Every morning our smartphones double as alarm clocks. But let’s be honest, it’s never an easy feat getting out of bed in the morning. If you’re like us and tend to slam the snooze button a few too many times before waking up, then you need a better alarm clock app.
Fortunately, there are a bunch of apps on the market that beat out of the stock functionality found in iOS and Android. Below, we’ve listed a few of our favorites to help you wake up on time.
Sometimes the best app is the app you already have. The latest versions of iOS come with a handy little alarm clock and sleep tracker rolled into one — Bedtime. You’ll find the Bedtime tab within the standard iOS clock app, and the first time you boot into it, it will ask you when you want to wake up and how much sleep you generally need. It will then calculate when your ideal bedtime is and alert you when it’s coming up. You can change your wake time with the clock interface, and it will automatically update your bedtime to compensate.
You can choose specific days for your Bedtime alarm, but can’t choose different alarms for different days — a feature you’ll usually find in more advanced alarm apps. However, it can automatically enable Do Not Disturb, and it will track your sleep time and send it to the Health app automatically too. If you’re after a simple alarm clock that will help you get to bed on time and track your sleep data, Bedtime is worth a shot. It’s only available on iOS though, so people with Android phones should look elsewhere.
Apple has Bedtime, but Android has Google Clock. Not to be outdone, Google’s Clock app also comes with its own alarm functions, as you might expect, but it also comes with some other features you might be surprised to see in a standard operating system clock app. You can set alarms for a series of days — one alarm time for the weekday and one for the weekend, for instance — making it easy to manage your life. But what you might not have expected is Spotify integration, so you can wake up with your favorite track, album, or playlist of the moment. If you have a Google Pixel 3 phone and a Pixel Stand wireless charger, then you’ll also be able to use the Sunrise Alarm to emulate the gentle waking rays of dawn.
There’s no built-in sleep tracking, and it won’t use a smart alarm to make sure you’re getting enough sleep, so it’s not an imitation of Apple’s Bedtime app. It does have a neat integration with Google Assistant Routines — you can have your alarm trigger other smart products in your house that are connected to your Google Home ecosystem. You can set a morning routine to turn on the lights, start the coffee machine, and adjust the thermostat, and this will be triggered as soon as you dismiss an alarm.
Is the threat of peer mockery the only thing that will persuade you to give up five extra minutes at the start of the day? Uhp Alarm has a simple design, along with many of the features you’ll find in other apps. It also lets you restrict how many snoozes you get, offers weather forecasts, as well as the option to use songs from iTunes as your alarm tone. What really sets Uhp Alarm Clock apart from the rest is that it’ll publicly shame you if you don’t get out of bed.
That’s right, Uhp will refuse to turn your alarm off if you don’t get out of bed when your alarm is going off — and worst of all, it will post to your social media accounts to let everyone know how lazy you’re being. So if you can’t bear to let your friends and family know how slothful you are, you’d best get out of bed and over to that coffee machine.
No one really believes those “just got out of bed” selfies are the real thing — but what if they were? What if turning your alarm off relied on you snapping a photo of your sleepy face? We’re not so sure we’d be happy sharing those, but Snap Me Up has you take those selfies anyway. The only way to dismiss this alarm is to snap a sleepy selfie. When your alarm goes off, you’ll be prompted to move to a lighter area so you can take an early morning selfie, and then you’ll have the option to share it with the world. It’s a fun option, and certainly a different way to wake up.
There’s also a dream diary included, but it’s otherwise a little feature-bare compared to some other apps on this list. Still, if you’re looking for a different way to wake up that doesn’t involve solving math problems, then give Snap Me Up a try.
A lot of alarm clocks quickly and ruthlessly launch you out of sleep, firing a blast of full volume sound into your relaxing bedroom, waking you up with a start, going from 0 to 60 in no time at all. But there’s an easier way. Gentle Alarm aims to raise you out of your slumber by slowly increasing the volume of your alarm, waking you up over time and hopefully waking you up more smoothly. It’s an old-looking app and hasn’t seen an update in over two years now, but it still works, and it comes with plenty of exceptional features. You can set a specific sound to wake you up from Gentle Alarm’s large list, or you can use your own music — and you can select a single track, an album, or a random selection from your whole collection.
If you’re worried that you might sleep through such a rising tone, there’s a “safe alarm” feature that blasts your alarm at full volume after the gentle alarm has failed, and you can set the phone to give you a small math puzzle or other challenge to prove that you’re awake enough to turn off your alarm. Pretty much all the features have customization options too, making this a tinkerer’s playground. Gentle Alarm is only available for Android, but something like Progressive Alarm Clock is a good iOS alternative.
If you’re looking for an app that both tracks your sleep and wakes you up in the morning, Sleep Cycle may be the perfect alarm for you. Sleep Cycle uses your phone’s microphone and accelerometer to track your sleep patterns and uses this data in conjunction with your alarm to gently wake you up in the morning. While awareness of your sleep patterns can help you wake up refreshed in the morning, don’t obsess over it if you oversleep or wake up too early, researchers believe that people who use sleep trackers sometimes have less restful sleep because they worry too much about their sleep patterns.
Sleep Cycle can be a little persnickety, you will need to test placing it in different areas to get the best results. Sleep Cycle does seem to work a little better for solo sleepers because pets and partners can confuse the app. If you like Sleep Cycle, there are many more advanced sleep trackers that you can check out.
Alarmy has the honor of being voted “world’s most annoying alarm” by users and publications around the world. If you’re the type of person who can wake up only to turn off the alarm and immediately fall back asleep, Alarmy may be the perfect alarm clock app for you. Alarmy requires you to complete a certain task to turn off your morning alarm. You can choose from shaking your phone or solving a math problem. If you really need a jolt out of bed, Alarmy also has a mode that requires you to take a picture of a certain room in your house to disable the alarm.
While you’ll find that Alarm Clock Xtreme offers many of the same features as other alarm clock apps, it’s one of the few apps that manages to do them all really well. Alarm Clock Xtreme has options to gently wake you up with an alarm that becomes increasingly louder. The app also has a math problem feature for those who need a little brain teaser to get out of bed.
The snooze features on Alarm Clock Xtreme, however, are its biggest strengths. Alarm Clock Xtreme offers a choice of snooze methods, including an extra large snooze button, pressing the side buttons, or shaking the device. If you do choose to snooze, however, you can set the app up to decrease the duration of time between snooze taps, so you will be woken up more frequently.
It’s a shame that FreakyAlarm is only available for iPhone because it offers so many awesome features. FreakyAlarm has a relentless notification system with a large catalog of annoying, yet effective alarms. There is also the option that requires you to solve a puzzle to turn off your alarm. And for the truly hard to wake up, you can turn on a FreakyAlarm that will require you to scan the barcodes of certain products if you want to disable the alarm.