These Apps Put Time on Your Side
Smartwatches may be getting more popular, especially with the new features delivered by the likes of the Apple Watch Series 4 and Samsung Galaxy Watch. But for most of us, the smartphone remains our time keeper and alarm clock of choice. The latest and greatest clock apps come loaded with extra features such as highly configurable alarms, sleep logs and varied plugins. Make sure you never wake up late with the best clock apps for Android and iOS. (Image Credit: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)
Timely (Android: Free)
Timely is easily among the most well-designed and functional alarm clocks in the Google Play store, with three-panel experience for setting alarms, a main clock screen and a stopwatch and timer mode. The alarm pane allows you to quickly set alarms by swiping and tapping from the side of the screen, with support for multiple simultaneous alarms. Each alarm can be further customized with labels and different tunes. You can even add a challenge (such as a math problem or matching minigame).
Alarmy (Android: Free; iOS: $1.99)
Alarmy (Android, iOS) calls itself "the world's most annoying alarm." When users set an alarm, they also set a location that they need to take a picture of, otherwise, the alarm just won't shut off. A popular idea is to set your bathroom sink as your target location, forcing you to get out of bed and over to the sink so you can get a start on the day. Other options include the ability to use your music as your alarm tone and a "shake mode" in iOS for turning the alarm of with a number of shakes.
AMDroid (Android: Free)
AMDroid combines a neat and flat Material aesthetic with a raft of useful alarm settings to make a great alarm clock app for oversleepers. Users can set multiple alarms, each with its own independent settings, from one-shot to recurring alarms and countdown timers. You can add a gentle, pre-wake alarm to slowly wake you up, as well as wakeup challenges to make sure that you're actually conscious. Users can configure alarms to respect public holidays, add geofences, and even include a bedtime notification to remind you to get enough sleep for a particular alarm or event.
AlarmMon (Android, iOS: Free)
If you want to start out your mornings with a daily dose of cute, check out AlarmMon (Android, iOS), a clock app that fully embraces the cute aesthetic of stickers and cartoon characters to help wake you up. Users can set a variety of alarm types, from noisy or quite alarms, to more involved alarms such as ones that incorporate characters and games to make sure you're awake. In addition to the free and premium alarms, AlarmMon can also display the weather and news at the end of your alarm. A cute feature is that AlarmMon can log your alarm behavior, recording how long it took you to turn off the alarm at particular times and days.
FreakyAlarm (iOS: $1.99)
FreakyAlarm wants to make sure that you're awake and active, mentally and physically, rather than lazing about hitting the snooze button in bed. To that end, the iOS app comes with a variety of minigames and annoying sounds to add to the alarm clock mix or your wake-up music, ensuring that you're at least awake enough to solve basic logic problems before shutting off the snooze. A randomizer option keeps the wake-up alarms and games from being too repetitive, and you can also set the app to require you to scan barcodes or photograph objects before shutting off.
Early Bird Alarm Clock (Android: Free)
Early Bird Alarm Clock is a neat multipurpose alarm clock on Android that offers a handy mix of alarm features to help you get up every morning. Users can create multiple recurring alarms (with the option to cycle through a number of alarm sounds) and different methods of turning off the alarm, such as math problems, QR codes, or voice recognition. The app also displays the weather and your upcoming calendar events once you switch off the alarm, giving you a head start for your workday. An in-app purchase removes ads and gives you a clock widget to add to your home screen.
Sleep Cycle (Android, iOS: Free)
Looking for a more scientific approach to waking up after a good night’s rest? Try Sleep Cycle (Android, iOS), a sleep analysis and smart alarm clock that uses your device’s sensors along with sleep science to try to find the optimum time to wake you up. Simply place your smartphone beside you when you sleep, and Sleep Cycle will track the quality of your sleep based on your motions in bed. Set a target time to be up, and Sleep Cycle will attempt to wake you up at your lightest sleep close to the target time for optimal wakefulness. The app also comes with sleep logging tools and analytics, with more features unlocked with a paid subscription.
Sleep As Android (Android: $6)
Another solid, science-based sleep tracking and smart alarm app is Sleep As Android, which combines with your phone sensors or other wearables to track your sleep quality and find the optimal light sleep wakeup time. The app comes with a variety of app integrations and add-ons, allowing you to control supported smart light bulbs, or incorporate captchas or Spotify music into your wake-up alarms. Sleep As Android comes with a 2-week free trial before you pay $6 for the full version.
Chronus: Home & Lock Widgets (Android: Free)
Providing more than just an alarm clock app, Chronus is a multipurpose array of home and lockscreen widgets providing users with multifunction widgets for your Android phone. Users can configure the home and lock screen widgets to display the clock, upcoming alarms, calendar events, tasks, and more. The app already comes loaded with a wealth of options in the free tier, and a premium upgrade unlocks more features such as unlimited Dashclock extensions, stock alerts, and support for Exchange, Evernote, and Todoist tasks.
Snap Me Up (Android: Free)
Snap Me Up takes a different tack from other alarm clock apps, skipping wake-up puzzles or math problems. Instead, once the alarm goes off, Snap Me Up also fires up your phone’s camera, and the only way to kill the alarm is to snap a selfie or video of yourself, capturing your groggy wake-ups. The app also includes a dream journal and a timer, in addition to the alarm clock features.
Gentle Alarm (Android: $1.99)
Gentle Alarm might have a dated Android interface, but don't let that deter you from giving this feature-rich alarm clock a try. Gentle Alarm comes with a bucketload of features and tweaks, from basics such as multiple alarms, recurring alarms, and puzzle modes, to a variety of preset alarm profiles, configurable ringtones, smart alarms, and even the ability to set your alarm to Internet radio stations. All those power features are Gentle Alarm's blessing and bane. If you're looking for a simple alarm clock app, look elsewhere. But if you're especially particular about alarm settings and don't mind spending time tinkering with settings, Gentle Alarm is a pretty configurable app.
Walk Me Up (Android, iOS: Free)
Walk Me Up (Android, iOS) works on the idea that the best alarm clock is one that actually gets you up and moving. In order to turn off Walk Me Up's alarm noises you have to pick up your phone and walk 15 steps, forcing you to get up and actually move. You can't cheat by just shaking the phone, either, as this resets the step counter. An "evil mode" also turns off the snooze button. In-app purchases remove ads, allow you to limit the maximum snoozes, and add a gradual alarm mode for a less aggressive wake-up call.
Good Morning Alarm Clock (Android, iOS: Free)
Prolific app developer Apalon has also tossed its hat in the ring for alarm clocks designed with sleep science in mind with Good Morning Alarm Clock (Android, iOS). Users set a target wake-up time and then set their phone on their bed. The app uses the phone's sensors to record sleep movements to detect phases of light and deep sleep. GMAC then takes a look at your target alarm window and wakes you up at a light point in your sleep cycle to avoid feelings of lethargy. GMAC can record the amount and quality of your sleep, and also features a nightstand mode if you don't use the app's sleep tracking functions.
Alarm Clock Xtreme (Android: Free)
AVG is not a name you'd normally appreciate with timekeeping, but the antivirus stalwart also makes a variety of smartphone utilities that include Alarm Clock Xtreme, a multipurpose Android clock, stopwatch and timer app. Alarms can be set to one-offs or recurring on particular days, and can wake you through your phone ringtone, music, or even the option to turn on a particular app as your alarm (such as your music app or news reader). If you have a habit of abusing the snooze button, you can set snooze times to drop with each press, or set ways to dismiss the alarm besides an on-screen button, such as shaking the device, solving math problems or entering a captcha. A new My Day Dashboard feature can display your upcoming events, the weather forecast, and news articles front and center once you dismiss the alarm.
Pillow Automatic Sleep Tracker (iOS: Free)
Pillow takes a similar approach with sleep tracking, using your iPhone or Apple Watch sensors to track your sleep duration and quality. It then offers breakdowns as to different sleep stages, such as REM and deep sleep, along with heart rate recording and sleep quality assessment in combination with Apple's built-in Health app. A smart alarm feature lets the app gently ease you to wakefulness at the best time based on your sleep activity and the time you've set. The app comes with a wealth of tracking features, and a $4.99 in-app purchase unlocks more, such as the option to export your sleep sound recordings, detailed sleep statistics tracking over time, and a power nap mode with a smart alarm designed for shorter bursts of sleep.