer numerous useful features for the morning.
Besides the ever useful clock side of things, which offers different colored LCD displays, 12 or 24 hour format and a vertical or horizontal mode, there are also 20 different alarm sounds to choose from or the ability to select a song or playlist for the alarm music. Vibrate functionality can be switched on or off and the alarm works even when the device is locked or switched to silent mode.
More intriguingly is the ability to view the weather for the day which shows the current weather as well as the predicted weather for the time that has been set on the alarm. The option to view a 7 day forecast is also available.
Positive quotes also feature prominently in order to motivate the user to feel more prepared and ready for the day and there's the ability to view RSS based news too. Imagery can also be added too for users who like to be wakened to the sight of sometthing in particular.
There's even a useful flashlight feature too for the poor users who have to wake up while it's still dark.
Smart Alarm Pro looks set to be the Swiss army knife of alarm clock apps and it's out now priced at $0.99.