Tuesday’s Tech of the Week: Alarm Clock Apps
Last week we showed you how to outfit your iPhone so that it's as aesthetically pleasing on your nightstand as it is convenient. But what about the sounds and visuals that actually wake you up? If you're anything like us, you waver between the Timba and Marimba ringtones on your iPhone alarm clock, and both drive you completely insane at this point. Thankfully, there are dozens upon dozens of apps designed to make waking up a bit less stressful and a little more harmonious. Here are 10 of our favorites.
1. FlipTime Flip Clock ($0.99): We'll start with a little vintage action. FlipTime is a simple desk clock and calendar that's been designed to look and feel like flight information boards at airports or train stations. When the sound is on, you can actually hear the flip-flap sounds. This would go pretty perfectly with the Areaware iPhone Flip Dock.
2. Radio Alarm ($1.99): Also on the retro front is the Radio Alarm app. As far as design goes, this one takes its cues from old school radio alarm clocks, with a sleep Apple-esque twist. Choose from 50,000 radio stations including NPR, BBC, and every genre of music. Or choose a specific song, or nature sound. Plus, it's got a sleep timer so you can close your day with a sound that soothes you.
3. Alarm Clock Radio (Free): For a more modern, colorful look, check out Alarm Clock Radio. This mimics a digital sort of 80s looking clock, and features access to SHOUTcast radio with over 25,000 music and talk radio channels. You can also use it to stream radio, even if it's not associated with being an alarm clock.
4. Pro Alarm ($0.99): This app is beautiful, easy to use, and is just as smart as your darling phone. The world clock feature provides weather forecasts and sunrise/sunset times for almost every city in the world. This is particularly good for the frequent traveler.
5. Alarm Clock Pro ($0.99): Yes, many of these apps are named using the same 3-5 words, but they all have a different style. This one is a sleek digital style clock that offers weather information right on the clock screen. It can access your music library for when you fall asleep and when you wake up, and includes a built-in flashlight function that you can use when you need to wake up super early and don't want to turn all the lights on.
6. UNIQLO Wake Up (Free): Definitely our favorite alarm clock app on the list, UNIQLO Wake Up is an innovative new social alarm app. Each morning's alarm music is created based on the weather, time, and day of the week. It also allows users to share a record of their awakening via social media, and compiles "wake up records" shared by users around the world in a part of the app called WORLD WAKE UP.
7. Alarm Clock Rebel ($0.99): What sets Alarm Clock Rebel apart is the combination of attractive modern design and up-to-the-minute updates on everything you care about. As soon as you wake up, check out the weather as well as your personal favorite RSS feeds.
8. Nightstand Central ($2.99): With music alarms, a built-in sleep timer, weather, customizable photo background, and a shake-on / shake-off flashlight, Nightstand Central turns your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad into the ultimate bedside hub.
9. Sleep Cycle ($0.99): This alarm clock analyzes your sleep patterns and, like the Jawbone UP, claims to wake you up in your lightest sleep phase. Simply select a 30 minute window during which you'd like to wake up, place the phone under your pillow. The app monitors your movement during sleep using the iPhone's built-in accelerometer and wakes you up gradually and more naturally.
10. iHome+Sleep (Free): The iHome+Sleep app is part of iHome's suite of iPhone home accessories. The app features gentle wake, wake and sleep volume control, the ability to wake and sleep to your iPod library, and a section for sleep statistics and a sleep log. Our favorite feature is that you can wake up to a summary of social feeds for your "Overnight News."
How do you use your tech to start the day off right? Leave us a note in the comments below or send your wake-up tips our way on Twitter.