Are you tired of Android’s stock alarm clock app?
If you own an Android device, you’re probably familiar with all of its stock apps. One of those apps is probably the Clock app, which has the same sort of basic timekeeping features that you would expect out of a modern clock app. Clock allows users to set alarms and timers, and it can also be used as a stopwatch or world clock. It’s a great little tool, but its alarm functions may be a little too basic for some people. Do you wish that you had an alarm app with a little more ‘oomph’? In this article, I’ll talk a little bit about five of the best alarm clock apps that are available to users on the Android platform. Hopefully, by the end of all of this, you’ve found the perfect alarm clock to replace whatever you’re using on your phone right now. Without further ado, let’s get right into the thick of it.
1. Morning Routine
One of the greatest complaints that you’ll hear about Android’s stock alarm clock app (and about alarm clocks in general) is that they’re no good at getting you of bed. Sure, they’re loud, but heavier sleepers will have a tendency to shut off the alarm and fall back asleep. A standard “alarm tone” is enough for most people, but if you’re someone who struggles with getting out of bed in the morning, then Morning Routine is for you. Morning Routine is an app that doesn’t just get you out of bed — it helps to carry you through your whole “morning routine”. Within the app, users are able to arrange different routines. To progress through the routine, you can choose to have to just tap a button (in a more traditional alarm style) or scan a bar code somewhere. How does this end up working out? You can set your alarm to where it won’t go off unless you walk into your bathroom and scan the bar code on your toothpaste tube. From there, you can set it up to where you have a limited amount of time before you have to scan something in the kitchen to start having breakfast.
The app itself offers a lot of features that are much more comprehensive than that, though. Even if you’re not looking for an app to hold your hand through your morning routine, this app can also help ease you into the day, too. Morning Routine is a deeply comprehensive application, and you can configure it to make it to where, upon deactivating your alarm, your phone will open a web page or an app. If you’re one of those people who has to go through their Twitter feed before they’re awake enough to roll out of bed, then Morning Routine may be exactly what you’re looking for. (The app is also compatible with Tasker, a significantly more complicated app that, when used in tandem with Morning Routine, opens up a world of different possibilities.) The whole idea behind this app is that it doesn’t just wake you up. It keeps you awake and it helps you get through your morning, however you may think is appropriate. Although some may consider it to be overkill, I think that Morning Routine is an excellent app for someone who is looking for something comprehensive and deeply functional in an alarm clock app.
Alarmy is an app that offers an experience similar to what you might find in Morning Routine, minus a few bells and whistles. The app prides itself on being “the world’s most annoying alarm clock”. It functions similarly to Morning Routine. You’re able to set alarms that can’t just be dismissed with the tap of a button. Depending on what you opt for, you may have to solve some kind of math problem to disable your alarm. Or maybe you have to shake your phone for a while. One of the coolest alarm disabling mechanisms, in my opinion, is the photo dismiss mode. A lot of different alarm apps utilize a bar code scanner to disable alarms, which I think is a neat idea. However, how can you guarantee that you’re always going to use the same brand of toothpaste? What if you’re up and moving, but you aren’t able to find the shampoo bottle that you assigned to disable your morning alarm? Alarmy’s photo dismissal function makes it to where you can just take a picture of a fixture or place in order to disable your alarm. (Most users choose something far away from the bed, like a toilet, a sink, or their kitchen.) This makes it to where you have to get out of bed, but you don’t have to disrupt your morning process to scan a bar code.
Alarmy has led the Android alarm business for a good while, and it’s innovative features like photo dismissal that helped it get to that point. However, there are definitely a few flaws worth noting in this app’s overall design. To begin with, Alarmy makes it to where users outright cannot set a traditional alarm. This may not be a big deal for most people, but if you’re looking for just a sidegrade to the standard Android Clock app, then this isn’t for you. Alarmy still offers a solution for more traditional alarm users, however. They suggest that users use the foot of their bed as the dismissal photo for their alarms. This makes it to where users have to wake up enough to take a picture, but not enough to get out of bed. Alarmy is sort of bare bones compared to an app like Morning Routine, but I think there’s something to be said for an app that can pretty much instantly be picked up and used, without any sort of learning curve. If you’re looking for a sleek, creative solution to your morning blues, I can’t recommend this one enough.
3. Shake-it Alarm
To continue the trend of “wakes you up, keeps you up” alarm clock apps, let’s take a look at Shake-it Alarm. Shake-it Alarm is an app that isn’t quite as popular as some of the other apps on this list, and I thought that I would take this opportunity to attract some attention to one of the best Android alarm clock apps out there. Shake-it Alarm offers similar functionality that you would find in Alarmy or in Morning Routine. The only difference? Shake-it Alarm offers a few interesting little tweaks on this standard model to create a product that, in my opinion, is a nice change of pace. When you first launch this app, you’ll find a theme. Most of the app is swathed in cute little cartoon animals, which already differentiates this app from its competitors. (You’ll find that most alarm clock apps are more minimalist and neutral in their overall design scheme.) But this app doesn’t just look different from all of the others.
Shake-it Alarm offers three different alarm disabling mechanics. You can either repeatedly tap a button, shake your phone, or vocally deactivate your phone’s alarm. These are good features on their own, but one of my favorite parts of this app is that the user is able to choose ‘random’, which makes it to where each morning, you’re waking up in a randomized way. I have had personal experiences with these kinds of apps, where I get so good at shaking or scanning or what have you, that eventually I’m able to fall back asleep after doing whatever is asked of me. I think that this randomization feature gives Shake-it Alarm a certain quality of keeping its users on their feet, which is obviously an important thing for an alarm clock app to have. This app also has a really cool (or really terrible, depending on your perspective) feature which sends a text message to an assigned contact if you haven’t turned off your alarm within a set time. All in all, I think that Shake-it Alarm brings a lot of really cool features to the table, and it’s well worth a look.
4. Sleep as Android
You may have noticed that most of the alarm clock apps that I’ve talked about so far belong to the same sort of category. They all are specially designed to help wake up the heaviest of sleepers. Maybe you don’t have any trouble getting out of bed in the morning, though. Maybe you’re just looking for a more functional, information alarm clock app. If that sounds like you, then I think that Sleep as Android is right up your alley. This particular app is one of the more well-known Android alarm clock apps out there, and with good reason. Sleep as Android is a sleek, easy-to-use app that allows users to set alarms, track sleep, and record your sleeping. Most people are familiar with these sorts of apps. You set them somewhere on your bed, and your phone uses a combination of motion detection, noise detection, and some fancy algorithms to track which stage of sleep you are in. These apps are meant for the sort of people who really care about how much quality sleep they get per night, and Sleep as Android is one of the best of the bunch.
Now, most of these sleep tracking apps involve placing your phone on your pillow or next to your pillow, as I mentioned before. This is sort of a primitive way of tracking sleep, however. Sleep as Android offers full compatibility with smart watches like the Pebble, Android Wear, or Galaxy Wear. The app offers users all that you could imagine from a sleep tracking app: alarms, captchas to make sure you fully wake up when the alarm goes off, and even recording so that you can hear your snoring or sleep talking. One of the neatest features that this app has is its smart alarm feature, where your phone essentially tracks your light and heavy sleeping patterns, and sets an alarm to go off when you’re in a light sleeping phase. This prevents any sort of rude awakenings, literally. The crowning achievement of Sleep as Android, in my opinion, is the metrics that they provide you. The statistics and figures that they report back to the user are pretty much unparalleled, and they should satisfy even the most choosy of fitness nuts. If you’re looking for a more scientific solution to your restless nights and sleepy mornings, I recommend Sleep as Android.
So, I’ve talked about more hardcore alarms, and I’ve also talked about some more “intelligent” ones. Maybe you’re not looking for any particular niche alarm clock app. Maybe you just want something that’s…better than the stock Clock app that Android gives you. If you weren’t sold on any of the other alarm clock apps that I’ve already talked about, then I think you should check out Timely. Timely is one of the oldest alarm clock apps in the Google Play Store, and millions of users will swear by it. This app doesn’t have any gimmick or hook. It doesn’t do anything in a particularly special way. It’s just a really, really high-quality alarm clock apps, filling in the holes that might be present in the stock Android alarm clock app experience. Timely allows you to easily set alarms and timers, and they allow you to dismiss them in slightly more sophisticated ways. Now, this app isn’t going to have you scrambling into your kitchen to be disabled. You can just tap a button or press a volume button to disable the alarm. (One cool thing that Timely does is reduce the intensity of the alarm when it can feel that you’ve picked your phone up.)
Timely is a gorgeous application, and its surprisingly robust theme customization tools make it to where you can really make it your own. Most alarm clock apps allow users to choose from a dozen or so different pre-set themes, but with this app, your own creativity is really the only limit. (If you’re not the creative type, Timely also offers pre-sets that you can cycle through, if you’re so inclined.) This app isn’t just eye candy, though. It also offers some cool functionality, like tablet compatibility, and full cloud integration. Why would cloud integration be important in an alarm clock app, you ask? Most people own more than one mobile device, whether it be multiple phones, a phone and a tablet, or any permutation in between. Timely’s cloud features make it to where your different alarm settings are synced across all of your devices, which really makes for a convenient and user-friendly overall experience. Timely isn’t as fancy as some of the other apps on this list, but it’s a good all around alarm clock app that still offers a significant improvement from the stock Android alarm clock app.