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The best alarm clock app on mobile

Posted by Campbell Bird on February 20th, 2016
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

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.

SleepBot Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Jennifer Allen on May 31st, 2013
Our rating: starstarstarstarblankstar :: INTERESTING RESULTS
A new app for tracking how well one sleeps. It works well and, even better, it's free!
Read The Full Review »

Favorite Four: Sleeping Aid Apps

Posted by Jennifer Allen on April 8th, 2013

Problems sleeping is a major issue for many, myself included. Not getting a good night's sleep means one's productivity the next day plummets, plus you turn grouchy, irritable and no fun to be around. There's no iOS app yet that will send you to sleep within seconds. There are, however, a few great options for helping wake you up in a more appropriate manner than through an incredibly loud alarm clock. Here's my (sleep-deprived) look at four highlights of the bunch.

Recently reviewed, Suno offers the delights of a sunrise in order to gradually wake one up, and get the day going just right. It's not quite as simple to navigate as one would like but, once set up, it provides a great, gradual sunrise, all lined up according to when you want to get up. It works best in a particularly dark room, of course.

Sleep by MotionX
Analyzing everything possible in a bid to wake its users at just the right moment in their sleep cycle, Sleep by MotionX is a useful life aid. It's just a matter of placing the iOS device on the bed with the app doing the rest. A graph facility makes it simple to see how one's sleep is progressing over time. Even better, the app comes with daytime activities too, such as a pedometer feature and heart rate monitor.

Deep Sleep
Offering a form of relaxation therapy, Deep Sleep is a different change of pace to the other apps featured here. Through the voice of therapist, Andrew Johnson, users are guided gently to sleep through a series of meditational audio programs. Thanks to the soothing voice, it gradually calms the user, slowing their breathing down, thereby enabling them to relax and fall asleep. It might sound a little gimmicky but it can work impressively well.

Sleep Cycle
It's been quite the phenomenon since its launch nearly 4 years ago, but Sleep Cycle has remained relevant ever since. Solely an intelligent alarm clock, it does similar things to Sleep by MotionX but at a lower price. Tracking different phases of sleep, from light to deep sleep, the app works out the optimal time to wake you. It'll even work out which days provide the best form of sleep. It's both interesting and potentially very useful.

MotionX Sleep gets a Bunch of Tweaks in a New Update

Posted by Rob Rich on April 23rd, 2012
iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: STEP LIVELY :: Read Review »

SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: Want your own copy of MotionX Sleep? The developers have given us a link that will send you a unique code to redeem for a FREE copy of the app. Simply click right here to enter. Offer available to US iTunes account holders only.

When I first took a look at MotionX Sleep, I was fairly impressed with all the sleep-monitoring app’s handy functionality. However, that was then. Now MotionX has added a laundry list of new features and tweaks, making it even more formidable in the world of iOS lifestyle software.

Along with a bunch of minor optimizations, a number of features have been directly improved thanks to customer feedback. MotionX Sleep now offers an “audible placement test” to make finding the best spot for the special pillow alarm much easier. The alarm itself has also had an interface tweak, making it easier to set. Sleep history and other statistics can be viewed in one, seven, or thirty-day summaries to give users better detail on their sleep habits. This info can also be shared on Facebook and Twitter as an effective way of convincing our mothers that we are, indeed, getting enough rest.

The Smart Sleep Cycle Alarm has also been improved by way of allowing users to adjust their wake-up window, including new sounds, and adding an optional vibration. Finally, the interface has been adjusted to make certain features easier to customize. The 24/7 Daily Step Counter can be turned on or off from the main menu, and undesired sleep recordings can be deleted straight out of the sleep log.

It’s the little improvements like these that go a long way. While MotionX Sleep was a worthwhile investment for health-conscious iOS users before, it’s even more useful now.

MotionX Sleep Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Rob Rich on March 12th, 2012
Our rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar :: STEP LIVELY
Set personal goals and try to maintain a more active lifestyle with this handy iOS app.
Read The Full Review »

This Week in Updates: Sleep Cycle, Twitter, Boxcar

Posted by Kyle Flanigan on November 19th, 2010

A string of major free updates have landed this week in the App Store, just in time for the beginning of the holiday season that always witnesses fierce competition and price reductions for consumers. This week, Sleep Cycle, Twitter and Boxcar all rolled out significant additions to their already impressive applications, enhancing functionality dramatically.

Developers Maciek Drejak Labs rolled out version 3.0 of Sleep Cycle alarm clock, rated 5 stars by 148Apps and holding the position of #1 top paid application in numerous countries. The $0.99 application tracks your sleeping pattern in an effort to wake you up during your lightest sleeping phase. The free update now allows you to wake up to your own music from the iPod application, or choose not to have an alarm at all but still track your sleeping pattern. In addition, the application now offers full support for iPod Touch and is "up to 5x more sensitive to your movement". A new intelligent snooze feature has also been integrated, along with a plethora of general improvements that make this application a thorough 'buy' recommendation.

In social networking news, a much-anticipated and long overdue update to the official Twitter application for iPhone and iPad brings push notifications for @replies and direct messages, a feature that third party applications such as Boxcar (see below for a twist) offered to satisfy users who were forced to make use of an unofficial alternative.

However, Boxcar, an application that satisfied push notifications for Twitter before the update, have gone one step further still and now offer push notifications from anyone on your timeline, regardless of whether or not the message is a standard tweet, @reply or direct message. This is big news, particularly for twitter feeds dedicated to posting breaking news, where speed is everything. Version 4.1 also provides Foursquare, Gowalla and Reddit push integration.

With the holiday season fast approaching, expect more and more developers to provide added incentives, release significant updates and reduce prices in a bid to ensure that their application remains top of the charts. The best things in the tech life really are free - updates!

The Gentle Alarm Review

iPhone App - Designed for iPhone, compatible with iPad
By Bonnie Eisenman on September 28th, 2010
Our rating: starstarstarblankstarblankstar :: COOL CONCEPT
The Gentle Alarm is a great concept...but it's just too unreliable for me to recommend.
Read The Full Review »

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock

Posted by Mike Rithjin on September 4th, 2009
+ Universal & Apple Watch App - Designed for iPhone, iPad and Apple Watch

Developer: LexWare Labs AB
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarstar
iPhone Integration Rating: starstarstarstarstar
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starstarstarstarstar


There are few things in life I value more then my sleep. It's my best friend, my only love, the jelly to my peanut butter. I love to sleep. I do it a lot, and our interactions will surely suffer if I did not receive a decent amount of sleep the night before.

This was me a only a few days ago. I'm a new man now. Better, faster, stronger, and better looking if you can believe it. A problem that I had was that I usually am up pretty late reading, writing, playing video games and what not and usually need to wake up pretty early. This is an issue. It got to the point where I fought anybody who looked at me wrong. I was wearing pants around my head and shoes on my feet. I forgot English for a bit. My Madden skills took a steep dive. Then one afternoon, after a small temper tantrum, I was browsing the app store for alarm clocks and I came across this little gem. It's a mere $0.99 but I fib not when I say I would pay $50 for it. In order to truly understand the greatness of this app, we have to take a little journey. A journey into science... Science land.

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock works using the iPhone's accelerometer to analyze your movement through the night. It detects your sleep cycles (hence the name SLEEP CYCLE Alarm Clock) throughout the night and after a couple nights fully determines what your sleep cycles are. You may be asking yourself "What is a sleep cycle Mr. Rithjin?" Well lets take a deeper trip into Science Land... Shall we? The average healthy human goes through a few sleep cycles through the night categorized into four different stages. Helpguide.org categorizes these four stages as such:

Stage 1 (Drowsiness) - Stage 1 lasts just five or ten minutes. Eyes move slowly under the eyelids, muscle activity slows down, and you are easily awakened.
Stage 2 (Light Sleep) - Eye movements stop, heart rate slows, and body temperature decreases.
Stages 3 & 4 (Deep Sleep) - You’re difficult to awaken, and if you are awakened, you do not adjust immediately and often feel groggy and disoriented for several minutes. Deep sleep allows the brain to go on a little vacation needed to restore the energy we expend during our waking hours. Blood flow decreases to the brain in this stage, and redirects itself towards the muscles, restoring physical energy. Research also shows that immune functions increase during deep sleep.
REM sleep (Dream Sleep) – At about 70 to 90 minutes into your sleep cycle, you enter REM sleep. You usually have three to five REM episodes per night. This stage is associated with processing emotions, retaining memories and relieving stress. Breathing is rapid, irregular and shallow, the heart rate increases, blood pressure rises.

So now that you understand these stages, you must also understand that there is a period when it is natural for the body to awake, and there are periods when if awoken, vital parts of your sleep cycle will be missed and you will turn into a flesh eating zombie. It's science. What the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock does differently for you is actually determine the most opportune time to wake you based on your body movements. You set your wake up time on the alarm clock and sleep cycle will pay careful attention to your body movements in the 30 minutes up to that specific time, and determine when is best to wake you up with a tune that gently caresses your ear drums and whispers "time to wake up Pooh Bear" in the voice of an angel. Then it feeds you breakfast.

No that's my mom... But in all seriousness, this app works. I don't know, I keep running through it in my head and thinking "well what if it in that 30 minute span there is no good time to wake me up?" or "what if this is voodoo science?" Friends, put these questions out of your mind, because it doesn't matter. The app works. I NEVER wake up the first time my alarm goes off. For the first week I used this alarm clock, I rose the very second the alarm went off feeling like I had just slept for an entire day. It's unbelievable. Maybe it's just something in my mind, but if it is, then I'm just fine with that because it works.

Oh and one last thing... This app is not a substitution for a good night's rest. It is helpful on nights that you don't get quite as much sleep as you wanted, but it's definitely not going to trick your body into thinking you got a solid eight when you only got four hours of sleep. I have tested it, and it will not make up for a lack of sleep. But it's not advertised to do so, so I'm fine with that.

I could go on and talk about the menus in this app (which are actually very nice) but that stuff doesn't matter. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is $0.99 and you would be insane to not go and buy this app right now. It just works. Period. It does exactly what it advertises which is absolutely amazing. Again, in all seriousness, my days are much more enjoyable when I'm not worrying when I get to go home and pass out.